When I have plumbing problems in my house, I feel totally helpless. Sometimes, I can see where the problem is coming from, but often I have no idea. When the plumber comes, he uses specialized equipment to find the underground water leaks or other enigmas of the plumbing system.
The same is true of depression. Sometimes, the root of the problem is obvious, but sometimes it seems like and unsolvable mystery, especially when it has been going on for years or every depression medicine has been tried with no ultimate effectiveness.
When we discuss depression in therapy, I often ask clients to list the possible root causes of depression. The following are some possible root causes that are often listed: (1) family hurts or trauma; (2) divorce; (3) negative thoughts; (4) biochemical deficiencies; (5) other unresolved events of the past; (6) beliefs that are inconsistent with what is true; (7) stress and the inability to cope with current conditions; (8) low self-esteem; (9) spiritual searching; (10) addictions; (11) negative habits; and (12) overwhelming emotions.
I believe that any one of these could lead to depression, but usually it is a combination of the above possibilities.
In a recent artice by Eric Kuelker in September/October Psychotherapy Networker, Mr. Kuelker debunks the idea of pharmacy drugs being the answer to depression. He states the the drug companies have been successful in convincing doctors, therapists, and the American public that "chemical imbalance" is the only root cause of depression. He quotes multiple research that shows a pre-dominance of depression is caused by traumas like physical abuse, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. He states, "the conclusion is clear: psychological injuries are the biggest cause of most mental health problems." Read it for yourself. It is quite convincing. "Chemical imbalance" is only a theory and "just because it is a theory is popular doesn't make it right."
I do believe "chemical imbalance" plays a role in depression, but I feel that natural skills and remedies are more effective.
After a client and I complete our list of the root causes of depression, we then begin to look for solutions to each root cause.
A medical doctor one came to me severely depressed. He emphatically stated that he did not want to use any pharmacuetical medicines. We followed the ideas expressed previously. We found solutions together for his root causes. He is now "happily ever after." What an amazing testimony to the fact that this approach works. I see this repeated frequently in my practice.
I depression is not dealt with effectively, it tends to get worse. If these methods are used the depression begins to leave and the person will get better and better.
Kent R. Brand, MSW, LCSW, PIP Psychotherapist A Family Matter