Depression can be cured. Unfortunately, it cannot be cured in current medical theory and as a result, it cannot be cured in current medical practice.
It’s interesting because years ago, depression was widely considered curable. Now, it’s incurable. How did this happen?
Part of the problem is that depression can be a symptom or a disease.
Are symptoms curable? Well – truth be told – curable is not defined in the current bureaucracies of conventional medicine. Many medical dictionaries do not contain the word cure, and no medical reference text provides a scientific medical definition of cure, cures, curing nor cured. So, do we cure disease, or do we cure symptoms? In medical speak, we can only cure diseases – but the line between symptoms and diseases is not clear – and it moves over time.
The DSM-5, the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is the official medical bureaucracy book of mental disorders. You might be surprised to learn that there are no cures for any mental disorder listed in the DMS-5. Not one. The DSM-5 does not recommend treatments, much less cures. The only reference to the word cure that I can find is hope for “eventual cures for these conditions“. At this time, by omission, according to the DSM-5, there are no cures. Therefore depression cannot be cured. Maybe, someday, eventually, but today? Not.
There is an interesting exception to the DSM-5 rule that no mental disorder can be cured: depression caused by bereavement. Depression caused by bereavement is like a wound, cured by time, and health. In normal situations, it takes a few months. Sometimes – much less time, sometimes, much longer. No medicines can cure, but cures occur. What does the DSM-5 say about depression caused by bereavement? Well, in version 4, depression caused by bereavement was excluded from the list of mental disorders that can be diagnosed. In the DSM-5, bereavement depression is a mental disorder. It’s the single exception that proves the rule. Why? Gary Greenburg, author of The Book of Woe, points out the obvious. If depression caused by bereavement can be diagnosed – medicines can be prescribed and sold. Of course, there is no medicine that claims to “cure” depression, they are designed and sold to address symptoms of depression.
No other cases of depression can be cured, due to a strange logic (or illogic) trick. Let’s cure a few cases of depression as examples:
There are lots of causes of depression. If the cause is addressed, the illness is cured. That’s how cures work.
Nutritional deficiencies can cause depression. If depression is caused by a nutritional deficiency, then it can be cured by addressing the deficiency. There are lots of different foods to address any nutritional deficiency. Lots of cures for depression caused by nutrient deficiencies. There’s only one small problem.
- If it was cured by addressing a nutritional deficiency – then it wasn’t really depression. It was malnutrition. The depression was just a symptom – not a disease. So it wasn’t a mental disorder. Mental disorders cannot be cured. Symptoms can be alleviated, but not cured – so depression wasn’t cured.
Or maybe the depression was caused by poisons, by drugs, or toxic chemicals. If so, then it might be cured by removing the toxic chemicals, by removing the drugs. Depending on the source of the poison, there might be many ways to address the cause, many ways to cure the depression. There’s only one small problem.
- If depression was cured by removing drugs or toxic chemicals, then it wasn’t depression, it was poisoning. The depression was just a symptom – not a disease. So it wasn’t a mental disorder. Mental disorders cannot be cured.
But wait, there’s more. Depression might be caused by physical or mental abuse. If it was caused by mental abuse, gaslighting, or by physical abuse, then it might be cured by addressing the abuse. There’s only one small problem.
- If it was cured by addressing the abuse, then it wasn’t depression, it was abuse. So, it wasn’t a mental disorder. Mental disorders cannot be cured.
If depression is caused by stress and cured by addressing the stress – it wasn’t depression, because depression is incurable. The depression wasn’t a disease, it was just a symptom of the stress. Except when the stress is the loss of a close family member. When depression is caused by the stress of bereavement – it’s a mental condition.
Chronic depression takes it a step further. Chronic depression has a chronic cause. If the cause is nutritional, or poison, or abuse, it might cause a short term depression – cured naturally when the cause disappears. But when the cause persists, the result is chronic depression. A chronic illness is not cured by addressing the cause – it can only be cured by addressing the chronic nature of the cause.
For example, if someone’s diet is chronically deficient in nutrients, or chronically toxic, or if their social relationships are chronically toxic, resulting in physical or mental abuse – they might acquire a chronic case of depression. Feeding them a healthy meal or two, free of poisonous chemicals, with a group of supportive friends, might give some relief – but it will not cure. The chronic cause must be addressed. If someone is chronically depressed because they are chronically malnourished, and they are chronically malnourished because they are chronically poor – a few healthy meals will not cure the depression. It’s necessary to address the chronic cause, chronic poverty, which is causing chronic malnutrition, which is causing chronic depression.
But, same same. If the depression is cured by lifting the patient out of poverty, then… “it wasn’t really cured – maybe it’s just remission“, or “it wasn’t really depression – it wasn’t really a mental disorder, it was poverty“. Real depression is incurable.
The same concepts apply to many mental disorders. Anxious? Hyperactive? Attention Deficit? Psychotic? Delusional? Schizophrenic? Bipolar? Social anxiety disorder? Panic attacks? If it can be cured, it is cured by addressing the cause. But if it is cured by addressing a cause – then it was caused by the cause. And if it was caused by the cause, then it’s not a mental disorder.
And that’s not all.
If you cure your depression, anxiety attacks, ADHD, or any mental disorder – you can’t prove it’s been cured. Because cured is not defined, there is no test for depression cured. You might cure your depression. But you can’t prove it cured. You might cure someone else’s depression. But you can’t prove that is cured. Proof of cured is not possible because cured is not medically defined.
If you are depressed, or you know someone who is depressed (or has any other mental disorder), you’ll see lots of “medical news”. You’ll see recommendations for “treating” depression, for depression “prevention”, for “resolving” depression. But you won’t see claims of “curing” depression. You won’t find anyone who claims to cure depression – because depression cured is not defined. Depression cured cannot be tested. Depression cured cannot be proven.
That’s the current state of cure, with regards to depression – and all mental disorders. No cures are possible. If someone has depression, they can be “treated” with drugs that aim to reduce the signs and symptoms. But they can’t be cured. If anyone claims to have cured their depression, the medical system’s response is “just ignore them. They must be crazy. Give them some drugs to prevent a relapse“.
How to Cure Depression
If depression cannot be cured “officially” can it be cured? Of course, it can. Depression is only incurable according to the bureaucracies of conventional medicine.
If you want to cure depression, it is necessary to go outside of conventional medicine. The first step is to convert your depression back into a symptom. Then, look again at the above examples.
Maybe you noticed, in each of the above example cases – the depression was not cured by a medicine. It was cured by health. Depression caused by malnutrition is cured by a healthy diet. Depression caused by toxic chemicals is cured by removing the toxic chemicals. Depression caused by toxic relationships is cured by addressing the cause, not by any medicine.
Every illness can be cured. An illness is cured when the cause has been addressed when, healing has completed, and no more medicines are required.
Of course, sometimes, it’s more complicated. Sometimes, the symptoms of depression are simple, elementary. But sometimes, the symptoms of depression have several causes at once. When symptoms of depression have many causes, many cures are required. Each causal element must be cured by addressing an elementary cause.
Curing depression, sometimes, can be trivial. So trivial – that it is cured before it is diagnosed as depression. Sometimes, depression is cured – even after it has been diagnosed, but the medical bureaucracies are forced to judge it to be “in remission” or maybe it wasn’t really a depression “disease”.
Depression caused by malnutrition can lead to toxic relationships, to consuming toxic chemicals or drugs. Depression, simple depression, can become a downward spiral of illness. When a case of depression has a long and complex history – the cure can also be long and complex. But depression can be cured.
But not by medicines.
How to Cure Depression
I am not a doctor. Dr. Stephen S. Ilardi in The Depression Cure provides a comprehensive technique and plan to cure depression. It’s an excellent book that can be used DIY (Do It Yourself) or with a coach, to cure depression – not to provide “spontaneous remission“. It’s a book I need to add to my list of Books That Cure. There is another book to cure depression in that list: A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives by Kelly Brogan, M.D., Kristin Loberg. Dr. Kelly Brogan suggests a similar list of cure causes, including diet, sleep, exercise, but adds fluoride, and thyroid function – a problem more likely to be encountered women, her target audience. Both doctors provide considerable evidence that drugs do not perform better than placebos except in very exceptionally severe cases.
The fact that cured is missing, lost from the medical texts – is a deficiency of understanding, a deficiency of the medical system, not a deficiency of cures.
About the Author
Tracy Kolenchuk is the founder of Healthicine.org. Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine.