Different Perspective on the Diagnosis Treatment of Depression


Depression is approached from a myriad of ways. There’s no real silver bullet in its diagnosis as there are a number of factors at play.  Neurological, behavioral, environmental variables are all a part of it.

For me a combination of diet, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and changes in hobbies have helped stem the tide of depression but it’s not the same for everyone. The article above by Johann Hari; an extract from his book Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutionsl  delivers an interesting perspective. The notion that another factor in depression relates to a sense of self worth and how people view their work life or other unfulfilled needs. Personally I would say I have for many years been a workaholic. I enjoyed challenges and the job generally was fulfilling. As the years continued though I know my satisfaction wavered here and there. Eventually I had to depersonalize my job as I felt it was a major factor in my increasing depression.  These days, while I still have the same job, I try to frame the challenges within it differently. I don’t treat the ups and downs of my job as a reflection of who I am as a person. While it’s helped, it’s still an ongoing struggle. I enjoy what I do, not always the other conditions around it.

While this is obviously not something necessarily easily changed it provides another angle with which to attack the problem. I’ve always been a proponent that any been of information is ammo in a fight and this is just another resource to be considered.

The Double Edged Sword of Work

The first month after my ex-wife made it clear things were done I fell into a major depressive episode. My knee jerk reaction included wanting to change so many things including my job which is by its nature stressful.

Spend enough time on forums or social media groups dedicated to depression and you’ll find some painful patterns. For a lot of folks suffering from depression there’s socioeconomic factors that combine for a one-two punch in the gut. Therapy isn’t always cheap depending on your health care options and people who suffer from severe depression and anxiety often have the hardest time with employment. For me a high stress job compounded by my anxiety and depression made it difficult to insure that I could do my job and still keep my mental health and work/life balance.

Things I found that worked for me included changing my coffee intake to just the mornings and reducing the amount I consumed.  Taking short 5-minute meditation breaks where able and hydrating a lot more than I had in the past.  Not every job affords the same options but as much as possible you need to look at changes to help you find a release during the work day so that you aren’t burning the candle at both ends.