Dr. Michael Yapko gave a very insightful talk on depression in 2018. He said:
00:22:22 No amount of medication is going to help you develop skills in managing stress. None. No amount of medication’s going to help you develop a better attributional or explanatory style or help you build and maintain positive relationships with other people or help you develop the kinds of cognitive skills that help you think critically about experience instead of just getting sucked in by your feelings. It’s not going to help you develop problem-solving skills. It’s not going to help you develop better decision-making strategies. It’s not going to teach you how to build a support network with people. It’s not going to help you come to terms with whatever crummy things have happened in your life, and it’s certainly not going to help you build … one of the most important things, one of the most important things in getting treatment is how to build a compelling future.
00:23:19 The past, whatever distresses, whatever traumas, whatever situations you’ve faced, I get that. I listen to those experiences all the time, and they’re tragic, but if we ask the question, “Who overcomes depression and who doesn’t,” the people who find themselves facing forward, who start thinking in terms of, “How do I want my life to be,” do better than the people who keep focusing on the past, the unchangeable past, and that’s really the key in this. Drugs aren’t going to help you do that.
Chances are you know someone who is challenged with depression. Maybe it’s yourself. There is hope. My own climb out of the darkness of 12 years of depression taught me this. Dr. Yapko’s insights are spot on to what I personally discovered.
Begin with this question:
What do I want my life to be like?