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Rethinking Depression: Reactions to a Book Questioning the Existence of Depression

By HERWriter
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Mental Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Specifically that people just need to ‘deal with it, suck it up, and move on.’ Also that mental health professionals are just ‘quacks’ may again be the thinking of our population. It may also perpetuate the tendency of people to put mental and emotional needs on the ‘back burner.’

Carey suggested that there are major differences between unhappiness and depression, and it’s a matter of strictly sticking to the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is a manual used to diagnose mental disorders.

“One hallmark of depression is that you are unable to function as expected in domain life areas, such as school, work, socially, and/or in your family,” Carey said. “There are many situations that may make a person unhappy, but they are able to function just fine in all domain areas.”

She also disagreed with Maisel that diagnoses and labels weaken the population.

“It empowers them to recognize their condition in a concrete manner and assists them to obtain appropriate treatment from a competent provider,” Carey said.

Antidepressants can also be useful, not harmful, she said.

“I view medication as an adjunct to assist people to operate at a functional level,” Carey said. “Medication in of itself is not ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ it is there to help people who are suffering. Just as pain medication post surgery may be needed while the wound heals, the same can be true for mental disorders.”

Sara Rosenquist, a board certified clinical health psychologist, is the author of the book “After The Stork: The Couple’s Guide to Preventing And Overcoming Postpartum Depression.” She said in an email that her book is similar to Maisel’s except it focuses on postpartum depression. She also added that he is not the first to have this theory, which Maisel also addressed in his book.

“Maisel's book is one of several pushing the paradigm to shift,” Rosenquist said. “[The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] is a cultural framework.”

She suggested that mental health professionals are pathologizing normal experiences to an extent.

“Every thought you have is a biochemical event in your brain,” Rosenquist said.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.