Depression is not a straightforward problem; it typically doesn’t yield to straightforward solutions. Here Dave consults on a case of an elderly depressed woman. His seemingly crazy intervention brings surprising results. Enjoy.
Women who feel depressed often see this as a purely personal struggle, believing they have a “chemical imbalance”. They may feel burdened and alone, and responsible and/or guilty for their depression.
In fact, depression is rarely a simple personal affair. Most often, the roots of depression can be found in that person’s intimate relationship sphere, where important parts of our happiness/unhappiness live. Here’s one woman’s story of how she moved from depression to owning her own power.
We have become a nation of fixers. We want to fix stuff as soon as its broken, including our moods. We don’t have much tolerance for ambiguity, or lack of resolution. Or emotional pain. What’s the problem with that, you might ask? Because often our attempt to “fix” our moods, or our pain, ends up making the problem worse, or more long-lasting. Here’s another way to do it.
Surgeon Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, has a lot to say about the unintended consequences of doctors’ failure to acknowledge the dying process. Here’s a case of a young woman whose complicated grief over her mother’s death reflects this failure.
“Chemical Imbalance” has become a generally accepted way to think about psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. But David Keith offers another perspective: In fact, emotional problems may be a sign of mental health.
In this post, Dave talks about his work with a depressed young female patient. Through the therapy, which “opens up a little dormant space of weirdness where we can feel more free”, this young woman’s depression lifts as she begins to experience herself in a new way.
In our current pharmaceutical-based culture, we forget that how we feel, our “moods” are strongly shaped by relationship dynamics. This holds true even for depression. Here’s a case that shows how this works.
This Family Medicine hospital consultation involved a mute patient who had just had her leg amputated. The hospital staff was angry at her. Then this young doctor took the time to learn what was going on and everything changed.
When family dysfunction meets disease: How a therapy session transformed family patterns and helped a young woman improve her self-care.
Dr. Dave on How To Love Your Very Self: He shares his reflections on how we lose our self-love and how to get it back.
How Mental Distress Can Masquerade as Disease: Here’s a live case story which shows how grief can manifest as abdominal pain.
We often hear about depression as “anger turned inward.” Sometimes it works the other way around, with anger masking a depression. Here’s what that can look like.
“Compliance carries with it a sense of futility for the individual and is associated with the idea that nothing matters, life is not worth living…”
Dave: In my view the depressed person is often the emotionally healthiest or better, the most emotionally adequate member of the family. When there is caring, (psycho)pathology is sharing or […]
Check out this unexpectedly lovely story from The New York Times. It’s the tale of a man, Joe Holt, and his upbringing in an atmosphere of severe abuse and neglect. […]
DK: I’d like to talk about what I do when I’m asked to do a consultation in the context of a psychiatric clinic. I call this method the Therapeutic Consultation […]