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Out of the Patterns of Depression

Influence of Society and Family

The best evidence to date suggests that for most people depression is not a biologically based disease. The "disease model" of depression - talk of "chemical imbalance" etc. and the value of anti-depressant medications have been exaggerated, mostly by drug companies.

Biology is only a part of the depression story and medication is rarely the solution, although it may help with some of the symptoms initially. Doesn't is make sense to address all dimensions of the problem of depression, particularly the faulty patterns of thinking that no drug can affect as effectively as cognitive therapies like Time Line Therapy® can?

For most people, depression is a product of a hurtful way of interpreting and responding to life experiences. Depression involves a set of projections about you, your life, the universe, everything. By projection, we mean the way you interpret something that is ambiguous and unclear.

Society, in a variety of dramatic and powerful ways, began to shape your life. Society has countless expectations for each of us regarding how we are "supposed to" behave as members. Your family is one of the many representatives of society, but it is certainly the most prominent external force in shaping your individual experience and, consequently, your personality. The family, and the larger society of which it is only a part, communicate their expectations in a variety of ways, sometimes through clear, direct, and specific instructions about how to behave in a given situation, sometimes more indirectly.

Throughout our lives, we are rewarded for doing some things and punished for doing others. There are experiences we are encouraged to seek out and those we are taught to avoid. So too, there are subjects we are told are all right to talk about, and those we are told not to talk about, and these also play a large part in how we perceive the world around us.


  • What influences in your family background helped shape your perspectives?

  • What are the rules that existed in your family?

  • Which rules were stated and which were implied?

  • What things were you taught to value?

  • How did you know what was OK to say or do?

  • How did you learn what not to say or do?

In order for you to overcome depression, you will not only need to identify the key patterns that have caused your current emotional state and behaviour, but you'll need to develop patterns that will help you gain good feelings about yourself and your life.

Much of what depression is about is learned. Therefore, not only can depression be unlearned, but you can learn how to prevent reoccurring episodes, or to manage whatever episodes do occur more effectively so that they are less painful.

You are the way you are because that is how you learned to be through the process of socialisation mentioned above. That your background has led you to develop the patterns you now have is simply a fact. The past is your past.

However, there is much you can learn to do to change your present and your future for the better. The future is not merely "more of the same". If you take time, as you are doing now by reading this, to learn all the things you can about yourself and about handling life situations more effectively, then your depression can become a problem of the past.

If you come to THE ROAD™ Counselling & Personal Development for Counselling and Psychotherapy you can eliminate depression and other limiting decisions.