To Top

Sadness: The Road to Recovery

www.ironmanmagazine.comNo question that depression is rampant in America. Antidepressants are the number-one prescription drug in this country for adults under age 60, but according to “The Surprising Silver Lining of Sadness,” by Ginny Graves in the July ’11 Prevention, in many cases depression could be a reaction by your body to help make you healthier.

A new theory states that depression isn’t a disorder but rather a healing force. “Depression may be nature’s way of telling you to stop and focus on what’s troubling you so you can move past it and get on with your life,” says Paul Andrews, Ph.D., an evolutionary biologist at Virginia Commonwealth University who is quoted in the article. The idea that depression may lead to better mental health is an idea that dates back to Aristotle.

One hint that depression is nature’s way of telling you to step back and analyze your life: Studies have found that “sadness actually promotes analytical reasoning—a type of intense thinking that allows you to break down a complex problem into smaller and more manageable parts, making it easier to figure out.”

Depression also tends to make you withdraw from others. “Solitude can provide more uninterrupted time to think. The insights that reflection allows can be useful in the future. You contemplate your situation, discover what has caused your sadness and decide to learn from it and do better in the future.”

Of course, not all depression has that result. Still, the above suggests that we may be turning to antidepressant drugs too readily. “While swallowing a pill may forestall psychological suffering, it also may rob you of your brain’s abiliy to reconfigure pain into wisdom and grit—both of which will serve you well for the rest of your life.”

Something to contemplate before you swallow that Prozac.


You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Advice

  • The Wonder Brassica

    Everyone is waiting for stem cells to advance to the point where we can take an injection and suddenly have the midsection of...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 24, 2016
  • Finish Strong

    If you like to train for strength—think big compound movements in the four- to six-rep rage try capping off your manly sets with a lightweight finisher. Sports scientists at the...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 22, 2016
  • Sugar: The Anti- brain food

    We all know sugar is bad for your gut, but it’s not doing your brain any favors either. Information recently published in the Journal of...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 19, 2016
  • Full Spectrum Chest

    All chest workouts are not created equal. For a complete program, you need to attack the pecs from a va- riety of...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 18, 2016
  • Do you know squat?

    If you like to train for strength—think big compound movements in the four- to six-rep rage—try capping off your manly sets with a lightweight finisher. Sports scientists at the University...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 18, 2016
  • Orange is the new sexy

    Psychologists at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia have found that “beauty smoothies” made of carrots, orange juice, and other sources...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 17, 2016
  • Most Valuable Supplement

    When you walk in to any nutrition store, one of the supplements that is always recommended when trying to increase muscle mass is creatine. To...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 15, 2016
  • Smash Hunger

    Pectin is a type of soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables, and it might also be a secret weapon when dieting. A study, presented...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 14, 2016
  • The muscle carb

    Quinoa has grown popular the last few years as more people are searching for a healthy gluten-free carb source they can...

    Iron Man MagazineApril 12, 2016