I’ve noticed over the years how certain topics, depression for one – M.E. is another – trigger a defensive reaction no matter how carefully I choose my words. So I firstly wish to clarify my position, as the last thing I want is an argument when I’m actually in agreement, as that’s a waste of time for all of us, and my intention here is to help not be controversial and enter a quasi political debate.
Perhaps if I recount a recent situation with a man I’ll call Eric, though that’s very different from his real name, it will help demonstrate my position as it could be helpful for you to get me properly here.
Eric is someone I’ve been friends with since I was 20 – that’s 42 years ago. He’s ten years my senior yet still has the spritely way about he had all those years back. That’s now. But a year ago was a different story. Triggered by a highly stressful situation with a close family member, he went into a rapid decline to the point he was semi-catatonic and edging closer and closer to suicide.
He’d always been subtle with his communication. He’s incredibly modest and self-contained, discreet and well-mannered and wouldn’t ever presume to dominate a conversation, even though if anyone was equipped with the wisdom and experience to do so it would be him.
However it turned out his natural reserve had been masking a huge unresolved complex of childhood trauma based existential turmoil he’d been suppressing since he was a boy. And once it got triggered the sensation of pain and heaviness of spirit, the sense of defeat, the sense of futility, the sense of having been betrayed by life, was so great it overwhelmed him, and he closed right down.
He lives far far away and I could only manage to get to him twice over a two week period, which clearly wasn’t enough to bring him through it and back to bouncing health and ebullience. Were we set up in society with enough people trained to process others in such conditions so they weren’t left stranded we’d not need antidepressants. But we’re not. And I actually recommended he take them as an expedient measure to tide him over between treatments, just so he wouldn’t top himself.
So don’t get the idea I’m against them. I’m not. As I said, they work as an expedient. And I know we don’t live in an ideal world, and the following is an idealistic thought, but were we to divert just 10% of the money spent annually on producing, selling and procuring antidepressants, on education from infant level through to adulthood, about how to address the underlying confusion causing the distress, we’d probably be able to reduce antidepressant use by 50%.
In any case surely we don’t really want to be dependent on substances of any sort if we can help it.
I have immense respect for the medical profession. We’d be in a proper pickle without one.
Likewise the people who produce the medicines we need. However that doesn’t mean I condone everything they do or omit to do. And I have never viewed holistic medicine as an alternative, but as a complement. As a rule of thumb, conventional medicine fixes you so you can carry on in the game, while holistic medicine heals you. The two are necessary companions, especially in acute situations, where the patent has no time to spend on the healing process and needs fixing fast.
So yes of course take the pills as an expedient. But rather than rely on them as a cure, see them as a temporary fix. And meanwhile take responsibility for addressing the actual underlying glitches causing the inner turmoil in the first place.
Another danger in the way depression is conventionally presented as a disease you catch or ‘get’ is that it encourages you to overlook dealing with the underlying issues. Depression is only a description of a state, and a very broad one at that. When you break it down into its composite parts, you find such elements as futility, loss of confidence, regret, self-doubt, self-hatred and so on. Each or any of these can be dealt with and relatively simply, provided someone’s on hand to help you talk through it and look at what needs addressing.
I can tell you more in more detail but this isn’t the place. ￼
Of course take the pills to help you through the critical phase so you can do the healing .
Just be aware they don’t provide the cure, merely the temporary fix.
Fundamentally the cure consists in retrieving your true nature, your soul and establishing or reestablishing your connection with it , so you’re able to communicate with yourself and others from that depth of self.
And there’s more…but for now, I hope I’ve conveyed my position clearly and dispelled any notion I’m challenging you for taking the pills. Whatever gets you through the night, I say. But make sure you’re simultaneously sorting out your inner kit for when daytime comes is all.
PS Just thinking about as I walked away to do something else, I’ll take a headache pill if I have a headache and no time to be distracted by pain. Fortunately it’s a very rare occurrence because my system is well-balanced through the practice,. But simultaneously I’ll press various points related to liver and stomach functions (as disturbances of these are usually the origins of headaches) – otherwise the cause remains unaddressed, headaches will recur and you don’t want t spend your life taking headache pills just to feel normal.
And incidentally, Eric is thriving now, We finally got to the buried root of all the pain and he was able to stop the pills after a couple of months and is back buzzing on being alive again.