A recent study by Dr. Andrews and Thomson was reported in July 2009’s Psychological Review that discussed a new idea in the study of depression. Our understanding of sadness in regards to long term illness has been a growing avenue of consideration. There are multiple theories and new research comes out fairly often. Taking these studies into the realm of possibility for treatment is important.
So many people suffer from feeling blue/lonely/lathargic and usually we call this depression. The symptoms can vary in range but overall we just don’t feel very much like ourselves. The feeling of being emotionally stuck in molase is a common one that is discussed within the walls of my office.
I have found that what works best for one client may not necessarily be the best method for another. While everything from meditation, exercise, sleep hygiene, eating habits, expression, social connection, and talk therapy are wonderful attempts at getting at the issue, we still are lacking in many areas of understanding.
Hence when new research comes along that looks at depression in a fresh way it is worth delving into further. An article from Scientific American discusses the study by explaining the researchers are finding that depression may be an indicator for people to consider their feelings and situations more deeply. The authors consider that perhaps not all parts of depression are negative, but rather that when studying the minds of those that suffer with depression are able to focus their brain more directly in a differing way on their problems.
What if depression is not completely a negative situation? What if depression is an indicator from our bodies/mind to slow down and concentrate more on situations that we are pushing aside? If you think about other ways the body shows us that we need to think and feel more directly, there is a lot of basic life evidence to support such a theory.
We often talk about how our necks or backs are tense from stress. Is this not the bodies way of saying “Hey! Hold on here… stuff is happening that you are not processing”? This is not to say that all depression is simply a red flag for not looking close that issues, but many a counselor would tell you such in therapy.
I’m not sure we have answers for depression, yet if there is another element to add to the possibly lightening of the load it is exciting look ahead. Hence if you are feeling low and can try to more concretely think about what situation/event/feeilng is rising up for focus, you may just see more results then pretending it isn’t there. Depression could be our minds telling us it wants to get better!