Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Andrew Solomon: 4 Pieces of Advice to Persons Struggling with Depression

I found this astute advice as part of PBS’s interview with Andrew Solomon, author of “Noonday Demon”:
1. Deal with it early. Don’t wait until it escalates out of control. Like any illness, it’s easier to treat before it becomes acute.
2. Find the right therapist and psychopharmacologist. Sometimes that’s one person and sometimes it’s two people; seek the best. There a lot of bad treatments and too many incompetent shrinks, so if you’re not getting better, try seeing someone else. It’s exhausting and annoying shopping around, but as in all other areas of life, there are some people who are highly skilled and others who just aren’t very good. There are also people who work well for one patient and aren’t right for another.
3. If you have a chronic condition, treat it in the long-term. Have the courage to stay on your meds, and don’t be tricked into thinking that brave people get better on their own. If you had lung cancer, you wouldn’t try to cure it by breathing carefully. Don’t trivialize depression. Remember that it can be fatal: A large number of depressed people commit suicide.
4. Don’t keep it all a big secret. Depression is stressful and keeping secrets is stressful. But tell people selectively and carefully. Some people can deal with it and others can’t. And get yourself a support structure. Love won’t cure depression, but it will make it a whole lot easier to tolerate.


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  • Bev Y

    Just like Solomon felt listening to all the messages on his recorder, I felt the same with his 4 Pieces Of Advice. By the time I read #1, I was too depressed to read further. Forced myself to read all, but know I can’t handle this.

  • Christine

    Please all, read all 4. I remember once in the workplace, coworkers used to say that I should write everything down and keep a depression journal. These were doctors as I worked in a hospital. A hospital is a high stress workplace. If it appeals to you to write it down, do so even if you don’t read what you write. I never did find it helpful. I learned that meditation was key in getting my mind thinking productively and cheerfully. Even the Bible says to be still and know God. If you cant concentrate to meditate, then use a CD or DVC with soothing message that you feel affinity towards. Practice the art of stillness. Be patient with yourself and remember you are not in a perfect world but that you are here to help raise it just one person higher. I love you all. Peace unto you. Leave all expectation and jump into stillness and breath

  • Christine

    I would just like to add that it came to me in a state of deep meditation that the act of breathing is an act of submission to God, Our Creator. What perfection we are made of…..built in mechanisms to keep us in tempo with the God that we all really feel so much gratitude for….you do, even if you are not aware of it. Thank you, Lord God for life and the ideal springboard to heaven that is earth. Not the place to live up to your expectations, but the place to test yourself on how you approach a concept or thought. Study the ancient religions as they can point in the right direction on how to approach

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  • Laura

    Andrew put into words what I could not make my loved ones understand. I have two copies of Noonday Demon and one is always with me! it was such a comfort too know that I was not crazy but what felt like being in the grip of a darkness with no way out. Thank you Andrew for writing this book!!!!!

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