Know Thyself: Jane Discovers the Value of Her Depression

/ 12 December 2020 | International Perspectives in Values-Based Mental Health Practice / By Tamara Kayali Browne /


Western culture tends to view depression more often than not as something to be avoided and eradicated. Yet there are individuals who have been through the journey of depression, diagnosis and treatment who challenge this view. In what follows, Jane recounts her story in which depression becomes a catalyst for understanding herself and her past. The insight she gained, in turn, led to self-growth—all of which she would not have gained had she not become depressed. Jane’s story also emphasises the importance of looking to the context of one’s depression—a view which presents a challenge to the current focus on the symptomatology of depression in medical manuals such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Jane felt that understanding the context in which her depression arose, which she achieved through talking therapy, was key to her recovery. Jane shows us what we potentially lose with our current focus, and the value that may actually be gained from the journey into and out of depression.

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