Are emotional issues really a disease?
The primary treatment for diabetes is a drug. This analogy works if we accept that the primary treatment for mental illness is drugs. The pharmaceutical industry would be pleased with this approach.
But, in fact, the primary treatment for problems of emotional well-being is time. What is needed is time and space for listening, where individuals can have the opportunity to have their feelings recognized and understood. In this time and space, people can make sense of, and find meaning in, their experience.
A model that compares depression to diabetes is an illness model. It promotes a kind of â€œthere is something wrong with you and I will fix itâ€? approach. It is not simply a question of â€œtherapy vs. medicationâ€? as many â€œevidence-basedâ€? research studies suggest. It is a question of a completely different model, a resilience model. Such a model, that values time and space for listening and being heard, seeks to help people reconnect with their most competent selves.
But we will only get there is we stop comparing depression to diabetes.
When I first started working in this field (Over 17 years ago now) I knew of one doctor who would have agreed with the above physician — and I did my internship under him.
Now they are shouting out all over the place that it’s time to quit drugging people into oblivion as a means of addressing emotional health.
It’s completely delightful…