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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Health and Spirituality Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I am being treated with medication for depression but still at times feel overwhelmed by feelings of worthlessness as well as feelings of anger and hostility toward my husband. Is this all due to depression or is something else going on?

Answer

I key in on your statement about feeling worthless. That is a feeling worth examining. Where did it come from? It has a ring of self-hatred to it which means that perhaps one issue you could examine would center around whether or not you love yourself.

Love of self often gets confused with being self-centered. Nothing could be further from the truth! If one loves oneself, there is no blindness to faults and character defects. Nor is there harsh judgment. There is simply hope that growth can continue and that the faults can be corrected. Sometimes, too, when we do not love ourselves, it is because we have not forgiven ourselves for some of our mistakes. This can give rise to feelings of worthlessness and depression.

As far as your reaction to your husband, there may in fact be some legitimate reasons why you are angry with him. It is also possible that any anger you hold toward yourself gets directed at him.

You may want to find a counselor who can help you explore this spiritual side of depression. Medication is a great help for the physical facets of depression. You may want to complement that with some spiritually oriented counselling which can help you examine such issues as love of self and forgiveness.

03/15/98

Richard B. Patterson is a clinical psychologist in private practice in El Paso, TX. He is the author of three books on psychology and spirituality.

 

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