So You’ve Been Depressed For 20 Years, Are You Done Yet?

DepressionI counsel literally hundreds of people each year who are battling depression. While there is clear evidence that some depression is biological in nature, most, by far the vast majority, of cases I work with are people who, at least at one time, had a situation that sparked the emotional decline. This is called, captain obvious, ‘situational depression‘, or lingering adjustment disorder. Untreated, or treated incorrectly, this often slides into a Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD.

Someone died, you developed chronic pain or Fibromyalgia, you lost your job, your partner ran away with that idiot from your church, you have grown up with criticism or insecurity, you were abused. Life has kicked you down and kept you there. Trust me, I am sympathetic in spite of the title. But it’s about time someone called it like it is.

Depression shouldn’t be a terminal illness. You shouldn’t have to take antidepressants for forty years because you can never truly live again. But so many of us do and it’s ridiculous.

You’ve been sold a lie. Maybe it was your doctor or your psychiatrist or your uncle Biff but for some reason you think you have to live with depression, cope with this demon for the rest of your life. After all, didn’t your mom and your grandmother and all your relatives back to Foofoo The Wonder Ape have depression?

I hear this from new clients and patients all the time.

The problem with most of psychiatry is that they simply don’t have the time to counsel you until you can get better. They get paid by the number of patients they see every day – they work on commission. It’s a lot easier to just throw some SSRI your way and book another appointment in a month. I work at a medical clinic and the shear volume of need is simply overwhelming. The reality looks very little like the perceptions of psychiatry in popular culture (Analyze This, Lie to Me, Good Will Hunting, What About Bob? etc.)

And don’t get me started on crappy counselors. Every week I hear about abuse and basic incompetency over and over again. Going to school or taking a course doesn’t make you a good counselor any more than eating a salad makes you a carrot. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it until someone pays attention – most counselors suck!

Fortunately there are some counselors out there who understand about depression and are willing to try to move you beyond a life of bondage. I hope I am considered one of those people. Using a combination of current and evolving evidence-based therapies, sometimes in combination with medications, hundreds and thousands of people are finding hope and relief, as well as an opportunity to become a “normie” once again.

Don’t settle for a life of depression and hopelessness. I will be addressing this at length with my email subscribers and offering some practical information that WORKS.

Oh ya, and hire a counselor who doesn’t suck… (which I will help you with).

8 thoughts on “So You’ve Been Depressed For 20 Years, Are You Done Yet?

  1. Ah…..you DO get it! I was on antidepressants for about six months following a crisis time in my life. While the meds very well may have saved my life at that time, after a couple of months, and some mental strengthening and readjusting, I realized that I was becoming numb in areas of my life that I once rather enjoyed. I weaned myself off of the meds, and was amazed by how wonderful it felt to be ME again….flaws and all. During the next year or so, my crazy therapist continued to suggest a return to the med each time I had a setback or a mini crisis in healing, which I considered kind of normal setbacks in the process of healing from a bad experience. Thankfully, I stood my ground and have not continued to medicate.

    By the way, I did eventually switch therapists. My new guy was able to get to the core of the issue in during the first session. It was amazing to finally have some real assistance in dealing with the heart of the matter…rather than a suggestion that medication would help numb those feelings. After all, I wasn’t looking for a quick fix or a magic potion. I wanted to learn and grow and become stronger as a result of my experiences. The meds seemed to prevent the necessary healing. I simply didn’t give a shit! I was too numb to care about the issues. While that was great for a short time as a means of getting back on my feet, it would certainly not be the way I would choose to live out the rest of my life.

  2. Really enjoyed this, Scott. (Looks like we’re simultaneously forming a mutual admiration society, here…) Thanks for the like and the follow; I’ll certainly be keeping up with what you’re laying down here, too. Where are you located, by the way?

  3. good post!
    i had an experience in hospital while i was receiving treatment for my eating disorder where my treating psychiatrist there basically forced me to go on a mood stabiliser by giving me an ultimatum – follow his recommended course of treatment or discontinue the ED program (which i desperately needed to be in at the time). on top of that i had my private psychologist on the phone guilting me into accepting the medication by saying things like “i’m disappointed because you said you would do what they said this time.” i ended up starting the medication, not because i wanted to or felt like i needed it, but merely because i needed the ED treatment/intensive psychological support at the time, otherwise i knew i would literally wind up dead. it made me feel dreadful on a number of levels – my mood plummeted, and i became angry, resentful and untrusting of the entire treatment program… it was totally counterproductive, and he saw this. no body took my concerns about the side effects i was experiencing seriously (i guess because i was so resistant about starting it to begin with, they thought i was just looking for a way to get off it) and continued to coerce me to take it. in the end it drove me out the door… i left treatment for my eating disorder prematurely against medical advice just so i could get off this godawful drug that i felt was only driving me even closer to death.

    sure, sometimes people definitely need medication, and sometimes people feel like they want to go on medication to see if it will somehow help them, but i find it really disrespectful and unethical for a doctor to dismiss a patients beliefs/concerns/experience like that and i’ve seen/heard about it happening so much, it’s not even funny. i know there are excellent doctors/therapists out there but there are also a hell of a lot of shitty ones which is quite frightening because they’re often working with some of the most vulnerable people. it’s horrifying to know that their work can be driven by money & commissions to the point that they would put their patients lives at risk.

    not okay.

    1. really excellent points, thanks for the interest. Unfortunately psychiatrists are paid on commission, the more every hour the merrier. It is very sad to hear of how you have been abused by the system. I love what you said “working with some of the most vulnerable people”. How true, and it makes the attitude they brought to the table even for problematic. How are you doing? If you need to talk email me at info@scott-williams.ca.

      1. I’m okay. It’s taken a long time to settle down and find my feet again, but I’m finally starting to. It would have been nice to have had the adequate support I needed along the way, and it would be nice to know that I WILL have adequate support that I need to continue in my recovery, but unfortunately I just don’t. It’s okay (well, not really, but..) i’ve come a LONG way (almost all on my own) so I know what i’m capable of now.. it’s just been a shit fight that no one should ever have to go through alone.
        Thanks for asking & thanks for your offer – it’s so kind of you 🙂
        How are you doing?

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