Situational vs Persistent Depression

Situational vs Persistent Depression

Hey, I wanted to begin this video by saying thank you to people that have commented to either the videos that we’ve sent out or sent email questions. Real quick, I wanted to say thanks to Julianne Boone, Jon Honesty, Jennifer Hanisch, Brianna Hassett and Marcus Hinkle. Thanks very much for commenting or sharing some of your thoughts, or asking questions. You’re just a few of the people that have responded, just want to do a quick little shout out to say thanks very much.

A lot of these comments have been about depression. They have been about the debilitating effects of it. How it can impact everyday life and make life extremely difficult. There’s also been a theme that we’ve seen in comments, not counting in life, where it’s not situational depression like there’s certain things going on in my life that’s causing me to feel down and depressed and so forth. It’s been more so where it’s more biological in nature and it’s not been responsive to medication.

Some of the comments and questions people have said have been like, what about depression when medication is not effective in resolving it? On one hand, and on the other hand, it’s not really situational, so it’s not something I can really go talk to a therapist about because I don’t have a issue to resolve other than everyday I’m being impacted with depression.

Again, for those of you that don’t know me, I’m Dr. Jerry Grosso, I’m the Clinical Director at Nsight Psychology & Addiction in Newport Beach, California. I wanted to help out with some videos to bring mental illness and emotional health to more of a common understanding. Where it doesn’t become this psychobabble or theoretical thing where we’re trying to make it sound like this some academic type thing. It’s really real world stuff, what people experience.

When you look at depression, anxiety, the two most common things that impact emotional health, it’s like the common cold, every … you’ve heard me say this, everybody gets it at some point in their life and it varies in severity and duration. So, how bad it gets and how long it lasts for.

With this video, it’s interesting, some of these comments have led into this conversation. A recent thing that just came up in the news in the past couple of days was Tiger Woods and his, let’s say, return to glory, back to accomplishing things he had accomplished 15 years ago. The guy was very accomplished, engaged in some pretty, at least what appeared to be self destructive behavior and his life pretty much shattered. It was way off of what it used to be. I don’t know him personally, but I did read a ton on his … what he’s gone through for the past, let’s say 12 to 15 years. But just looking at the general headlines and so forth, he’s fought his way back. He’s fought his way against adversity. Probably experiencing depression along the way. And so, the question is, okay, what did he do? How was he able to go from being at such a low spot in his life and overcome that to get back to high levels of accomplishment?

Again, I’m Dr. Jerry Grosso, Nsight Psychology & Addiction in Newport Beach, California. If you guys have questions for me, please send them to I’ll be happy to answer questions that you have.

Let’s look at three things that he likely engaged in and things that could be beneficial for anyone who struggles with chronic depression or anxiety or emotional health issues that negatively impact their daily functioning.

One is going to be determination. Number two’s going to be persistence. And three is going to be focused. When we were talking about Tiger Woods and his accomplishments, someone said, hey … a guy we were working with, Robert, he says, hey Jerry, Tiger was at the very top of accomplishment for most people and then he fell to a low and then he reached accomplishment again, so he knows what success is like. What about people that have been at the bottom, have struggled? Like maybe someone with a physical disability, comparing it with medical illness, physical disability or some type of chronic condition that they’ve had to deal with their entire life. They’ve never got to experience what they might feel is success or enjoyment in life. Fantastic question.

When you look at, hey, if I’m dealing with treatment resistant depression, or not responsive to medication or my anxiety is really bad, what are some of the things that I can do to overcome these difficulties? We’re going to look at determination, and I’m going to define it for you. It’s firmness of purpose or resoluteness. Firmness of purpose. Like I have a single purpose. This is where we need to do a little bit of the shift. Instead of focusing on how depressed I am, I need to look at is, what do I want to try to get out of life? And not life in general, like this big long term type goal, but what do I want to get out of life today? What can I do today that can make my life a little bit better than it was yesterday? That’s what I’ve got to to be focused on. I’ve got to be determined that this is my aim. Whether successful or not, this is what my aim is. I’ve got to be determined to not let depression impact my live the way it’s been doing.

Two, persistence. I’m going to define that. Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Persistence. Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. I need to stay persistent. No matter how difficult my day gets or what it is that I’m trying to overcome, I’m going to stay with this course of action. This is very difficult for people with depression. I have no motivation. I can’t get out of bed. I struggle just to … it hurts to just talk and engage with people. I’ve got to fight through that.

And the last one is focus. The center of interest or activity. I’m going to focus on what my goal for the day might be. With depression it may be, my focus is to get out of bed, it may be to take a shower, and it may be to eat. It may be to engage with somebody or participate in some type of … I might go just to get out and go for a walk. This is a big effort for people. Think about it, how discouraging it can be when it is that if medication is not responsive … if I’m not responsive to medication and so forth.

We’re talking about, I’m going to be determined to make today look different than yesterday. I’m persistent. I’m going to fight this no matter what. And I’m going to stay focused on what it is that I’m trying to accomplish.

Now, one of the things, again, the shift that I need to do, I need to move away from the depression. Meaning, that’s not going to be my primary focus. I’ve got to look at successes. If I actually get out of bed and take a shower, or I actually get out of bed and I eat, or I go for a walk, or I engage in a conversation, those are all successes.

Again, we need to normalize mental health issues and emotional issues, so comparing it with physical issues. Somebody’s in a lot of physical pain, let’s say they were in a accident or they were born with disability, they’re in a wheelchair, but they have the ability to walk, it’s just extremely painful. They need to figure out what they’re going to do in order to get out of that wheelchair today and get across the room. Even if it’s 10 steps. Even if it’s on crutches. It is an accomplishment. They have done better today than they did yesterday.

I’m trying to be very sensitive and let you guys know, not just as a clinician that’s trying to help people work through this stuff, but as a person that struggled with depression. I know what depression feels like. We all get it. It’s how do I fight through the difficult times, when my mood is not in it, I can’t figure out why I’m feeling a certain way. How do I get past it?

Think about these three things. I’m going to be determined. I’m going to be persistent. And I’m going to remain focused. Again, not necessarily easy to do, but I’ve got to total up my successes every day.

I hope this is helpful. Again, the purpose of these videos is to get you guys to better understand mental health issues, emotional health. How do I move from being in emotional pain? Let’s say I’m trying to overcome trauma that I’ve had in my background. I struggle with depression or anxiety. I’m trying to get past obstacles that prevent me from enjoying life. It could be relationships. How do I make my relationship stronger? There’s a lot of things. And again, it’s about a lifetime, it’s this path I want to take of personal growth.

Again, I’m Dr. Jerry Grosso, Nsight Psychology & Addiction, Newport Beach, California. If you like this video, please give us a like. Please share it with others if you do. If you don’t like it, please let us know. You guys can make comments right underneath the videos. You guys can send them directly to

We value your feedback. I’m going to try to cater these things to you guys. I really want to help address questions that you may have. This is what my purpose is. Until I see you guys next time, again, I’m Dr. Jerry Grosso. You guys have a terrific day.

Dr. Jerry Grosso

Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Grosso is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience assisting individuals and families struggling with addiction, depression and trauma. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from San Diego State University before enrolling in Chapman University where he acquired a Master of Arts degree in Psychology.  Dr. Grosso continued his education and received a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with a Specialty in treating Chemical Dependency. He holds a professional membership with the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).