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Depression information

Fathers and teachers, I ponder, “What is hell?” I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love. 

- Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Here are a few handouts that I've put together over the years to provide background information about depression.  The development/maintenance diagram is probably the handout here that I use most - both to explain issues about depression and also for many other psychological disorders as well. 

Introduction & monitoring

“ If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion. ” - The 14th Dalai Lama

Here are a series of forms that I use almost every session with clients, or for screening and orientation at the start of therapy:

Diagnosis of psychological disorders

The genius of Tulku Urgyen was that he could point out the nature of mind with precision and matter-of-factness of teaching a person how to thread a needle and could get an ordinary meditator like me to recognize that consciousness is intrinsically free of self ... I came to Tulku Urgyen yearning for the experience of self-transcendence, and in a few minutes he showed me I had no self to transcend ... Tulku Urgyen simply handed me the ability to cut through the illusion of the self directly, even in ordinary states of consciousness.  This instruction was, without question, the most important thing I have ever been explicitly taught by another human being.  It has given me a way to escape the usual tides of psychological suffering - fear, anger, shame - in an instant.

- Sam Harris

Making a formal psychological diagnosis can be a mixed blessing. It has several potential advantages. If many of my symptoms can be accurately grouped under a specific psychological diagnosis, it may well help to understand what is happening, to clarify the likely time course of my symptoms, and to choose treatments that have the best chance of being effective. It's worth noting that often people suffer from more than one psychological disorder at the same time - this is called comorbidity and it is common.

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