Depression & anxiety are meaningful processes, not “viruses” to kill.

by | August 12, 2019

Many self help methods are overly simplistic solutions for complex issues.⁣
I find it disconcerting that many so-called mental health “experts” offer no tools for processing depression and anxiety.

They relate to these problems as if they’re viruses or bacteria to get rid of.

Their methods aim to make you “feel better” in the moment by trying to get you out of your bad state of mind, but they don’t address the underlying issues at all!

People speak of “managing depression,” and “reducing anxiety,” as if these are pathologies one is stuck with.

There’s almost no focus on why one has this issue, and how it’s trying to awaken them in their personal growth.

The emphasis is on relieving one’s immediate discomfort, instead of on making true change.

But it’s misguided because depression and anxiety aren’t pathologies; they’re meaningful processes that are sending you a message, albeit a difficult one to decipher.

Just trying to get rid of the experience misses the whole point.

It’s like not attempting to understand what motivates an unruly child; the child’s communication is disturbing but for good reason—she’s trying to express something important.

Depressed states of mind, anxious moods, and panic attacks are like this trouble-making child—they’re messing you up in order to wake you up!

Instead of putting all your focus on suppressing the experience, aim to uncover its message.

Experiment with this idea:

If you were the spirit of “depression” or “anxiety” attacking your everyday self, what do you imagine the reason would be?

What would you want yourself to wake up about?

Would you want your everyday self to step into her power? Connect with her spirituality? Kick the crap out of her inner critic?

There’s a meaningful, purposeful process in bad states of mind; explore them to unpack and unfold their message.

Instead of just suffering your problem and trying to manage it, take the viewpoint of the problem itself, and imagine how IT views you, what IT wants from you–how the child needs you to change!

Dr. Zwig

©2023 Dr. Adam Zwig

Meet Dr. Adam Zwig—psychologist-musician, educator, and author. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology, has had 9 Top Ten hit singles on the U.S Adult Contemporary charts, and is an internationally renowned workshop leader and lecturer. He has been featured on Billboard, SiriusXM Radio, CBS Radio, and many other stations, and in People Magazine, SPIN, Pollstar, and many other publications. Dr. Zwig has released 7 albums, and his music can be heard on National TV, including NBC, Fox, and Fuel TV. He has more than 160 million views on YouTube, over half a million social media followers, and has scored in the top 10% of rock artists streamed on Spotify in 2022. His forthcoming book, Your Problem Is Your Teacher, shows how life problems are not pathological but rather personal growth processes trying to happen. His podcast, The Dr. Zwig Show, posts new episodes every Wednesday.

DISCLAIMER: The content contained herein is for inspirational, educational, and entertainment purposes only. Nowhere in this Blog does Dr. Zwig diagnose or treat a viewer with any kind of psychological, mental, emotional or physical disorder as might be diagnosed and treated by a personal psychologist or other professional advisor. The content is not intended to be a substitute for working with a therapist but is for the purpose of educating the viewer about new approaches to working on personal problems. Viewers should use this Blog at their own risk, with the understanding that Dr. Zwig is not liable for its impact or effect on its users. Viewing this Blog does not form a practitioner/client relationship between the viewer and Dr. Zwig. Dr. Zwig is not responsible for any action taken by a viewer based upon any information in this Blog. Never disregard professional medical advice or stop taking psychiatric medication based on something you have read on this Blog without a doctor’s supervision and ongoing therapeutic support. Dr. Zwig is an educator, author, and life coach in the U.S., and a psychotherapist in Switzerland. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology. He is also a rock n roll musician.