Feeling blue? Stop worrying… depression is good for you, say scientists

From the Daily Mail in Britain, via depression introspection. An excerpt:

There are, they say, more benefits from the blues. Being sad can leave victims stronger, better able to cope with life’s challenges, and can lead to great achievements.

And their claims may stack up historically with Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Sir Isaac Newton and Beethoven all suffering from some form of depression.

A growing number of psychiatrists are now questioning whether doctors and drug companies are too keen to treat the condition with pills that may have side effects and also harm the evolution of human emotion.

Professor Jerome Wakefield, of New York University, said: ‘When you find something this deeply in us biologically you presume it was selected because it had some advantage  –  otherwise we wouldn’t have been burdened with it. We’re fooling around with part of our biological make-up.’

Marissa at depression introspection asks the reasonable question, is this just applicable to the “blues” or clinical depression as well? I personally think it’s all the same. Clinical depression is the blues gone out of control because we as a society have not learned how to cope. I again direct you to Jayme’s recovery story. There is no doubt she was way beyond the “blues.” But the system pathologizes us and makes us believe we are pathetic and defective and therefore will never get better, creating a self-fulfilling prophesy by our own belief in the system.

17 thoughts on “Feeling blue? Stop worrying… depression is good for you, say scientists

  1. I’m sorry!!! At least when I say I’ll read people’s posts eventually, I mean it!! It’s just all at once though. LOL. (And I’m terrible at following feeds.)

    Besides, you’re ahead of me right now right now. You may snag a job blogging professionally — getting paid for it — while I’m still… not knowing what the hell to do. (sigh)


  2. hey girl, you got a link today too…nice to see you around…this is your MO— the occasional hit and run…you hit a whole bunch of posts and comment then I don’t see you again for ages!!

    oh what I’d do for a life that had something other then the internet keeping me busy!!


  3. Hi Jim S,

    You are so right. SSRIs have the effects of “down-regulating” receptors for serotonin (and other neurotransmitters), so after a period of taking SSRIs more of the drug is needed to have a chemical effect, but so do side effects: they eventually become worse. SSRIs are xenobiotic (toxic to the body) but it sustains the sickness industry of pharmaceutical companies.

    You need to treat the underlying biochemical abnormalities FIRST, before withdrawing from drugs.

    For an overall view see:

    Self Help Personal Growth Program at:

    and ask to be referred to a Nutritional Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist or Nutritional Psychologist if you want to.

    Jurriaan Plesman


  4. This is an interesting thread of comments. I’ve also had to deal with being hypoglycemic. It was causing or increasing many of my low moods.

    I did find some drugs that made me feel good for a while. However, after a period of time, they stopped making me feel good, but still had side effects. My guess is that our nerve cells adapt to drugs by changing the number of receptors. So if a drug increases the level of serotonin in the synapse, the cell will reabsorb the receptors so the higher level of serotonin has no real effect. At least this is what many biochemical studies have shown.

    I wonder if depression is linked to some sort of intelligence. Maybe people with depression see or feel more keenly the suffering of humanity. Some people can then use this insight to force major social changes.

    Thanks for keeping this site going.

    Jim S


  5. If you have problems withdrawing from drugs I recommend that you withdraw at a rate that is comfortable to you, but that regardless of your withdrawal rate, you adopt the Hypoglycemic Diet as a first step in treatment. Most people with depression are found to be hypoglycemic (that is pre-diabetic insulin resistant). This means the body has problem manufacturing Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – biological energy – essential in the production of feel good neurotransmitters such as serotonin from tryptophan. By adopting the hypoglycemic diet, the body eventually will be able to use ATP from carbohydrates to produce the right hormones and brain chemicals and this will make withdrawing from drugs much easier. Please read:

    Depression is a Nutritional Disorder at:

    and discuss with a Nutritionl Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist or a Nutritional Psychologist.

    Jurriaan Plesman


    1. Hi Jurriann,
      this is very good advice and something I’ve talked about again and again on this blog. Hypoglycemia is, indeed, a problem for many if not most people on psychotropic drugs. I eat a hypoglycemic diet which includes eating about 7 times a day.

      I have not looked at your website yet and really don’t have time to right now…

      but in general to all my other readers, learning about hypoglycemia along with possible food allergies, gut problems and nutritional deficiencies are all key in helping one stabilize…

      it’s also key in NEVER getting on meds to begin with.


  6. I don’t know about that Jon…and I also know lots of people who have faced their manic psychosis in safe places and moved beyond…

    both states in extremes are potentially dangerous though, especially without the right supports.


  7. AA,
    Thanks for the info. I am trying to educate myself to do this right. So I very much appreciate it when people who’ve gone before me share their experiences, both positive and negative… what they did right and what they didn’t.


  8. Peter,

    I tapered from 4 drugs down to just one. They previously included Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Adderall. Right now, I am tapering the last drug, Doxepin.

    Definitely taper Ritalin first. I can’t remember the exact explanation but something to do with the interactions of the drugs that would cause more withdrawal symptoms if you did the ADs first.

    Also, the key is to taper slowly at 10% of the current dose every 3 to 6 weeks. I did pretty much cold turkey the Wellbutrin XL but I definitely tapered the other drugs at that rate and sometimes, even more slowly.

    I know when you’re on 3 meds, you want to rush to get off of them. But that time will be here before you know it as it seems like it was just yesterday, I started tapering in 2006.

    If you want to talk further, email me at dem8899 at gmail.com.



  9. Yes Gianna, I am seriously considering it. If you can point me in a good direction for my journey, I’d appreciate it. I’m never quite sure whether to do certain dialogue through email or just posts, but whatever you prefer… I’d like to hear back from you on this when you have some time… which I know you don’t.


  10. I consider my alleged “illness” to be nothing other than the Buddhist notion of suffering. Everyone suffers, and everyone has challenges in his or her own life. Meditation and exercise is brining me calm , balance and even joy and happiness. Pills have never done this.

    yes, yes, yes…you’ve got it!!

    are you aware of the ning Social Network that accompanies this blog??

    It’s a better place to share your withdrawal journey and one of the reasons it was created.


    of course making reference to your withdrawal issues are at times absolutely appropriate here too…but if you really want to get into it the social network is better….

    glad you’re here.


  11. I have just bought a 900 page book about Lincoln. I am super curious about his life as he had mind boggling depression and had allegedly 2 nervous breakdowns. And yet, he is generally considered amongst the best presidents of all time.

    I’m very concerned about bipolar people being given pills. My current gigantic amount of pills had to do with the fact that I have bursts of energy and then periods of depression. The whole goal of my taking pills was to get it so that I could work and be productive by society’s standards. I did not take them for my own health, and for my own benefit. I took them, to force myself, a round peg into a square hole!

    Now I am disabled from work, after no amount of pills will make me able to work. I now, just do more stuff when I’m manic, and do less stuff when I’m depressed. But, it all gets done!

    I resent being put on these medications, just so that I could conform to society’s standards.

    I’m sure many people here with bipolar disorder have a similar story to tell. I’ve also never had a pill make me happy, just hyperactive. I’ve never had a pill that makes me feel relaxed, only pills that are meant to put you into a coma.

    When you take these pills, does it destroy the talent that often accompanies the alleged disease?

    Because our home was destroyed by a tornado, I have put off my withdrawal from Seroquel. However, the construction on our new home, will be finished mid March, and then I will try to go from a gram of Seroquel to 800mgs.

    I hope I can share my withdrawal experience here, and that others may learn from what I share and I am certainly learning a lot from this blog. It really does help to know that you are not going alone!

    I consider my alleged “illness” to be nothing other than the Buddhist notion of suffering. Everyone suffers, and everyone has challenges in his or her own life. Meditation and exercise is brining me calm , balance and even joy and happiness. Pills have never done this.



  12. Pete…Road Back is a rip off…if you’re serious I’ll help you out…it would be helpful to get a naturopath or integrative doc on board…for some testing…and I can make other suggestions as well.


  13. I am contemplating tapering off of one of my three meds (Paxil, Wellbutrin, Ritalin)… the one that uses the “fewest shared pathways first.” I have been looking at “The Road Back” website. I believe Ritalin will probably be the one I try to taper first. But I won’t do it unless I have a realistic well-researched plan and support team. I’ve done some stupid things in the past and no what it feels like to go cold turkey. Anyone reading this, don’t do it!
    Thanks Gianna for your blog.
    Pete (Pyrs)


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