Depression – a balanced understanding


Are there times and seasons when depression haunts people more often? Yes. Holidays and winters are peak occasions for depression.

This seems like a good time to revisit and better understand the dark shadows of depression that creep over the souls of many.

The link below offers an excellent summary of the challenge of depression. Counselors who oversimplify matters like depression need the insight David Murray offers in this link. 

Family practitioners also need this because they’re the primary prescribers of depression medications and they rarely have sufficient time for thorough evaluation of their patients. 

It’s especially important to consider the whole person (as pictured above) when prescribing medications for depression or other neurologically based life-challenges. Medicinal aids should never be approached one-dimensionally. 

We are more than bodies with physical needs. Other dimensions of our being (spiritual, emotional, social) should receive equal consideration in the battle for health. 

A holistic approach respects all dimensions of personhood created by God. Reactionary or one dimensional approaches (whether physical or spiritual) lack honesty, humility, and compassion. They lack respect for the way God created us, and for the dignity and depravity of human beings.

Insightful balance 

In “The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sadness Into Depressive Disorder,” by Alan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakelfield, the authors suggest that standard criteria for diagnosing depressive disorder does not adequately distinguish intense normal sadness from biologically disordered sadness. Their aim is to offer a critique of what they view as the “over-expansive psychiatric definitions of disorder.” They offer extensive insight for distinguishing “sadness due to internal dysfunction” from “sadness that is a biologically designed response to external events.”.

The chapters exploring the anatomy of normal sadness and the failure of social sciences to distinguish this kind of sadness from depressive disorder should be required reading for all medical and psychiatric professionals as well as all counselors. 

Although distinctions between normal and disordered sadness are not always easily discernable, efforts to make them should lead to more holistic care. By holistic, we mean care that respects the multi-dimensional way God made humans. This is care that is honest and compassionate. 

Video link: A balanced perspective on depression by David Murray

Steve Cornell

see also – Resources on depression

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in 18 Year factor, Depression, Despair, discouraged, Discouragement, Doctor, Holistic ministry, Loss, Medicine, Psychology, Sadness, Suicide, Wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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