By Elizabeth Impastato

Depression is one of the oldest known maladies with accounts of those suffering from the condition dating as far back as the ancient Babylonians.  The Greeks also knew of depression.  They called it melancholia, classifying it as a disease of the psyche.  It was believed to be evidence of demonic possession.

This erroneous view, that depression and other mental illnesses are diseases of the inner person, or worse that they’re afflicted with some type of evil, has been disproven since the 1990s.

The fact is everything we do, feel and think originates from our brains.  Therefore, how could anything other than our brains be afflicted?  Scientists have found through MRI scans that the brains of individuals with mental illnesses are wired differently than those of neurotypical individuals.

So, when you tell your child to get over it, it’s as if you’re scolding them for not already knowing calculus.  Chances are your child wants with all their heart to do what you instruct, but they find that something keeps preventing them and it’s hurting them, even if they may say hurtful things to you.

But it isn’t hopeless.  The paths out of depression are varied.  Cognitive behavior therapy has helped some.  Regularly talking things out with someone kind, can also help.  Additionally, regular exercise raises dopamine levels which dispels depression.

But for those who find that none of these things are working, they should consider medication.  We take medication for other bodily diseases, mental illnesses are the exact same thing.  If it’s not wrong to take medication for the flu, why would we think it’s wrong to take medication for a brain affliction.  There should be no reason to feel ashamed over an illness, because the entire human race is ill in some way.

If you find that you are suffering from some unnamed, unending pain that makes you feel hopeless, fatigued and you break down and weep or act out in rage, then know that there is help.  There is a way out of that pain that doesn’t involve the loss of everything you know. But you have to step up and accept that help and not be afraid of what people may think of you.

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Impastato Gallery and Art Therapy in the Chenier Marketplace in Mandeville, 1901 Hwy. 190, Suite 28.
Phone: 985-778-5338

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