Archive for the ‘label’ category

Depression – A hereditary illness or a hereditary belief?

December 5, 2007

j0410127.jpgI came across a lady today who told me that she had taken antidepressants for 20 years, that she couldn’t live without them, they were her life line.  This reminded me of a previous client who told me a similar story a little while ago.  Both ladies had taken antidepressants for over 20 years. Both said they relied on them, neither had ever tried to stop taking them to see if they might be fine without them. Both believed that were clinically depressed and that it was inherited.

When I hear this story it makes me so sad and I know that there are those who would fiercely defend this story because they believe it, they have researched it or because they have taken being clinically depressed on as who they are. It has become their identity. None of that makes it true though does it and as an expert in neurostrategies I have to question it’s validity.

Everything we do is simply a process that we follow, a strategy. We have a strategy for getting up every morning, a strategy for choosing what to eat, a strategy for being happy and a strategy for feeling sad. And yes – a strategy for feeling depressed. Every one feels down at times, some more than others, but if we get in to the habit of running the same pattern of thought and action over and over it becomes a habit and we get stuck in it. If on top of this we get some sort of benefit from this pattern…..such as sympathy, attention, friendship, significance, connection…..what ever need it might meet for you…..then there is more reason to stay stuck than there is to change.

That’s when we get given a label and think that’s who we are, that we have no choice but it’s just a label. We can choose to keep it, replace it with a different label or simply take it off and throw it away at any time.

Now is the depression hereditary or is it simply a behaviour that we saw in our peers as we grew up and copied that behaviour because we thought that’s how you behave. Or, did that role model tell us that we would be depressed too and so we are innocently doing as we were told as a child? Is it then, passed down in the genes or, could it simply be passed down as a belief? The danger then is that we doom our offspring by giving them the same limiting belief and so it is perpetuated causing unnecessary suffering through generations.

I wonder then if we were to address the need that is being met by the depression and gave the person a better strategy to follow that would meet that need met in a more positive way and the limiting belief was replaced by an empowering belief  would that person really still be depressed? Could it be that every one can live a happy fulfilled life no matter what the circumstance if they choose the right strategies and beliefs?

I believe that thy can and that every one can if they change the way they think to change the way they feel, if they put themselves back in charge of their thoughts, feelings and actions instead of being fooled into thinking that they are at the effect of the world and what others do.

A bold statement…but I’ve seen people rise above the most challenging circumstances and win. I believe we all can if we choose to.