Anatomy of Depression

1385608 10151895788026897 1421900381 n Dr Neel Burton is a psychiatrist, philosopher, and writer who lives and teaches in Oxford, England.

"Now you see, people in the depressive position are often stigmatized as failures or losers.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. If these people are in the depressive position, it is just because they have tried too hard,or taken on too much so hard and so much that they have made themselves ill with depression."

 "Now, all of this is not to say that the concept of depression as a mental disorder is bogus, not at all, but only that the diagnosis of depression has been overextended to include far more than just depression, the mental disorder. If like the majority of medical conditions depression could be diagnosed according to its etiology or pathology, that is, according to its cause or effect, then such a situation, such a problem would never have arisen.

Given this, a doctor cannot base a diagnosis of depression on anything so objective as for example a blood test as in malaria, or a brain scan as in stroke but only on his subjective interpretation of the nature and severity of the patient's symptoms. If some of these symptoms happen to tally with a diagnostic criteria for depression, then, you know, bingo, the doctor is justified in making a diagnosis of depression. “

 “In other words, the depressive position may have evolved as a signal that something is seriously wrong and needs working through and changing or at least processing and understanding. Sometimes we can become so immersed in the humdrum of our everyday lives that we no longer have time to think and feel about ourselves and so lose sight of our bigger picture. The adoption of the depressive position can force us to cast off the Pollyannish optimism and rose-tinted spectacles that shield us from reality; to take a step back, to reevaluate our priorities, and to formulate a realistic or the modest plan for fulfilling them. From an existential stand point, the adoption of the depressive position obliges us to become aware of our mortality and freedom and challenges us to exercise the latter within the framework of the former.

The Anatomy of Melancholy -video

Modern psychiatric drugs treat the chemistry of the whole brain, but neurobiologist David Anderson believes in a more nuanced view of how the brain functions.
Dr. Stephen Ilardi sheds light on our current predicament and reminds us: our bodies were never designed for the sleep-deprived, poorly nourished, frenzied pace of twenty-first century life. In fact, our genes have changed very little since the days of our hunter-gatherer ancestors and are still building, in effect, Stone Age bodies. Herein lies the key to breaking the cycle of depression.



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