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Re: The best defense ...chicken & egg???

Posted by dj on September 21, 1999, at 17:21:36

In reply to The best defense ..., posted by Bob on September 19, 1999, at 16:05:45


Though depression has neurological impacts what brings you to the conclusion that it is purely a neurological disorder? Richard O'Connor the author of "Undoing Depression" runs a mental health unit, has battled depression himself and after reviewing much of the literature believes it to be a combo. of nature & nurture the way I read him. He argues depression is partially a result of learned ways of thinging, doing & relating -- though he doesn't discount the value of anit-depressants...

Julian Simon was a well known economist who wrote a book on depression which I cited in the book thread below and quoted a bit from..he claims to have cured himself of a severe long tern depression by using a cognitve approach... One of his arguements is that we compare and find ourselves wanting which would match up with some of the work on perefectionism that is being done at the Universtity of British Columbia by Bob Hewitt and others elsewhere.

I identify with your description of how your anxiety and depression played itself out at work as I have reacted similarly in various circumstances and still may. However part of me also recognizes how I neglect msyelf, how I ruminate over petty details, how I isolate myself from others, how I spend too much time on-line when it's gorgeous outside &/or have other things that may be more important to do...etc. I struggle with my role and response-ability and would like to thing that I can somehow overcome these morose tendencies as Julian Simons claims to have donw with his, without having to rely solely on some chemical cocktail.

For instance I spent the past few days away visiting and feel much better for taking some time to go away to enjoy others company and to do some deep sharing, in person with new & old friends as well as some deep massage and just having fun. Something shifted as a result of that -- whether that shift will last I don't know but I believe that if I work at it it things may continue to shift...& I won't feel like jumping off the ferry as I did on the way over...

Then again maybe it's just the sunshine we are having ; ), but as I was feeling depressed despite it before I don't think that's it...

BTW, I am curious whether you did seek any help from your supportive co-faculty when at Fordham?


> The past six months, I've been coming to terms with my depression being something that I will have to manage all my life, with it being a neurological disorder and not some pattern of behavior I simply needed enough willpower to overcome. Tho that was deeply depressing for me, it did open up some different ways of thinking, similar to what a number of folks have mentioned--make no apologies, take no prisoners. The best defense is a good offense.
> When I was on the faculty at Fordham University, I tried my best to hide my disorder as the pressure increased and my anxiety peaked. I would head into my office at 10 and shut the door behind me, play solitaire for a few hours, sneak out for lunch, sneak back in, play solitaire for a few more hours, then emerge to teach my evening classes. It felt like being in a constant state of panic, but I felt I had to do it, that getting in to the office instead of hiding at home was a victory in and of itself. All the same, there I was in the middle of a department filled with school and counseling psychology faculty, all of whom were warm and supportive and concerned about helping a junior faculty member succeed.




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