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

  • Product Spotlight: Native Pro 100 by Rivalus

    The phrase “eating clean” gets thrown around a lot in the fitness industry, but for the first time you can use...

    Iron Man MagazineJuly 6, 2016
  • Back and Biceps with Jeremy Buendia!

    Build a thicker Back and Bigger Biceps with this multifaceted, free-weight workout. There’s a fine line to walk on those one or two days...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 10, 2016
  • Single or mingle?

    Physique athletes have always been proponents of isolation exercises. Then CrossFit came along and added three more joints to every exercise....

    Iron Man MagazineJune 9, 2016
  • Plank you very much!

    Over the last few years, planks have become as common as crunches and hanging leg raises. A recent study has shown...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 8, 2016
  • The man in the mirror

    Accountability is a powerful force, even if it’s to your own reflection. A new study performed by researchers at the University...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 7, 2016
  • Product Spotlight: Carne Diem by Magnum Nutraceuticals

    You’ve heard of the phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Apparently the people at Magnum Nutraceuticals have not heard...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 6, 2016
  • Put a cherry on top

    Style experts like to say that black is slimming, but it turns out that purple is the most slimming color of...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 5, 2016
  • Transform your fat

    Fish oil provides tremendous health benefits from improving mood to battling dry skin but most of us take it for its...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 4, 2016
  • Chew Yourself Shredded

    Here is a fitness hack for you: If you’re dieting, chew gum during the day in order to stuff fewer calories...

    Iron Man MagazineJune 3, 2016