55. The Healing of Depression: A Holistic Approach

This is another article that I found in www.storiedmind.com. We, of course,  know that it is paying attention to the body, soul (mind, will, and emotions), and spirit that brings healing to depression, and this article reinforces that concept. Read on.

Just as recent psychotherapies emphasize the healing power of the mind, a new approach to the practice of medicine draws on the inner resilience of each person to participate in recovery –  rooted in a rejection of the artificial split between mind and body.

As leading physicians emphasize, states of mind and feeling do influence the course of depression. They are trying to change medical training to re-orient physicians to the human needs of patients and the importance of their active participation in healing.

This is a far cry from traditional medical training, namely the attention to physical symptoms and the technology for treating them.

One of the premises of this thinking is that health and well-being depend on a balancing of all the dimensions of life: biology, feelings, values, spirituality, relationships, psychology. As one physician says, “If you disturb any one of these, you disturb all the others.”

Change in the training of medical students to make them sensitive to the human needs of each patient is one of the central themes of a documentary on this subject. At several medical schools, residents practice interviews with actor-patients to develop a compassionate style of relating to the people in their care.

One person, recovering from cancer, describes her interaction with a surgeon as a cold, belittling experience. When she talked with a doctor friend, he told her she didn’t have to settle for that sort of treatment. “You need a doctor,” she quotes him as saying, “who makes you feel empowered and smart, not passive and dumb.” When she found a caring physician who explained her options clearly, encouraged her questions and related to her with respect as well as compassion, she says she “felt returned to the land of human beings.”

One physician points out that patients come to a doctor’s office for one thing: hope. And hope, he says, is not like optimism, which looks for the best possibility in every situation. “Hope is clear-eyed.” It sees the possibility of failure but also the potential for a better future.

Unfortunately, many psychiatrists seem to be moving back to the traditional model of treating only the biological basis of depression. As Rachel Naomi Remen says, “Healing is about the will to live.” Medications and high-tech procedures can do only so much. Hopefully, doctors are learning to have as much faith in their patients as they do in modern technology.

Storied Mind – Recover Life from Depression

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
This entry was posted in Depression, Living a Spiritual Life, Making Changes in Your Life, Overcoming Depression and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 55. The Healing of Depression: A Holistic Approach

  1. Robert Farquhar says:

    I like this article! Very,very good.Insightful! I once heard: Live in Hope & die in despair.

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