Tag Archives: Jonathon Rottenberg

Hope is contagious!

Yes, hope is definitely contagious,

When I attend a Depressed Anonymous meeting I hear hope spoken. My own mood is elevated  listening  to how others are feeling better because of using the Twelve Steps of Recovery  for their   lives. Now,  because of  online  Depressed  Anonymous  groups on SKYPE and ZOOM,  the depressed have the opportunity to feel and find hope. And  once they move through the most painful experience of their lives,they come back and share  with the group how their life once was and how it is now.

Persons  find hope. They will find a fellowship that  speaks their language.

Yes, hope is definitely contagious.

In the very helpful book The Depths: The evolutionary origins of the depression epidemic, the author Jonathon Rottenberg shares with the reader how our deep moods can lead to  depression. He calls his study  a mood science.

“…The mood science perspective tells us that depression, deep or shallow, is a natural product of the mood system. However a person gets there, facing deep depression is a supremely difficult trial. Rather than assuming weakness or defectiveness . We should acknowledge that getting through depression requires considerable   strength .Rather than assuming permanent debility, we should recognize that some depressions are followed by thriving. Writing these words fourteen years after  my episode, I recognize that I am not broken. Getting beyond the disease model will require us to honor the strengths of formerly depressed and the ways that, once reborn , they can help others build enduring recovery from depression.

It is possible.”

Yes, hope is contagious!

(c) The Depths: The  Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic. Jonathon Rottenberg  (2014) Basic  Books, New York, NY. Pages 199-200.

Is there life after depression?

The question is a surefire cause for reflection.  In my own case, I can say that   my life  took a new and exciting direction.  As therapist I quickly learned  that my own painful depression experience gave my life and work a special path.

A recent author, in his work The Depths,  shares with us how his experience with depression provided new meaning for his life and work. It was when his depression ran it’s course did he realize that this experience had provided him with a purpose for his life.

“The specific enterprises that  will create purpose in life will differ from person to person and emerge from his or her history and needs. Your mileage will surely vary. There’s no ready made formula for discovering  and rebuilding life purpose (or purposes) after depression. It can and should emerge over time from solo reflection, as well as from conversations with spouses, friends, and therapists.  This diverse process is worth pursuing. This diverse process is worth pursuing. I expect what is common among people is that however purpose is created, it can hold depression at bay…”

Since 1985, my experience with depression  in the midst of my Graduate studies in Psychology,  provided me with a “life purpose” which I live out everyday in my life.  I didn’t just pick up where I left off before my depression but I used what I learned from my experience; used the tools given  to me while in recovery,  and now continue to share my experiences with thousands of people around the world.

Because of my participation in the 12 Step fellowship of Alcoholic Anonymous, this program of recovery I used as  a model of recovery and hope  for those of us who were depressed.

As Jonathon Rottenberg shares in his work, The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic (2014) Basic Books, NY.,  that

“This again is a reminder that we may be better off if we think about recovery, not simply as the absence of depressive symptoms, but as a set of active qualities or practices that prevent low mood from taking root, despite the presence of liabilities elsewhere. ” Pages 194-195.

I do hope that you have the opportunity to read this book as the author shows us in many different ways how the depression experience will not only provide purpose in our lives but also that  strength we  call hope.

Hugh