I came across a youtube video yesterday that talks about something I often discuss with my depressed patients. That depression is a self-sustaining disease. Meaning that once depression takes hold, it will make you do things that make the depression worse and it will prevent you from doing things that would make it better. So it can be very hard to get out of a significant depression. If you have never been depressed this can be hard to appreciate, so often well-meaning loved ones or partners will say things like “why don’t you just ____” or “you would feel better if you would ____”. While whatever they are saying may be true, it can leave the depressed person feeling like they are not only depressed but also a failure and a disappointment in the eyes of their loved ones.
For more information on this double-bind quality of depression see the following 22- minute video with Dr. Jon Allen from the Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas :
I hope this helps depressed people to be more compassionate with themselves and I also hope it helps their loved ones to be more understanding of why the depressed person has such a hard time recovering. Depression is treatable with the right kind of help, which can be a combination of some of the following: exercise, talk therapy, medications, yoga, mindfulness, supplementation if one is low in Vitamin D or testosterone, proper sleep and, in extreme cases, deep nerve stimulation or electric shock therapy (yes, ECT is still around and is much improved from the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest days).