Managing Depression Depends on How We Understand Ourselves

7 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2018

Date Written: August 26, 2018


The scientific general theory of psychology states people act on circumstance based on the ideas they hold about the circumstance, the intensity of action arising from emotions associated with those ideas. It follows, how we manage ourselves depends on the ideas we hold about ourselves on how we work as a species.

The private understanding of our internal dialogue and emotional experience makes no difference and our understanding of ourselves is to us the same as our understanding of a tree. Therefore, our understanding of how we work as a species will determine understanding or our psychic states that largely determine our life experience. Because our life experience is so dependent on our psychic states, which are managed based on our understanding of ourselves, I refer to the society wide common or popular view of ‘how we work as a species’ as the mental health ideology of the society.

There are two fundamental views of humans as a species. Monism, mind and brain the same, with brain dominant. The medical model, as a species we are carried forward by our genes and neural processes. Monism is the current ‘official’ view presented by the medical profession, most academics, and adopted by governments in setting mental health, mental illness and education social policy. Thus, monism is the mental health ideology typically adopted by citizens.

Dualism, mind and brain separate, with our psychic states driven by mind, brain the mechanism of mind. The spiritual model, as a species we are carried forward by our choices. Dualism is not currently widely supported by authorities, it is also eroded as a view of ourselves by the Freudian misdirection, and by many religious views. However, techniques such as emotional intelligence, mindfulness and resilience training are gaining citizen acceptance. Application of such techniques significantly improved when people understand and accept the science of humanity as dualist. As a species, we need come to terms with the science that directs that our experience of life determined almost totally by the ideas we apply in the enactment of life.

This paper illustrates how the mental health ideology adopted will determine the effectiveness of our management of ourselves and determine the efficacy of any social policy in areas influenced by citizens fundamental views on how they work as a species (such as mental health, mental illness, education, rehabilitation of criminal behavior, and crucial social statistics such a suicide, domestic violence and substance abuse, etc.).

This paper continues the argument and proof that monism is the wrong science, the correct science of humanity is dualism. That continued application of policy derived from monism will guide citizens in the wrong direction and disable their capacity to build a better life for themselves. I summarize this in the proposition … throwing more money at mental health based on the science of monism is equivalent to throwing oil on an oil fire. Continued support of monism will escalate actual economic costs and incur high social costs in terms of lives harmed and destroyed unnecessarily.

The policy differences that arise between monism and dualism is illustrated by applying it to the management of depression.

Keywords: dualism versus monism, managing depression, understanding science

JEL Classification: A12, A13, I12

Suggested Citation

Little, Graham, Managing Depression Depends on How We Understand Ourselves (August 26, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

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