The process of depression

They say the world splits between those who’ve read Lord of the Rings and those who haven’t.  For me, there’s another split: you’re either a systems or a process person.  A systems person tends to hold to mechanical/physical explanations for most everything – which is why I’m a process person.

A process person holds to the idea of energetic – rather than physical – causes, and the inter-relationships between things; everything affects everything else, rather than a top-down pyramidal structure that the systems people hold to.

Take depression for instance (I did for years, which his how I came to write Time-Light) – an appropriate subject for Depression Awareness Week.

Now, a systems person would argue that the depressed person is that way because of the physical structure of the brain or the way the brain’s neurons fire.  If they can’t see a physical difference in the brain, they argue that it’s the result of genetic make-up or DNA (the top-down approach).

I was reading a study the other week that suggests this is not the case.  Instead, depression is the cumulative effect of negative thinking.  All of us have negative thoughts once in a while, but a person well on the road to clinical depression has them most frequently and more constantly.

Now, if it was down to systems, there would be nothing you could do about it: ‘you’ would be a victim of your brain.  According to the study, that’s not the case at all: when people are encouraged to see the good in themselves and others, when they become more optimistic about their situation, they reverse back up the road that ends up at depression, and instead start heading towards good mental health.

Depression is a process; you’re not a victim.  Pass it on.

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