Is depression a type of disorder?
Unfortunately, many people view depression as a disorder, which makes it harder for them to stop being depressed.
Indeed, if you see depression as a disorder, you have a stressful, negative view of your situation which contributes to anxiety and depression.
For this reason, if you want to get rid of depression faster and easier than most people, it’s very important that you think about depression differently than most people. This means not seeing it as a disorder, but just a temporary condition that you can eliminate.
You don’t have to see depression as a disorder
Psychologists and psychiatrists currently view depression as a disorder as part of their discipline and training. But just because they see depression this way doesn’t mean you have to see it this way, and it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s a good way to think about depression.
Unfortunately, many people think that they have to consider their depression a disorder, just because a person in a white lab coat told them that they had a disorder, as if this was some sort of gospel truth.
To appreciate that this isn’t gospel truth at all, consider how psychiatrists used to consider homesexuality a disorder, until a bunch of gay psychiatrists in the 1970’s got tired of this view being applied to them.
Naturally, the idea that they had a disorder attached a sense of stigma or “wrongness” to the way they were that they didn’t like, and so these gay psychiatrists protested the view. As a result, homosexuality was then removed from the list of disorders in the DSM.
This is how quickly something can go from being a disorder to not being a disorder at all in the psychiatric community.
So if someone told you that you have a disorder because you’re depressed, you can take it with a grain of salt. Indeed, that’s the best reaction to have to such a pronouncement, because you will naturally struggle more with depression if you think it’s a disorder.
Why seeing a disorder makes you struggle with depression
When you think of your depression as a disorder, you naturally think there is something wrong with you, and that you’re inherently broken or defective in some way that other normal people aren’t.
As a result, you have less self confidence, and you feel weaker and more powerless and helpless, since you think you have disorder that cripples you in some way.
Furthermore, you suffer from more stress and anxiety, since you think your disorder can sabotage you at any moment, and you feel awful thinking about your future with this disorder.
All of this already naturally makes you feel worse and more depressed. But it gets worse.
Unfortunately, if you think depression is a disorder, then might believe that you can’t ever stop struggling with depression, because you’ll always have to deal with the disorder in some way.
If this occurs, you lose motivation to improve your thinking and lifestyle to get rid of depression, since you believe it can’t be done. The predictable result is that you remain depressed, since you don’t take action to improve your situation.
In this way, the belief that depression is a disorder can make you struggle with depression for as long as you have this view.
Depression is not a disorder
Fortunately, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to think of depression as a disorder.
Just as it’s absurd to look at a balloon, and say that it has a disorder because it’s deflated rather than inflated, it’s absurd to look at your depressed condition, and to say that you have a disorder because you’re depressed rather than happy.
Remember, it is neither right nor wrong to be depressed. Instead, it’s just a way that you can be, and even though it can be miserable to depressed, that doesn’t make it wrong or a disorder of any kind.
Furthermore, the idea that depression is a disorder suggests that if you’ve become depressed, you’re broken and defective in a way that other people aren’t, and that you aren’t functioning properly.
But this is nonsense, because if you’re depressed, you’re functioning just as you would expect, given your current thinking and lifestyle.
Depression is not a malfunction of any kind
To understand why depression isn’t a disorder or malfunction, consider how a fire alarm starts ringing when it detects smoke from a fire. You might not like the shrill, unpleasant sound it makes, but it does not mean the fire alarm is defective when it starts ringing after being exposed to smoke.
On the contrary, the fire alarm is functioning just as you would expect it to function. And on some level, it’s functioning just as you would want it function, since it’s alerting you that you can immediately improve your situation and well-being in some way.
Similarly, when you become depressed, it’s like there’s an alarm sounding that you can improve your thinking and lifestyle in some way. So depression is not a malfunction at all; on the contrary, it’s exactly what you would expect, if you think and live in ways that contribute to depression.
And you can be thankful, on some level, that depression alerts you to such improvements, rather thinking of it as a disorder or malfunction.
Depression is an expected, natural result
To drive home the point even further that depression is not a disorder, consider taking a healthy, happy human being, putting him in solitary confinement, and then torturing him and making him think his life is awful, until he becomes severely depressed.
It makes no sense to walk into this prison, look at this poor, depressed person, and to tell him that he clearly has a disorder. This is like telling him that his depression is some kind of malfunction, and that he is broken or defective in some way for being depressed.
It would be absurd and even cruel to say such a thing to him, especially considering that the whole point of the experiment was to make him depressed.
Far from being a disorder, his depressed condition is the natural, expected result of his current thinking, lifestyle, and circumstances, and by changing those things, he can and will get out of depression. In other words, there’s no disorder to deal with, but only a condition to change.
Free yourself from seeing a disorder
From this moment forward, free yourself from the negative effects of thinking that depression is a disorder by appreciating that depression is just a condition that is the expected, natural result of your current thinking and lifestyle, and that it is not a malfunction in an way.
By appreciating this, you recognize that by improving your thinking and lifestyle, you naturally change your condition and become depression free. You also appreciate that you are not broken or defective in any way if you are depressed.
This, in turn, makes you feel better about your situation and future, gives you more confidence and peace of mind, and makes you more energized and motivated to do something to improve your situation.
All of this immediately helps lift you out of depression faster and easer.
What if you still think depression is a disorder?
If, for any reason, you still insist on thinking of depression as a disorder, after reading and understanding all this, at the very least think of it as a “disorder” that can be permanently eliminated, and that you’ll never have to deal with again once you regularly improve your thinking and lifestyle.
Even though this is not as powerful as treating depression as just a temporary condition, without any of the disorder baggage, this view will still help you get rid of depression for good.
You are here:
Section 6 Lessons:
- Why seeing symptoms of depression makes you depressed
- Does depression ever go away?
- Is depression a disease?
- Is depression genetic?
- Is depression a disorder?
- Am I depressed or not?