I have been consulting Tony Attwood’s The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome (2007) as a reference. (Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism that includes deficits in socializing. I have it.) Attwood makes a statement on page 123 that I find interesting in light of the current discussions about clinical depression.
“Limited social success, low self-esteem and exhaustion can contribute to the development of a clinical depression.”
What this seems to imply is that clinical depression is not always
the result of how the brain is. Rather, there is a clinical depression
that can result from bad things happening in a person’s life. I do not
know if my depression is technically clinical, but I can testify that my
limited social success in life has led me to have low self-esteem,
fear, and depressing thoughts.
I remember one person (a science major) saying that anti-depressant
medication will not help those who lack the chemical imbalances that are
causing the depression. Is that true? I know people with Asperger’s
Syndrome who take medication. They testify that it puts them in a flat
mood, or that the things that used to bother them obsessively do not
bother them as much now due to the medication.
Could the fact that they were bothered obsessively be a sign of
chemical imbalance or clinical depression? I am different from some
people I know (or know of) with clinical depression. For me, there are
outer causes to my depression—-things not going well in my life—-whereas
many with clinical depression are depressed regardless of outward
circumstances. At the same time, I can easily find myself obsessing
over problems—-a slight from someone here, a social blunder I made
there, etc. Is that obsession a sign of clinical depression?