One of the most remarkable aspects of Glasser’s Choice Theory is the idea that we always choose the best we know. Dr. Glasser has always claimed that people actually choose depression and do so not because it is painful but because it is the best option they have at the time. Depression is not simply a feeling; it is a total behaviour. Glasser has never shied away from feelings but pointed out that we cannot control them directly; we find it easier to change the doing and thinking components and the rest of the total behaviour changes also. He has also repeatedly emphasized the important signalling role of feelings in our lives.
These ideas challenge the existing hypotheses (mainly chemical) about depression and quite naturally many people can at first be confused by Dr. Glasser’s view. First of all choosing and consciousness do not go together. We cross our legs, stir our coffee and maybe even drive home from work without being totally aware of each action but, and this is the important bit, we have “chosen” each of these actions. Becoming aware of just how much we choose in life is remarkably liberating since it opens up the option to us of choosing something different. With greater awareness comes greater control.
Secondly, choice and blame are two very different concepts. Blame carries connotations of censure of past behaviours by others. For Glasser the responsibility of our power of choice is liberating, pointing to our potential to control our lives. In helping a person become more aware of the choices he or she is making right now and the fact that this choice is the person’s best attempt to date to manage their lives, Glasser is helping the person grow stronger to make even better choices. This is very different from a debilitating and ultimately ineffective sense of
By Senior Faculty Member Brian Lennon
Some of the key symptoms of depression include:
* Feeling sad, and/or hopeless
* Lack of interest and enjoyment in activities that used to be fun and interesting
* Physical aches and pains without physical cause; lack of energy
* Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and/or making decisions
* Changes in appetite and weight
* Unwelcome changes in usual sleep pattern
* Thoughts of death and suicide
Depression may come on as a relatively sudden and severe problem, or it may consist of a longer-term set of symptoms, which are less severe.