Psychology of a Disorder vs. Research and Medically Oriented Disorder Categories

Stigma around psychological concerns is declining slowly.

“I am depressed,” is one of those sentences that you may be able to say with little worry, even in polite society.

(Try saying, “I have schizophrenia” or ,”I suffer from personality disorder”). 

Explanation

Sometimes I hear it  said in the mental health community that the disorder called depression does not exist.

“Wait, what?” you may say, “My GP prescribes me Prozac for my depression. It works well!” While that is true, it does not exclude another, a psychological, aspect of depression. Depression may be impossible to describe well as a disorder.  When you are depressed, it may not be the same at all to when another person is depressed. Really, the only way to discuss your experience of sadness, its source, its prognosis, etc. is in a lengthy narrative of your internal world, your environment and maybe even your past and the future.

Classic Example

One person felt depressed and was diagnosed by his family doctor with a major depressive disorder and was prescribed Prozac. His symptoms were classic: low mood, lack of enjoyment in life, crying spells and difficulty sleeping and eating. Prozac helped a quite a bit, but some symptoms persisted and his anxiety increased.

Entering therapy, this person was able to develop a safe enough connection to his therapist. As he was able to talk freely, he discovered that his depression was covering up some hidden anger against a very important woman in his life who left him some years prior. He never before voiced OR even admitted to himself that he was angry at this woman. Why?  The woman was very good to him when they were together and therefore he felt very hesitant to attack her. In his family many years prior he had been conditioned to believe that having angry feelings equaled aggression and equaled attack. So he had this anger inside which he would never, until his therapy, allow himself to acknowledge. The psychology or the roots and dynamics of Major Depressive Disorder vary greatly depending on the experience. In this man’s case, his “anger was turned inward” and fuelled his depressive symptoms.

In his family or origin, many years prior, he had been conditioned to believe that having angry feelings equaled aggression and equaled attack. So he had this anger inside which he would never, until his therapy, allow himself to acknowledge. The psychology or the roots and dynamics of Major Depressive Disorder vary greatly depending on the experience. In this man’s case, his “anger was turned inward” and fuelled his depressive symptoms.

The psychology or the roots and emotional dynamics of a major depressive disorder vary greatly depending on the experience. In this man’s case, his “anger was turned inward” and fuelled his depressive symptoms.

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