Dr Meares on Depression

Extract from “Relief without Drugs” Fontana Collins, 1985 (pg 39-40)

There are two types of nervous depression that can respond to depression treatment in the same way as anxiety and nervous tension. When we are tense and nervous we are aware that we are not in good health, and that we are not fulfilling our duties at work and in the home with the natural ease which helps us to do a job well. As a result we feel depressed. Things look gloomy, it seems as if a cloud were over us. It is harder to smile, harder to laugh, and harder to see the funny side of things. In fact, everything seems more difficult. Jobs which we have done in the past and without effort now seem to be almost too much for us. There is a general loss of interest, and things we used to enjoy, such as the company of our friends or a visit to the theatre, no longer have any appeal for us. In its place there is a tendency to shun our friends and spend our time by ourselves, perhaps sitting and brooding, perhaps just sitting with an awful inertia hanging over our heads so that we do nothing at all. When in fact we have to do something we often feel overwhelmed by the mental effort of making a start. In lesser degree the depression may show itself as a vague listlessness, a lack of energy, and a general disinclination to get going and do things. We have noted that this type of depression is the result of incapacity arising from our anxiety and nervous tension. Accordingly, it is relieved as our anxiety subsides as a result of one’s own depression management.

In the depression that arises from reaction to loss or bereavement we feel a sense of destitution, loss and aloneness. Normal people are emotionally dependent upon one another in greater or lesser degree. The loss of dependency by death or absence of a loved one produces the normal reaction of depression, similar to the way in which fear is a normal reaction to danger. The depression becomes abnormal only if it is of undue severity or of prolonged duration. Sometimes, of course, it results from loss in the more material sense in the way of fortune or livelihood. As with the depression caused by anxiety, this can be greatly relieved by the same principles of self-managed depression treatment.