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Mild Depression: Medical Illness or Invitation for Self-Growth?

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"I am not a psychiatrist, but throughout my career as an internist, I have managed a number of patients with depression. It has always proven challenging, not only from a clinical viewpoint, but philosophically as well.

On the one hand, we have been trained to view depression-especially severe depression-as a medical condition warranting treatment with pharmaceuticals. From a different point of view, though, mild to moderate depression may indicate that a patient’s “life systems” are not working well. In our well-intentioned effort to treat symptoms with medications, herbs or other interventions, are we missing an opportunity to help our patients make important life changes and learn new psychosocial skills? Are we encouraging quick pharmaceutical fixes at the expense of deeper personal growth?..."

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