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Re: Use Both Drugs and Therapy, - ksvt

Posted by dj on July 20, 2000, at 12:13:07

In reply to Re: Use Both Drugs and Therapy, Advises Study on Depre, posted by ksvt on July 20, 2000, at 7:32:59

> ...I clearly do better with both drugs and therapy, maybe in part because I've never felt that I was fully responsive to drug therapies, but while I've sort of resigned myself to drugs as a pretty permanent part of my landscape, I also worry that I can't really visualize an end to therapy. I'm sure some insurance company would love to use me as an example of why they don't like footing the bill for therapy. I think it helps me function better but I'm not convinced >it's bringing me closer to a lasting remission.


I empathize with your dilemna. One advantage of sorts we Canadians have is that many, but not all, counselling resources are funded by our medicare system. What is offered locally can vary from health region to health region, however. So some offer a more integrated approach (which I believe is the key, based on my own experiences, conversations and readings).

In my area funding covers psychiatrists and not psychologists (though in nearby areas this varies) and as I believe the medical model and mindset is insufficient I was very cautious in choosing to connect with a psychiatrist until after careful research I was referred to one (a couple of years ago) who focuses on short-term interventions (approx. 12 sessions - my preference then and now)

After having to endure a waiting list at a critical juncture we met for video-taped sessions which Dr. A. would review after the fact, I believe. He pointed out contradictory behaviour patterns he observed at times and his manner was I believe more direct and immediate than perhaps some of his traditonal peers. He also encouraged me to do the therapy without ADs. However as I was hitting the wall around that time, I reluctantly decided to go for ADs, also which I chose to do on a short term basis because of their negative impacts overweighing the positive after a time.

I eventually wound up my 12 or so sessions with Dr. A. and left feeling better, still somewhat out of sync. but having experienced some progress. In addition to my sessions with him, which I did a few more of at another time before he left to teach at an eastern univ., I also briefly enrolled in an outpatients program at a mental health unit in a nearby health region based on feedback from a friend. In a later written critique of this program I described it as a "factory model". Though it did have some good elements it was very much a paternalistic command and control model on many levels.

I left that when accepted into the initial mind-body research program put on by the Tzu-Chi Institute for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine ( was somewhat similar to the program described by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zin in his very, good book "Full Catastrophe Living". This program was also very much informed by the philsophies of Dr. Andrew Weil ("Spontaneous Healing", "8 Weeks to Optimumn Health, etc.) whose works I was introduced to by the co-ordinating physician and whose ideas I have come to deeply respect (both Weils and the physician, the former who you can find out more about at

The facilitator for the mind-body research program trained at PD Seminars ( where I had met some of them when participating in their intial "Disengaging Depression" workshop, which was also very much a respectful, integrative, educative, learner-centred approach. It took place over 5 concentrated days in a wonderful resort setting, whereas the mind-body program took place over 12 weeks in one-day sessions which included a range of folks and ages with a range of ailments including cancers, AIDs, various palsies, drug addictions, etc...

All of these and many other experiences and learnings (many of which I have noted on this board) have contributed to, aided and abetted my healing to the point where I've become pretty adapt at identifying the sources of my dis-ease(s) and dealing with them in a systematic fashion before things get dangerous for me and my health gets severely out of whack.

Yoga is an aid, as I've noted elsewhere, hot baths, deep relaxation, careful attention to what I eat and doing regular exercise, paying careful attention to what goes into and out of my mouth and mind and how it impacts me and others. My experiences here on PB have contributed to those learnings as well and continue to...

My point being that depression is a multi-faceted challenge that can take a lot of careful and compassionate attention to deal with, amidst the many distractions and potential stressors we all face. The challenge is to remain focused on what works and build on that, using what ever useful resources you can tap into, given your specific circumstances. For me to a large degree it was about finding meaning, purpose, joy and compassion amidst all of this morass, which surrounds, astounds and deeply dismays me at times.

It's an ongoing challenge but one that I've learned that I'm up to as I am sure that you are too!! As one of my many wall posters sometimes reminds me when I'm paying attention to it: "It makes all the difference whether one sees darkness through the light or brightness through the shadows." Here's wishing you and everyone here lots of brightness!!!






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