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Focal Point For publishing 12/3/02


This is an illness that just won't go away. We're told that within the next few years Depression will be the number one illness over heart disease and cancer. Every day we hear of depressed people in our community and our 'Valley Care' Counsellors help many to understand and learn to live with or overcome the effects of their depression. A few years ago 'Our Jeff' led a valiant fight to set up a national response to depression. There hasn't been much in the news lately. Perhaps it has lost flavour of the month status? Perhaps the troops become battleweary? Over the past four decades we have seen bored and unfulfilled housewives grieving over loss of identity, anesthetizing their pain with day long Tia-Marias, while their husbands anesthetized their pain by becoming workaholics. In 2002 we see the effects of depression biting even deeper into our society. Just last week a colleague told me of a situation where a primary school had engaged her to counsel a six year old with depression. It appeared that this child had learned a behavioral pattern that had equated sadness with reward. With the stresses of modern life, we might ask, who can escape it? . Of course some depressions are caused by chemical and biological imbalances and can be successfully treated by medication. However for those of us who externalize or internalize our depression, it is helpful to ask three questions; 1/ What have we lost? 2/ Who are we angry at? 3/ What are we guilty about? If we seek help for your depression, which you may not even recognize as such, you may be assisted through those three questions. This process is helpful because it is not always apparent what is happening to us as our depression is often masked by such emotions as anger and guilt. Sometimes we are depressed due to unresolved issues from the past, and sometimes our depression leads us to unduly focus on past events that otherwise would not bother us in better times. Maybe your first port of call should be a visit to your friendly GP or you could seek some help through our Valley Care Counselling Service. Trained and confidential counsellors can walk with you through what can be a very dark time. For Counselling ring 0409 517273.

Graeme Dawson
Focal Point


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009