Depression FTW! But not in an emo sense…

Upsides of being down — the positive side of depression.

Having spent most of 2006 and 2007 going through this myself, I can, I think, agree. It was unutterably awful, the worst experience of my life bar none (happily, both my parents are still alive) and I would not choose to repeat it but on the other hand, on the other hand, I am, somehow, improved, I think. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say more resilient but yeah, with a better perspective, less rose tints (but also no yawning chasms of nihilism), and a bit more serious. But don’t worry: not too much more.

To explain why depression has not been “bred out” through Darwinian natural selection, theories have suggested that rather than being a defect, depression could be a defence against the chronic stress that misguided people can put themselves under. It is possible that depression defends us against the tendency to deny our true needs by chasing unobtainable goals and helps to bring these needs into sharper focus. More specifically, the proposed benefits are as follows: removal from a stressful situation, introspection, problem solving, the development of a new perspective, and reintegrating this with the community upon recovery.

On a related but geeky note, it’s very annoying that the otherwise excellent Guardian Unlimited fails (yes, epic) when it comes to search. Go to the front page and search for “upsides of being down”, the title of this article. It’s a hit but you have scroll down a long way to see it; google, on the other hand have it right at the top, on the day it was published — damn, they good! So come on, Simon, sort it out. ;-)

2 Responses to “Depression FTW! But not in an emo sense…”

  1. February 27th, 2008 | 8:05 pm

    What a great article. And I couldn’t agree more. Depression hurts but it brings with it a necessity for change. Much much truth.

  2. Martina
    February 29th, 2008 | 12:47 pm

    Loved the article too. Thought I share some words of Dorothy Rowe from ‘Beyond Fear’:

    “In this book I have written about winners and losers together, and how we lose as children so as to win as adults. But to win as adults, or even just get by, we have to deny that we lost as children, and, to do this, we must not acknowledge in any way the terrible fear which we felt as children when we lost and which comes back to us now whenever we are in danger of losing.”

    (She is here talking about any kind of lost and abuse.)

    “Every day we have to find an optimum balance between freedom and security. We cannot have both. The more free we are, the less secure; and the more secure, the less free. — The courageous person does not deny fear, but acknowledges it and faces it. Only through courage can we find a sustaining happiness.”

    Unavoidable Conflicts are:
    Being an individual ———————- Being a member of a group
    Completely valueless and imperfect ———– Completely valuable and perfect)

    Freedom ———– Security
    An infinite choice —————– Having no choice at all
    Not responsible for anything ————-Totally responsible for everything

    The risk of rejection ——— The risk of loneliness

    “We can kill our own body, but we cannot annihilate our self.
    Our self can be annihilated only by other people.
    Other people can annihilate us only if we give them the power to do so.”

    I’d personally like to say something real cheerful now. I’m late for a meeting though and need to run. :)