From Our Readers
It is with some interest that I read your articles on “Depression—You Can Win the Fight!” (October 22, 1987) Your presentation of the material is very accurate and quotations precise and helpful. However, in spite of your excellent descriptions of the symptoms and feelings a depressed person experiences, I felt that the overall emphasis of the material was one of “pull yourself together.” Such persons simply cannot “pull themselves together” no matter how hard they try. . . . The suggestion that one should “fight” depression can only serve to increase unnecessary feelings of guilt and inadequacy. . . . The foregoing is not meant to be received as direct criticism, rather some points which I believe need emphasizing, in our endeavors to create a climate of understanding and appropriate care for the depressed and their families. Your magazine does a great deal of good in featuring the subject in a way that can help many to obtain a better understanding of the subject of depression.
D. L., Depressives Associated, England
We certainly do not advocate the “pull yourself together” therapy. Our articles showed that there are various degrees of depression and a variety of causes. Not all depression is caused by one’s thinking, and in severe cases professional help is needed. However, research has clearly shown that adjustments in one’s thinking are often essential to overcome depression fully. While it is true that the depressed person may need help in changing his thinking, at certain levels of depression a person can do much to prevent his situation from worsening by making the adjustments mentioned. Scores of people, contacted by “Awake!” while compiling the articles, mentioned that lasting relief came by adjusting their thinking. The articles simply alerted our readers to the type of thinking that could either contribute to the problem or fight it.—ED.
Your articles on depression came at just the right time. It was sobering to find myself in some of the statements. For years I have struggled with an inferiority complex, and at times my level of self-respect has sunk to absolute zero. Much of the material presented expressed my sentiments completely. I realize that in some respects I must learn to change my way of thinking.
S. G., Federal Republic of Germany
Thank you very much for your articles on depression. I suffered from severe depression from childhood on, fighting a constant battle against self-destructive thoughts. Only in my 30’s did I learn through allergy testing that controlling my diet would relieve a large part of the problem. But your articles caused me to realize the great extent to which depressive thinking still persisted, robbing me of joy and, even more importantly, causing me to pass along depressive patterns to my children because of the way I dealt with them. The article “Winning the Fight Against Depression” gave me hope that there is a way of dealing with the problem. I can already see very positive results in myself and my children from applying the fine suggestions you presented.
R. G., United States