Seek support. Self-Help or Support Groups, Marriage Enrichment
Programs, Parents Without Partners, Integrity Groups, Singles Groups,
Emotions Anonymous, The Compassionate Friends (for bereaved
parents), Neurotics Anonymous, Recovery, Inc., Theos Foundation (for
widows), Widowed Persons, encounter groups, group therapy, church
groups, or local groups of people in similar circumstances. Use the
phone book and/or Mental Health Center to find the appropriate group
for you (see discussion in chapter 5).
Level II: Emotions (see chapter 12)
Even though tests for depression and anxiety correlate moderately
(about .60), most depression treatment programs have neglected
anxiety (Biglan & Dow, 1981). This is changing because going through
high stress has been found to sometimes trigger the onset of
depression. About half the time serious anxiety accompanies sadness
and surely anxiety is almost always associated with guilt, shame, and
low self-esteem. Biglan and Dow suggest that anxiety increases our
tendency to withdraw when depressed. So, avoiding stress and
reducing anxiety may help increase our activity level and decrease our
chances of becoming depressed. See chapter 5.
Anger is also frequently associated with depression, especially with
marital problems, guilt, shame, and dependency. Likewise, it is
speculated that dependency and "love bonds" are especially important
in women's depression (Scarf, 1979). Women are 2 to 6 times more
likely than men to be depressed; they tend to be more lonely and
dependent while men are more self-critical. So, chapters 5, 7, and 8
may help cope with sadness too.
Sorrow with his pick mines the heart, but he is a cunning workman. He deepens the
channels whereby happiness may enter, and he hollows out new chambers for joy to
abide in, when he is gone.
Use relaxation, desensitization, meditation, and elation training
to counteract sadness, worry, anger, etc.
There is clear evidence that high stress increases the risk of
getting depressed. So, learning to cope with stress helps prevent
depression. Also, if sadness, anxiety, anger, guilt or shame are
associated with specific situations or memories, the unwanted
emotions could be reduced by desensitization. Example: if feeling sad
about being rejected by a graduate school or for a job, one could
remember the events leading up to the rejection and to the rejection
itself while being very relaxed (see chapter 12). This should make the