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Kaleidoscope Treatment

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            Outside in the courtyard of a church in southern Kansas there is a tall fountain- like structure with pieces of different colored glass of various sizes.  Attached to the fountain’s side is a large tube looking much like a telescope.  When you look through it, you realize that you are looking through a kaleidoscope, one full of different colors and shapes.  With this kaleidoscope, however, the bits are not incased in the telescope; rather, a person has to move around the various sized pieces of glass to achieve a unique awe- inspiring effect.  The beauty offered can only be achieved with effort and with never being content with how the present stones are laid out.  

Moving the stones is something we often avoid.  We all tend to have a mode of operating in our chosen professions, based on our education, past experience, and our own beliefs and preferences.  And often that way of operating serves the purpose, giving us a chance to complete the task in question and to do it well.  However, many times we fall back into uttering “we’ve always done it this way.”  We feel uncomfortable with the change that might have to take place and ill at ease if we do make the change, convinced that things will not work out.  We are afraid to move the pieces of glass so as to achieve a wonderful piece of art.  When it comes to professionals working with someone who is depressed, moving those stones is so very important.  

Unfortunately, many professionals have one given mode of operating when dealing with depression or they feel they have heard the story one too many times and consequently, jump to those conclusions – I’ve heard this.  I’ve dealt with this.  I know what to do.  

Depression is a disease of uniqueness. It is plays out in many different forms:  those who continue to work no matter that depression claims them once they return home;  others who never work again; one who disintegrates in tears and don’t come up for air;  still others who hold themselves together only to collapse in a heap at a time least expected.  We don’t even know how to diagnose depression with 100% accuracy.    

Treating only the person who is suffering can certainly make a difference, but when you deal with the whole family and/or significant others, the healing process creates a happier and healthier environment for all concerned.    

To critics and others concerned with the bottom dollar, yes, it does cost time and money initially, but that cost is soon eaten up by the return to health of the entire family.  No longer do you have the chain of events that start with treating the depressed individual and leaving the family to cope on their own, opening the door for possible depression or other challenges for these family members.  Treating the whole family, not just the depressed individual, means that health and wholeness has more of an opportunity to take hold sooner with greater results.

Our society looks at the self made man, who, no matter what, pulls himself up by his bootstraps and makes a difference, never looking back, never stumbling.   The reality is we need one another and if we are co-dependent, why do we keep insisting individuals, whether the depressed one or his or her family, go it alone during such a devastating illness as depression

Gypsies have an excellent record when it comes to health.  Part of this is because the family plays a huge role in establishing a good health environment.  When a gypsy gets sick, it is not unusual for seven or eight others to accompany him or her to the doctor.  This not only provides a support system for the one who is ill but it also creates a high expectancy for getting well.  So let’s be like the gypsies.  Let’s expect good health and let’s support it in the new ways we treat depression.

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