Monday, July 16, 2007

Popular misconceptions about depression

Mangans has an old post on depression with some new comments. The post is about depression and IQ and the popular misconception that high IQ people tend to be have a higher tendency to depression then others while the science says the opposite -- that high IQ actually improves coping skills and helps mediate any occurrence of depression.

That's all true and it's a nice post.

But the comments expound on some nonsense about depression being caused by your daddy making you feel bad.
And it was clear to me and to the many psychologists and psychiatrists I saw over the next fifteen years that my depression problems were (and are) the result of the way my father treated me as I grew up, and how I tried to deal with this, given my high IQ and my "artistic imagination."

Depression is called a Mood Disorder because it's an extreme change in mood and irrational moods that are observed. But that's not what depression is about. It's not about feeling bad.

The fundementals of depression are based on irrational thought. It's a disorder of thought. Shrinks tend to not focus on that as much because it's more difficult for them to observe. People, even professionals, tend to shy away from things that are hard and tend to grab onto things that are easy. Mood is easy to deal with (at least easy to recognize). Thought is hard to deal with and hard to see.

But just becuase working with depression as a thought disorder is hard doesn't mean it's not what the reality of the disorder is all about.

The reason the commenter spent 15 years with analysts and was still depressed was that he dropped the keys in the dark alley but went under the light post to look for them.


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