What if someone told you that "depression is a choice." Perhaps your response might be to say, "Ohhhhh reeaaaaaallly?" (As a side note: The ORLY owl is but one of many Internet icons to depict astonishment with a twinge of eyebrow raising indignation.) I imagine this would be my response and I would be curious as to how the originator of such a statement would defend such a statement.
In fact, in 2001, a psychotherapist and writer named A.B. Curtiss did just that in her book entitled, "Depression is a Choice." As a former depression sufferer herself, Curtiss tells us that there is a secret to depression: "The secret to depression is very much like the secret of learning to read. And isn't it simple and easy when we know how?"
You may insert the ORLY owl here.
The secret this author employs is a self created program of "directed thinking" which is supposed to be able to override chemical imbalances and even the mania of Bipolar Depression.
Here is another interesting opinion from this book:
"Our great-grandparents used willpower instead of Prozac and Zoloft. They valued conscience, responsibility, honest, commitment, dedication, sacrifice, hard work, and courage. And they practiced learning to bear suffering. These concepts were universally taught to children, who naturally employed them as adults. These concepts had been tested and revered for thousands of years. People trusted their lives to them. In the 1960s, we threw them all out."
Needless to say the reviews of this book were mixed.
But this isn't a novel idea. The whole positivity movement has spurned people to believe that thinking positive thoughts can cure anything from depression to cancer.
In association with this cure philosophy is blame for our physical and mental disorders because we just aren't positive enough. Some new age authors such as Louise Hay, best known for "You Can Heal Your Life" (1984), tells us that we choose our parents before birth and that: "We create every so-called "illness" in our body." and "Releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer."
Do I hear an "ORLY?" from the crowd?
I could give my biased thoughts on all this but I am going to let you guys fill in blanks.
Do you think depression is a choice? Can we cure depression through the power of positive thoughts? Are we to blame for our depression and/or other illnesses?
Tell it like it is! We want to hear all sides to this debate.
PS. I may keep the ORLY owl for future "Oh Really?" debates. Tell me if you would like this as a regular feature to discuss controversy related to depression and depression treatment.