Happy New Year one and all.
I wonder how many of you have made new resolutions for the year? Whilst I’m not going to knock you for doing so, let’s see if you can find the will power and desire to keep to these new “better” habits. If you falter, never fear, you can nudge yourself back on course, or at anytime you wish, select some other things to work on. Those that will really make you feel fulfilled and content.
The main purpose of this particular blog though is to signpost another great read. I hope you’re finding the time to read the books I suggest, if you manage to, you’ll be getting a taste of some fascinating insights.
The feature book of this blog is “Manufacturing Depression” by Gary Greenberg. When I first popped it in the shopping basket I wondered if it might be a bit “dry”, however it’s lovingly crafted and very easy to read. The central theme is one that is especially close to my heart, both as a Therapist and a human in general. Which is, how lots of us get labelled with all sorts of “conditions” that we don’t warrant and then get medicated to “cure”/”solve” these ills when in fact there’s nothing really to fix.
Sometime’s we’re just sad, or worried. Sometimes we just feel out of sorts, “blue” to coin a term. There are times when these feelings are so very deep and so very prolonged that a heavy intervention is needed, for the good of the human suffering. However, in most everyday cases, this just isn’t needed. The pills dolled out in their millions to “fix” are at best around 40% effective. But what does effective even mean? That a mood is lifted a little, a burden is somewhat easier to deal with? Maybe, but there’s a lot of evidence that it’s not the drugs doing the work here.
Turns out even the idea of getting help (from any source) is a great way to feel better. If you perceive you no longer have to struggle on alone you’re likely to feel a whole lot better. The help could be coming from your priest, you folks, friends, a therapist or whatever the doctor is likely to give you. It really doesn’t matter.
So you may say, “why not take the pills?”. My answer would be that the evidence suggests it’s the idea of the pills that really helps, so you might as well not bother taking them (perhaps take a multi-vitamin instead). That the side-effects often outweigh any effect they actually have. Then you’re left with the idea of how to come off the pills now life feels OK. This is a very common issue I come across in practice, the “what if I come off them” dilemma. Will life suddenly feel hard and empty again? Only if nothing’s really changed. However if you put things in place to make some changes to life, then that will stand you in good stead.
What’s the conclusion?
Go easy on yourself, maybe you’re just having an off day or week.
Perhaps things really are as bad as you perceive, therefore you’ll need to make some changes. Just don’t be scared to do it, changes are good. Really!
Talk to someone/s. It doesn’t have to be a professional, the adage of “a problem shared is a problem halved” is pretty accurate.
Think twice or three times before taking the pills. They really aren’t effective as you’re led to believe. If you do some of the things listed above I don’t believe you’ll need any additional “pick me ups”.
Finally, read some of my past blogs, read some of the books I note and allow yourself to feel enabled to make your life feel better.