by Horace J. Digby
Our society is obsessed with counseling. It's everywhere—marriage counseling, anger counseling, depression counseling, are just a few. Depression counseling in particular strikes me as odd. Say you are
depressed because a gang of thugs is after you. Isn't it fundamentally wrong for some counselor to suggest that you embrace the experience? After all, depressed people are usually just the ones with the best grasp of the situation.
Feeling depressed over evils, like international terrorism and prime-time television is a good thing. Sure, some wealthy, gifted, talented people may not seem to have a reason for depression, but they may just be worried about the rest of us.
Depression is an appropriate response. Realizing this made me feel better. I even started dwelling on the good things in life, like the Yankees losing a World Series for a change. Now I have less to worry about. For one thing, I don't have to worry about depression anymore.
But my euphoria was short lived. I began to wonder if it was wrong not to be depressed. So I called my old friend Caufbaugh Twilley.
Twilley was quick to diagnose my condition, "You're in denial, Horace my boy," he said. "It's the worst case I've ever seen."
Figuring Twilley was just be stumping for business, I told him, I was not in denial. But he explained that denying I was in denial, proved I really was in denial. I couldn't argue with that. Heck, I couldn't even understand it. And what about those nagging feelings of comfort and well-being? Were they a subconscious cry for help? Something told me Twilley was right.
Knowing that depression is normal is a positive step, Twilley explained, but feeling good about knowing it, is back sliding.
"If depression is normal," Twilley said, sketching it out on a napkin as he talked, "and you are not depressed, then you are not normal." I couldn't argue with that either. So I made an appointment.
I ruffled when Twilley told me how much the counseling would cost, but he reminded me that anger issues were extra, so I just wrote a check. Anger management would have to wait until I got over feeling okay about not being depressed.
By our third session I was feeling pretty bad about having felt good about not being depressed. Twilley asked how that made me feel. Without thinking, I told him I felt good about it. We both knew that meant I'd need more treatment.
I am making progress. Now that I can admit I'm in denial, I'm no longer in denial about being in denial.
Although, the thought of paying extra for anger counseling still pisses me off.
-- Horace J. Digby
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