Posted by Tess on February 5, 1999, at 4:39:01
In reply to Re: Doc. Bob,looking for some a success story!!!!!, posted by Paul on February 4, 1999, at 16:35:56
I think my point may have been missed. I feel there is a great deal I can do to help my depression with diet, exercise, meditation etc. But I do not feel like a failure because my brain chemistry is off big time and I cannot "will" it to change. I suffered a lot of anguish and pain thinking I could "cure" myself. I may NOT be on medication for my entire life but if that is the case, so be it. I do see my mood disorder as an illness and I take responsibility for my health which includes getting the proper medical treatment. And it took me 45 years to accept and understand that. 45 years of intense suffering thinking my "mindset" could change it all. It is not my fate (whatever that is)...it is a fact. I don't think people should feel guilty or inferior if they need medication because their "mindset" has not been enough to help them. We have come a long way in understanding that mental illness is just that...an illness. And we cannot will it away with some mindset. Bernie Segal also thought patients could use their mindset to cure their cancer and then had to rephrase it all in a second book for those who died anyway even after using all of the "positive" thoughts, etc.
Acceptance should not in any way be confused with surrender.
> I think that if you've been told that these diseases are lifelong, and you believe that you will always need medication, you probably will. I believe your mindset is important. If you regard depression as a "disease" in every way analogous to diabetes, and in no way in your control, you will cease to have any control over it.
> If you believe that life experiences and insight can in fact change your psychological health, then it is more likely that they can. If you're resigned to what you perceive as your fate, then you will not get better without meds.
> I am not bashing medication; I am simply saying that the mindset that you are powerless over a 100% biological affliction can be a dangerous one that causes you to "surrender" to it and to be convinced that every time you are depressed, it can be no other way.
> I suggest reading "Mindfulness" by Ellen Langer. It is very empowering.