To continue our important discussion about depression and its effect on the ecology of the human person, it is imperative that you and I continue to examine each of the three pillars or legs that make up the interactive systems of depression.
Once we admit that we are depressed (we discover the parts such as feeling worse in the morning, a physical slowing down much like dark molasses, an inner anxiety and hollowness. We also experience a need to sleep more or not sleep at all , excessive guilt or shame, weight loss and crying spells, feelings of worthlessness, suicidal thinking). We now begin to look more closely at what is happening to us, and become aware that there are systems that are always interacting in the human body. We have already enumerated the major three systems: the personality factors, the biological factors and the environmental factors.
It is imperative that we now take a closer look at the biological factors that are attributed to the reality that we call depression. Some persons don’t espouse the common belief that the cause of depression is a chemical imbalance. Some others claim that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance causing a depression. These same folks believe that we have overmedicalized a normal and natural human experience. It’s like the fight or flight syndrome that primitive humans experienced ages ago. They could either run away from a man eating lion or they could stand and fight. Today, we can go round and round in our mental sphere and by continued rumination with our fearful life cycling thoughts find ourselves physically worn out by shooting more and more adrenal fluids into our blood stream. Thinking such unpleasant thoughts over time has to wear down the human body, much like the Chinese torture of a single drop of water continuously falling on the head of a captured enemy. I think what scientists mean when they deny that chemicals are the cause of depression is that they know that by just telling oneself that I am a bad person does not make that person depressed.
Here is an interesting view from a sociologist, David Karp, in his research book, Speaking of Sadness.
“Psychiatric illness in the United States, with its heavily scientific bias, largely presumes biochemical pathology as the ultimate source of depressive disorders everywhere. Such a view is sustained despite the existence of “impressive date that there is no such thing as depression that occurs solely from biological causes.” To be sure, it would be equally plausible to say that real world experiences produce depression by altering biochemistry and thus stand first in the hierarchy of depression causes.
Right now, though, it would be as presumptuous to make this claim as it is of American medicine to claim biology as the absolute foundation of depressive disorders. The truth is that there is no way to claim the greater significance of either way to untangle the intersection of cultural and biological factors and consequently, no sure way to claim the greater significance of either nature or nurture in causing depression. Despite this epistemological problem, the role of culture and the contribution of social science in understanding the role of culture and the contribution of social science in understanding the course of illness remain very much at the margins of American Medical training and practice.”
So finally we know that when a psychiatrist reaches for the prescription pad that he/she is dealing with only part of the personal depression experience. It is just as important to know something of one’s life history to date, what were his early childhood feelings and relationships like, and did the parents present the world to him/her as a safe place to discover, or was it best for this child not to venture out to far away from what was familiar and safe.
Next time we want to share more of how culture can affect the thoughts, ideas and feelings embedded in that culture. We can ask ourselves how does our present culture promote community or isolation. And remember, isolation and being disconnected from others is a critical factor in one becoming and staying depressed.
To learn more on how to get connected and stay undepressed please avail yourself of the HOME STUDY PROGRAM of Depressed Anonymous. If you are depressed you c an very well determine if you are depressed and then if you are what measures to take to free yourself from isolation and pain.
VISIT THE STORE and read about the HOME STUDY PROGRAM and how it is well positioned to give you not only a positive view of a plan on how to overcome depression but also a Workbook where you will gradually find answers in yourself for personal freedom from depression.