Are you Too Depressed, or Two Depressed?

TwoDepressed-3 Is depression a disease, or is it several diseases? Is it possible to have two depressions?

Is depression a curable disease or an incurable disease? Some of the time?  All of the time?

Dr Kelly Brogan has written a revolutionary book about depression, A Mind of Your Own, where she points out that depression is a symptom, not a disease. If you want to have a look, you can download chapter 1 here. She’s right, but there’s more.

Depression is a disease, many diseases actually.  They’re in the book. A physician can diagnose a patient’s depression and prescribe a medicine to treat (not cure) the depression. Depression can be treated with medicines, but with medicines, there are no cures. Dr Kelly Brogan tired of ‘not curing’ depression with medicines. She decided to cure depression, and she learned to cure depression.

Depression is also a symptom.  It’s a symptom that can come and go.  Sometimes, I feel depressed. Sometimes, more depressed.  Sometimes, I don’t feel depressed at all. Dr Brogan treats depression as a symptom. She treats depression by finding the cause of the symptom, and addressing the cause. The causes of depression are unhealthiness, or lack of healthiness. Dr Brogan cures depression by addressing unhealthinesses.

A Mind of Your Own has many stories, anecdotes, about depression patients cured by Dr Brogan.  Take note: Every cure is a single patient, who has an illness, with a cause, and the illness is cured by addressing the cause. Every cure is an anecdote. Treatments can be ‘clinical studies’, but medical treatments for depression can’t cure, they can only ‘treat symptoms’.

Most, perhaps all of the patients Dr Brogan treats have two or more causes of their depression. They have two or more depressions.

It is possible to be depressed, to be suffering from depression.  It is also possible to be more depressed, to be suffering from a more severe depression.  It is also possible to be suffering from two depressions.  What’s the difference?

We know how to make someone depressed. There are many causes of depression, and we can control some of them, to make someone depressed.  Depression can be caused by loneliness, lack of community support, recent stressful life experiences, marital or relationship problems, financial strain, trauma or abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, dietary deficiencies, dietary excesses, unemployment or underemployment, other health problems, chronic pain, and more.

Let’s pick one: dietary deficiencies.  If someone is suffering from a specific dietary deficiency, they will become depressed. Some dietary deficiencies don’t cause depression, some cause minor depression, and some can cause severe depression. A minor deficiency of amino acids can cause a minor depression. A more severe deficiency of amino acids can cause a more severe depression. But a deficiency of amino acids doesn’t cause ‘two depressions’.

A recent stressful experience, the loss of your job, the loss of a parent, the loss of a child, can also cause depression. In medical-speak, in medical diagnosis, it’s the same disease, depression.

From a healthicine perspective, they’re two different illnesses, because they have two different causes.

One and one makes two.  If you are suffering from a deficiency of amino acids, and then you suffer the loss of your job, you might be suffering from two depressions. From the list of causes of depression, it’s easy to see that someone might be suffering from three, four or even more depression illnesses.

Our medical systems ‘treat depression’.  When you treat depression, it’s easy to mistake a patient with three depressions as being ‘more depressed’, to prescribe a ‘stronger medicine’.  But that person is not depressed more, they have more depressions.

Kelly Brogan CURES depression. Curing is different than treating depression. To cure depression, you need to isolate the different depression illnesses the patient has and  to address their causes, to cure them one at a time. Depression is only cured with health, not with medicines.

Dr Brogan cures depressions with health.  She cures by addressing the causes of their depression, healthing her patients, making them healthier. When you address the causes of depression, you only can cure one depression at a time.

Many of Dr Brogan’s depression cures take a long time. One of the examples she presents is Eva, who took a year to cure her depression.  Eva was on several medications, that were treating multiple depressions. She was also taking medicines to treat symptoms caused by other medicines.

Dr Brogan does not use the term ‘multiple depressions’, but she treats multiple depressions, by addressing multiple causes. Eva is a clear example. An illness, like a depression, is the intersection of a symptoms and a causes. Each illness, in this case each depression can only be cured by addressing the cause. When a patient has multiple depressions, they can’t be cured until each of the causes is addressed.

When we view depression as multiple illnesses, possibly in the same patient at the same time, we can understand much more about depression, and how to cure it.  This also prompts us to think differently about some of the other ‘diseases’ that are named depression by our medical systems.  Is manic-depression one illness? Or could it be two illnesses, each fighting for control. Or maybe sometimes it’s one illness, and sometimes it’s two illnesses.  The only way to figure out a specific case, is to identify the causes, and address them, to cure each illness.  Treatments with drugs, that do not address causes, have no hope to cure – although they can sometimes ‘get the patient through’ to a time when their body, mind, spirits or communities find a cure.

It is also important to understand that depression can be a sign of healthiness. If you are depressed because of loneliness, and you take a drug to ‘help’ with your depression, you might actually be making yourself less healthy, pushing the depression symptoms downwards, but not working to cure it.

There are medical techniques to diagnose depression. But there are no medical techniques to diagnose a ‘depression cured’.  Curing depression can be hard, and it can be time consuming, and it can be difficult to tell if you are cured. I am not a doctor, so I can’t tell if you are cured either.

Dr Brogan’s not only tells us how to cure depression, she gives us hope that every depression is curable, but not with medicines. We can only cure depression, we can only cure any illness by making the patient healthier, by addressing the causes of each illness.

to your health, tracy
Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine:


About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine
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