Right now we are at the beginning of a new year, pregnant with resolutions and exciting new promise. Too often, though, we grasp onto resolutions or ways of behaving because others tell us it is the right thing to do. We don’t consider the idea or resolution for ourselves – the pluses and minuses that come with the action for us. That is especially true when we look to depression treatment. Too often we latch onto a treatment because someone says it is right and the way to beat depression.
New books are out now about depression. Two of the most recent are Depression, the Way Out by Dr. Neal Nedley and The Catholic Guide to Depression by Dr. Aaron Kheriaty and Msgr. John Cinak. Both books have some positives to them and both books have things that only reinforce the stigmas that abound about the illness, stigmas that cause guilt and unnecessary suffering.
We – both those with the illness and those living with someone with the illness – have to be cautious about what we take from these books or any books (including Dancing in the Dark: How to Take Care of Yourself When Someone You Love Is Depressed). What works for one individual or family does not necessarily work for all. Just as we cannot definitively diagnose this elusive illness, there is no one approach that works for everyone. Some need medication, some medication and psychotherapy. Some will pull themselves up by their bootstraps and some will need the help of community to come out from the cloud of this illness.
Depression is an equal opportunity destroyer and we need to look at many ways in which to confront this destroyer, ways that will enable individuals to find the best road to recovery for themselves and their loved ones. And when something doesn’t work, we move onto another approach, looking for what is best for our recovery, and remember, as the desert mothers and fathers of times past have said, every single day is a fresh beginning.