In the wake of Robin Williams’ shocking, sad suicide, I suspect that a lot of people are thinking and talking about depression today. A client whose husband has been severely depressed because of serious medical issues has struggled tremendously with how to understand and respond to the changes in her beloved longtime partner. He did her a huge favor by sending her the link to this article, and I’m passing it along for the benefit of anyone who would like to understand “What It’s Like Inside a Depressed Person’s Head.”
The author, Cynthia Lubow, details the dark and distorted thinking that descends upon someone in a major depression, where it is impossible to anticipate a positive future. “Suddenly, no one seems loving or lovable. Everything is irritating. Work is boring and unbearable. Any activity takes many times more effort, as if every movement requires displacing quicksand to make it. What was challenging feels overwhelming; what was sad feels unbearable; what felt joyful feels pleasureless—or, at best, a fleeting drop of pleasure in an ocean of pain.”
For family members and loved ones, it’s important to realize that “When people try to get the person to look on the bright side, be grateful, change his or her thoughts, or meditate, or they minimize or try to disprove the person’s reality, they are very unlikely to succeed. Instead, they and the depressed person are likely to feel frustrated and alienated from one another.”
She rightly points out that cognitive therapy is unlike to be helpful during a major depression, because the depressed person’s thinking apparatus is impaired and not available for healing or alteration. In those times, medication usually proves to be the most effective treatment, along with nutrition, acupuncture, and other body-based treatments.
Check out the article here and let me know what you think.