more on depression and self reflection

reading over the contents of my last blog entry on depression and self-reflection, a few thoughts came to mind.

the article was not written by someone who had done systematic research and observation of people dealing with depression. rather, the writer seems to have a certain view, and in order to support it, he cites a number of different researchers. of course, there is nothing wrong with that – people, including researchers, do it all the time. i’d just like to present a slightly different view here.

the first research cited is about mildly depressed college students who, after spending a few minutes thinking about mundane topics, report a better mood than their counterparts who spend a few minutes thinking about themselves.

i have no reason to doubt this research, and agree that there are times when distraction is the best thing to do in a depression. however, it would be unwise to conclude from this that depressed persons should not think about themselves.

for one thing, self-reflection and what the writer terms “rumination” need not be the same. it is one thing to bring up one’s problem over and over again (like a cow ruminating) and another to look one’s situation squarely in the face and try to make sense of it.

(as an aside, it is unfortunate that the dictionary explains the word ruminating as pondering, musing, contemplating or meditating. meditating and ruminating are two completely different mental activities).

ruminating, for the depressed person, can be like picking at scabs – picking at the scabs of a problem – which is not helpful. reflecting on one’s situation, on the other hand, can bring insight and lead to an eventual solution. (the instrumental words here are “can” – nothing is written in stone when it comes to how we process our experience).

another piece of research cited is that debriefing procedures right after a catastrophic event such as 9/11 may do more harm than good. i have come across research like that before. my hunch is that at least some of those that do harm may just not be the best debriefing procedures, but let’s leave that to one side.

however, in the vein of another recent post, i’d like to reiterate that it is important to talk about painful experiences. how and when – well, that’s a different question.

when in the throes of immediate recovery from a trauma, quite possibly the most important thing will be to gain some ground under one’s feet. make sure that the basics are met, that life feels somewhat “normal”. to take the metaphor from the accident in the post i just mentioned – in order to get to the point where i could pay attention to my body, i needed to first feel safe and looked after in my environment. nevertheless, once these basics are in place and back to some kind of autopilot, it is important to deal with what happened.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

3 thoughts on “more on depression and self reflection

  1. marysmith

    Hello, This is Mary

    I am 36 years old with 2 toddlers. My youngest just started day care last week- which still feels a little strange. I haven’t had this much time to myself in years. First thing I want to do is lose the extra pounds I put on during the last pregnancy. One of the girls next door has suggested I join her walking group two days a week. After my first pregnancy I lost around 35 pounds using the Herbalife products, but when I called the man that sold them to me three years ago he told me this week he doesn’t sell them anymore. He told me to look on the internet. It’s disappointing because he was really nice and he called me regularly to make sure I was using their products correctly. It was nice to have someone checking in with me every week to see how I was and it kept me motivated.

    I searched on the internet for someone that sells Herbalife in New Jersey. I found many websites but I don’t want
    just to buy the products, I want to find someone trustworthy that sells the products so I can also meet them and get started again.

    Could anybody here recommend someone in New Brunswick?
    .

    Thanks, Mary

  2. marysmith

    Hello, This is Mary

    I am 36 years old with 2 toddlers. My youngest just started day care last week- which still feels a little strange. I haven’t had this much time to myself in years. First thing I want to do is lose the extra pounds I put on during the last pregnancy. One of the girls next door has suggested I join her walking group two days a week. After my first pregnancy I lost around 35 pounds using the Herbalife products, but when I called the man that sold them to me three years ago he told me this week he doesn’t sell them anymore. He told me to look on the internet. It’s disappointing because he was really nice and he called me regularly to make sure I was using their products correctly. It was nice to have someone checking in with me every week to see how I was and it kept me motivated.

    I searched on the internet for someone that sells Herbalife in New Jersey. I found many websites but I don’t want
    just to buy the products, I want to find someone trustworthy that sells the products so I can also meet them and get started again.

    Could anybody here recommend someone in New Brunswick?
    .

    Thanks, Mary

  3. liz.johnson66

    Hi Mary,

    >From one mom to another I think I have a solution for you!! I want to lose 40 pounds, and I’ve lost 28 so far!!! I am feeling fantastic and have more energy than I did when I was in college. I went through three different Herbalife distributors until I found the person I felt really actually cared about me and helped me to start getting results. The bottom line was that I wanted to find somebody that could offer me good prices, but that could also check in with me to make sure I was doing ok.

    I used to drive two hours to meet with my first distributor in West Haven, Connecticut. I even brought the girls with me a few times because I couldn’t find a babysitter. Today my Herbalife coach does everything over the phone and it is much easier with my busy schedule. You can order Herbalife online on his website, you get the shakes a few days after with FedEx and then you can setup a telephone meeting once a week to make sure you are doing the program right.

    His name is Danny Castello and his website is http://www.goshape.com. The number is (310) 928- 3835. He and his girlfriend Michaela actually do most of the coaching together as a team, but she has an Herbalife site as well: http://www.puresteps.com. He does most of the motivation on the call and gives you important facts regarding nutrition. He can be a bit tough but he really wants you to get results. She is a bit softer- so they make a good combination. Actually I also recommend joining his newsletter first so you can see the articles on nutrition. They also have videos so you can see who they are before actually calling them. Its nice because they actually use the products too. You can see on their websites.

    Hope this helps!

    Liz

  4. liz.johnson66

    Hi Mary,

    >From one mom to another I think I have a solution for you!! I want to lose 40 pounds, and I’ve lost 28 so far!!! I am feeling fantastic and have more energy than I did when I was in college. I went through three different Herbalife distributors until I found the person I felt really actually cared about me and helped me to start getting results. The bottom line was that I wanted to find somebody that could offer me good prices, but that could also check in with me to make sure I was doing ok.

    I used to drive two hours to meet with my first distributor in West Haven, Connecticut. I even brought the girls with me a few times because I couldn’t find a babysitter. Today my Herbalife coach does everything over the phone and it is much easier with my busy schedule. You can order Herbalife online on his website, you get the shakes a few days after with FedEx and then you can setup a telephone meeting once a week to make sure you are doing the program right.

    His name is Danny Castello and his website is http://www.goshape.com. The number is (310) 928- 3835. He and his girlfriend Michaela actually do most of the coaching together as a team, but she has an Herbalife site as well: http://www.puresteps.com. He does most of the motivation on the call and gives you important facts regarding nutrition. He can be a bit tough but he really wants you to get results. She is a bit softer- so they make a good combination. Actually I also recommend joining his newsletter first so you can see the articles on nutrition. They also have videos so you can see who they are before actually calling them. Its nice because they actually use the products too. You can see on their websites.

    Hope this helps!

    Liz

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