Depression is a medical condition millions of people suffer from every year. Many when depressed are told by their family and friends to “snap out of it” or to “buckle up and be stronger,” however, this often leads to the condition worsening. Dr. Cantopher describes depression as a medical illness, in which medications and psychotherapy are useful and practical cures. To that end, his book, Depressive Illness, The Curse of the Strong, highlights his model of depression and gives realistic, real world solutions to overcome depression. Designed for people suffering from Depression, the book provides a realistic and hopeful roadmap on what constitutes depression and how to overcome and prevent future depressive episodes.
Depression is a Medical Condition
Many therapists in the past have classified Depression as a psychological condition with no ties to biological components. Most considered depression as a product of the mind, by which medications and brains structures had no part. This viewpoint is now being abandoned and upgraded to a condition by which is mostly medical by nature. Dr. Cantopher describes Depression is the burnout of the Limbic System contained within the brain. This system is responsible for the stabilization of mood and is linked to the feeling of pleasure, memory, and appetite. In Dr. Cantopher’s model, Depression (especially stress-induced Depression) occurs when someone pushes themselves beyond most physical means for extended periods of time.
For example, this can include the mother who raises three children, has a full-time job, and is expected to make sure the house hold runs smoothly. In time she will function well and will be productive and responsible. She will feel it is her duty to be everything to everyone and will be expected to fulfill this role. Over time, she will not take care of herself, and in the end, the stress will build until she collapses into a dark state with little drive and desire to help with anything. The family will criticize her, and tell her to snap out of it, and guilt and shame her thus making the problem worse.
Medication and Psychotherapy
As Depression is a medical condition, there are medical treatments, mainly medications, that are beneficial for treating depression. Most of these medications increase the amount of Serotonin in the brain which helps the Limbic system repair itself. Dr. Cantopher describes numerous medications, their benefits and also their most common side effects. Dr. Cantopher also goes into herbal treatments and mentions Electroconvulsive Therapy as a treatment reserved for the most severe cases of Depression.
Therapeutic solutions are also explored as tools to pair with medications to help the client recover quicker and to prevent relapse. Depression will recur if lifestyle changes do not occur, as the Client’s lifestyle is what lead to the illness in the first place. For our example above, the depressed housewife would be placed on an antidepressant in addition to receiving therapy. This therapy will focus on her beginning to set boundaries with others and to focus on taking care of herself as well as others. Unless lifestyle changes occur, relapse is a strong possibility.
An Excellent Guide for Depression Sufferers
If you or someone you know suffers from Depression; Depressive Illness, The Curse of the Strong is a great tool to help educate and plan for the battle with depression. Make no mistake; Depression is a serious medical condition that cannot be ignored. Dr. Cantopher does an excellent job making the book easy to understand as well as informative. As the book is also in audio-book format, it is a perfect resource for those who are too tired and lethargic to read for extended periods of time. If you suffer from Depression or wish to understand Depression, this book is recommended.
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