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Can Depression Be Cured Without Medication?
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Treating depression without drugs can be anathema to a lot of therapists and doctors. Unless they can give their patients handfuls of pills, they don't feel they've done their job.

The truth of the matter is that antidepressant drugs really aren't a great deal more effective than placebos, they don't work for about two thirds of people and some have side effects.

It should be remembered that depression isn't passed down from one generation to the next. No-one's pre-destined to contract it.

But can depression be cured without medication? The answer's a resounding 'yes', once you understand what depression is and what causes it.

People who suffer depression also labour under pessimism, thinking in black and white, no grey areas in their lives at all. They may be perfectionists, so for instance, if a lady cooks a meal and a couple of little lumps are found in the gravy, she considers the whole meal a total disaster. In fact, she's cooked a superb meal, but just that minute little fault sends her into an immediate tailspin.

Another problem is what they refer to as 'learned helplessness'. Basically, this means that when a problem arises, you're too frightened to deal with it, because you've convinced yourself that you're quite incapable of solving any type of problem and must always turn to someone else for help.

Three primary questions you should ask yourself, or be asked by a therapist.

1. How do you feel when you wake in the morning? As though you've never been to bed? Do you turn over and try to sleep some more, but wake up again feeling even worse?

2. Is your thinking always all or nothing, black or white? Are there no grey areas in your life at all?

3. Are you overcome with exhaustion for a while and then suddenly you feel over-agitated?

That's all very well, but can depression be cured without medication? To answer that question, you must consider your sleep patterns. The normal person dreams about 25% of their sleep time. The remainder of the time is spent in varying degrees of deep, dreamless sleep. It's during this time that the body is 'repaired'.

The depressed person dreams for about 75% of the time, and so you can understand that the deep sleep, which is so necessary to our health, is drastically cut short. This dream-sleep is known as Rapid Eye Movement, or R.E.M. sleep. It's brought about by excessive ruminating or brooding on problems, but not acting upon them. The physical manifestation of R.E.M. sleep, is that the pupils of your eyes travel very fast from one side to the other.

It's vital that you face your problems and solve them. Solved problems mean no, or minimal, brooding, which in turn gives you far more restful sleep.

Giving yourself little jobs to do is also necessary. You've been meaning to change the bathroom light for a long time. Something as small as that to begin with, where you see a successful end result.

So the answer is to solve your problems, so that you won't brood, do a few little satisfying jobs, and you'll be amazed at how your depression will vanish.

Street Talk

There's a reason the saying exists "Misery likes company". When my friend was feeling 'down' (but not depressed) recently I offered a suggestions and she said "No, I just want to wallow a while". Is it possible that people actually feel they're getting something out of feeling this way? Interesting article.

  about 9 years ago
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