Friday, January 8, 2010

TheValue of Depression & Anxiety

From an article by Dr. Xavier Amador in the Huffington Post. He argues that depression & anxiety have distinct benefits. They cause us to connect with each other.

What do you think?

"Early in its development I was asked by the producers of the PBS Program "This Emotional Life" to consult with them about their examination of human emotions. One thing I recall saying to them at the outset was that our species evolved to feel a wide range of emotions-including some negative emotions--that served to connect us to one another. I remember one producer being surprised when I said this. She smartly asked "How can depression or anxiety help propagate our species?" ..........My comment was aimed at everyday episodes of depressed mood which, I argued, are normal and exist for a reason. They cause us to connect. When we are sad, people reach out to us and we feel the desire to be held, cared for, loved. Anxiety often has the same effect. And when we come together we can then pursue common causes such as the search for food, creating shelter, defense against predators -- our genes survive and are passed on to the next generation."

1 comment:

Virginia S. Wood, PsyD said...

It appears he's talking about worrying and the blues, not clinical anxiety and depression. The latter have as well-known features drug abuse, isolation, and suicide. Where's the value there?

I do, however, frequently tell patients that (a) pain is a signal that something is wrong that needs attention in your life, and (b) a little discomfort motivates change.

But bringing us together? I think not.