Life Coaching Vs Antidepressants
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent. – Buddha
I heard on the news somewhere recently that, since the economic downturn, antidepressant usage has gone up. I don’t know about you but, ironically, I find that news quite depressing.
Point blank, I think antidepressants are dolled out too easily. I’ve heard stories of people being prescribed them even after telling their doctor that they were just feeling a bit down.
They didn’t even ask for them, they were just given them as if they were sweets.
Everyone feels low at some point and most people have had a bout of depression. For the most part, it’s short lived and eventually burns itself out. Some people have slightly longer bouts and have them frequently.
Causes and Cures
What those people don’t realise is that the prime cause is remaining unoccupied, or a word I prefer to use, being idle.
I know there are people out there who do have ‘clinical’ depression but there are many people who could be lifted out of mild forms of depression very easily.
There is a simple solution to this and it’s called Life Coaching.
I strongly believe that even with just a few minutes of Life Coaching people can be brought out of that state of feeling low, even depression, with a few simple questions and by getting to the root cause.
And therein lies the main flaw of anti-depressants. They only solve the problem temporarily. How? By producing the chemicals that make people feel better short term. They do not get to the root cause and give people long term relief.
By Jove, I think we may have stumbled upon something there!
If people could be made to ‘feel better’ using other means, that should mean that anti-depressants would no longer be needed!
Whenever I’ve felt low, there’s usually been a very simple reason. I’ve allowed myself to become idle and wallow in what’s wrong with my life.
I’ve also noticed a pattern whereby, the people who tell me that they’re depressed, often feel that way because they are idle for much of the time.
They’ve gotten into the habit of doing nothing and allowing their minds to get into the habit of thinking about life’s flaws instead of the wonderful things life has to offer.
I’ve rarely have heard anyone who is proactive tell me that they feel low or depressed. It’s because they’re keeping their mind and body active doing the things they enjoy.
Even if it’s just sitting in the garden sipping their favourite beer whilst watching the game, at least they’re doing what they enjoy.
As soon as I turn myself around and become proactive, I start to feel better. Movement creates the same chemicals as anti-depressants.
Mask and Root Cause
That however, could still mask the real issue. People often drown themselves in something like work or going to the gym to forget. Once they stop, they go back to exactly where they were.
The process of getting to the root cause make take a bit more work but can just as easily be accomplished.
I’ve even surprised myself at how many people I’ve help to lift out of depression by some very simple coaching.
Getting to the root cause isn’t that difficult. You don’t even have to be a Tony Robbins to do it. Most of it is accomplished on it’s own, even the coach has an easy job if it. All they need to do is ask the right questions and let the client eventually reveal their own map of why they feel low.
The process of Life Coaching could save the health service quite a bit of money. We’d even help the economy.
There is even such a thing as self coaching. If you’re feeling low and you’ve been to your doctor and they’ve offered you anti-depressants, before you take them, just go through a few simple motions, if it doesn’t work, fine take the pills.
Questions To Ask Yourself
1. Why am I feeling low? What was the cause? What triggered it?
2. Over time, will I eventually get through this?
3. What can I do right now to feel better? (Except take anti-depressants.)
Things To Do
1. Move around
2. Get active and do something. Get someone to push you in a shopping trolley! (Always works for me!) 😆
3. Get out and meet friends or new people. A stroll in the park will get you in the right direction.
Hey amit, I totally agree with you. Real Clinical depression with a proper chemical imbalance in your brain can be really debilitating, but far too often this is not the case and antidepressants are handed out like candy….its an easy way out for gps sometimes just because they are so busy and don’t have enough time to talk fully to every patient, no offence to them. We all go through ups n downs thru life, n feel low at times n can have a tendency to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. Many times ill look in the mirror n wanna slap myself n say, ‘man up boy!’ : )
Keeping our mind and body busy is the best way to keep ourselves focused. But whilst doing that I think its always good to take some time out every now n then, step back n try figure out what it is that’s getting us down,without letting it consume us. Sometimes its simple,sometimes its very complex, but either way, all problems are not fully solved till we get to the root cause….even if its something(s) that have troubled us for years.
A positive Outlook on life n taking pleasure in all the little things that make us human can be far more powerful in making us happy than antidepressants. : )
Damn I just wrote an essay man.
Dude, very sorry for the slow reply. Wow, that was a bit of an essay but one I thoroughly enjoyed and you made some excellent points. I’m thinking I should get you to write me an article for the blog! 🙂
You make a great point here, Amit. There are many people who need medication for depression, but there are also too many doctors prescribing anti-depressants to any patient having a bad day. When things are going wrong in a person’s life, medicine shouldn’t the first (or only) answer. In addition to life coaching, it helps to exercise regularly, eat better foods, let go of toxic relationships.
Well said Nea. A combination of the things that give us a natural life, is far more powerful than placing all our eggs in one basket, i.e., relying on medicine.
A little data goes a long way.
One of the best charts I’ve seen is in the book, Feeling Good. It compares and contrasts the effectiveness of coping mechanisms and skills vs. drugs, both for the short-term and the long-term impact.
Sounds like a great read JD, thank you for the suggestion, I’ll look it up! 🙂
It’s amazing what our medical system is like at times; doctors only stopping with patients for 15 minutes to meet targets, anti-depressants rolled out for a ‘bad day’, nurses held back by red tape. Shame really, as a lot of our depression problems can be self-fixed, using the methods you described.
Perhaps you could teach the NHS a thing or two Amit? 😉
Indeed Stuart and it’s interesting as with the post election drama, the next big thing is of course the NHS reforms so this, in all seriousness, on a much larger scale, could bring huge benefits to the NHS. Complimentary therapies are more powerful, especially coaching, than most people realise.
Oh, I would love to see that data that JD points out! I agree that it’s good to pause before we take drugs and really examine whether we need them and whether are are other alternatives. The Pharmaceutical industry is out to make money, not to heal us!
Me too! I want to see that data also! I agree with you, much of the pharmaceutical industry is about masking symptoms rather than formulating cures.
I had a long discussion with a friend of mine recently about this.
He works with problem children with alcohol or drug addictions.
He has met many doctors who easily perscribe anti-depressions and give the diagnosis; “You will need these your whole life”
That is not a diagnosis!
Depression is a temporary problem, not a chronic condition!
You can change your mood, you can become happy, sure anti depressants can help to take the edge off so that you can work on the root problem, but if you don’t work on the root problem all they do is take the edge off, you won’t be truly happy.
I share those sentiments exactly Daniel. What happens when people come off is that their bodies aren’t producing their own serotonin so they’re pretty much hooked for life then they convince themselves that they need them.
Amit: Really helpful and informative post. I thought you had a lot of insights and shared a wealth of knowledge here. I also thought the list of questions to ask yourself was right on point. Thanks for a great one.
My pleasure Sibyl and thank you for taking the time to read! x
Having felt down for the past few weeks due to a relationship I felt better reading a few of your articles. I won’t lie it’s quite hard getting out of this weird funk once you’ve been in it for a while. I never realized how feeling down can just drain the energy right of your body. I wondered if you had any articles on how to stop thinking about someone when they have asked for space ? I know the usual stuff, distract your self and all but do you have any other pointers? I would really appreciate it..
I was just going through the blog and checking over any comments that I had not previously replied to.
I know you left this comment quite some time ago, but I hope that you managed to find a way out of your funk and through the darker times.
I think distraction is often a poor word to use but having the right kind of distraction is imperative. Something that requires intense focus is always a way to go.
It may sound odd but sometimes I just pick up my Rubik’s cube and try and solve it. It allows me to totally shift my focus away from anything that has been on my mind and empty mind of all thoughts, but that of the Rubik’s cube.
Anyway, like I said, I know this was a while ago, and I hope that it is now all ok.
All the best,