Saturday, June 04, 2005

An Honest Psychiatric Voice

Depression is an emotion, just like fear, anger or love. It is the imprint felt after a stressful or traumatic experience.

Depression is natural. It represents a legitimate response to life's difficulties. It is not a disease process reflecting a change in brain chemistry, disconnected from individuality, race, colour, creed, upbringing, belief systems, environments, relationships, socio-economic factors, life events and coping skills.

To isolate a depressed, suffering human being from their thoughts, from their behaviours and from the workings of their world is a tragedy beyond words, as it reduces them, and the rest of us, to a chemical soup encapsulated in skin. In this soup there is no place for uniqueness, imagination, will, acceptance, compassion, love, peace, creativity, personal freedom and the unfathomable depths of the human spirit.

The sick brain model of depression is a hideous and terrifying concept, as it turns us into cogs in a machine where, if we find the going difficult and want to disengage, we are prescribed an emotional painkiller and advised to carry on regardless. This is beyond Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Chemically-induced slavery has arrived.

Michael Corry M.D.
Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist

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