Let’s get YOU better…
If you’ve suffered from depression for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly wondered if you were doomed to feel depressed for the rest of your life. As if somehow you had no control over your mood and you are the victim of some painful set of circumstances which have cast a net on you that you can’t escape. You wake up each morning with the hope that maybe today will be the day you finally feel better and you’re disappointed that you feel the same as you did the day before. So you pull the metaphorical “covers” back up over your head and try to disappear under them with little or no real plan to help move yourself forward.
A question I have been asked many times is one that goes something like “Do you believe depression is a disease?” The person asking the question is often looking for me to affirm a set of beliefs that translates roughly into “I have a disease that makes me feel absolutely horrible, means my brain is broken, the only real treatment is via medication, and I am going to struggle this way forever.” Then my answer is “no” I don’t buy that depression is a disease. Now before you get upset with me and think you know exactly what I am thinking, hear me out for just a moment.
Depression is VERY complicated and its causes are unknown. We know about associations which means that we know certain circumstances are associated with the onset or recurrence of a depressive episode. We know that trauma, stressful events, difficult childhood experiences, a lack of coping skills, and a host of other issues are all associated with people who have depression, but we can’t prove any of it as the “cause.” We have been told many times over by countless advertising campaigns that depression is caused by a “chemical imbalance”, which is simply not a true statement and actually horribly misleading. If you’d like to read more about this I suggest this article published by the Harvard Medical School.
So what am I getting at? I am getting at the fact that we CAN do many things to help ourselves when we are struggling with depression. We are not the helpless victims that we (or too often concerned others want to push on us) think we are. Our path to recovery is not defined by the “right pill at the right dose” or the perfect therapist who will show us the way. Rather our path to recovery is often right in front of us, but it is so hard to grasp because the pain is great, the immobility is real, the fear is paralyzing, and it’s easier to pull those covers back up over our heads because it’s what you know.
Our path to recovery requires an honest appraisal of how we are living our lives and the choices we are making. Our path to recovery often requires us to look in the mirror and challenge that face staring back at us to hear objectively the observations others have of how we are living our lives. I am not suggesting depression is some sort of moral conundrum, but I will absolutely maintain that if you’re depressed and you continue to make poor choices, you continue to live/work in situations that don’t line up with what’s important to you, or if you never learn to challenge your deeply held (and often destructive) beliefs about what the world or others owe you, you will struggle.
At Face It we believe that the “getting you better” journey starts right with you. It starts with a willingness to face your fears, to answer hard questions honestly, and to understand that it’s okay to have made choices you regret. We believe that this should be done all while being supported by men who care about you and who understand the difficult nature of your situation. And we believe that your path to recovery requires hard work…and I mean really hard work because facing yourself and your choices is REALLY scary, but the outcome is so very worth it!
We at Face It are always willing to talk, to meet with you, to find a group for you, or to connect you to another guy who wants to be there for you. But…the road to recovery begins with you and I hope deeply you find that courage to see that YOU are worth it!