Over the last three blogs, I have summarised three of the four reasons why your GP should not be on your list of people to go to for help with our depression epidemic. One reason was that depression was not an illness and dealing with illnesses is what GPs do. The second reason is that antidepressants, even though prescribed by the bucket load in the UK just do not do what they say on the tin. And the third reason is that attempts to elevate CBT as the best talking therapy for depression cannot be anything else but a failure – and the evidence coming out is saying just that.
To remind you, here is the list of the four reasons why your GP cannot be trusted with your Depression.
- Depression is not an illness and therefore a medical approach is not the right way.
- The evidence is clear – antidepressants don’t work that well.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on the NHS is not delivering and there are very good reasons why that is the case.
- Our depression epidemic has to have a social dimension and doctors cannot be expected to help – afterall, that is not their job.
Fourth Reason: Our depression epidemic has to have a social dimension and doctors cannot be expected to help – that is not their job
I have already referred to the explosion in depression over recent decades. Did you know for example that ten times more people suffer from depression now than immediately after the last war?
Given this and the rapid social and economic changes over this period, especially in the last twenty years, surely this must be the main part of the explanation for depression becoming such a big problem?
Given that there is a social dimension to our western depression epidemic (which we are told will affect one in four of us at least once in our life time), why would we ever expect GPs and the NHS to be the answer? The NHS deals with bodies not social trends.
So we should not be surprised that the NHS is making such a mess of depression relief and that the epidemic keeps growing? We are asking the NHS to deal with the consequences of the nation’s social problems – the stress of modern life, increasing materialism, the breakdown of family and community, the increasing dependence on the state, globalisation…and so on. You can write down your own list.
But perhaps we should not be looking at the NHS for the reasons why they are being asked to deal with something completely beyond their competence and capacity. Instead we should be looking at ourselves and why we are asking them?
We have serious social issues around social care for the elderly, an underclass that cannot properly participate in society and that has fuelled an apparent epidemic of mental problems – notably depression, but also addictions and anxieties. Who among us can honestly say, hand on heart, that these problems are medical and to be sorted out by the NHS or doctors?
What you can do now?
The first amazing thing is to appreciate that the long wait is over. Along has come a credible explanation for depression from the Human Givens. That depression is about ruminating and dreaming too much – non medical for sure but fitting in perfectly with the idea that social change is part of the reasons for our depression epidemic. And that what all humans must be doing is living a life where they re getting their emotional needs well met.
It may not answer every question or explain every depression, but it so much better than what is out there now. And I am a Depressions Optimist with a successful depression recovery practice, based on Human Givens.