Dr. Ardeshir Mehran



Sometimes hitting rock bottom is actually the countdown to a lift-off.

The rock bottom for me was when, during the therapy session, the psychiatrist said, “You are ‘mildly depressed and anxious’ Mr. Mehran. Here’s the prescription that should help. Start taking the pills, come back, and we’ll then continue with your therapy.

He handed me the prescription, leaned back in his chair, and closed his notebook, signaling that our session had ended. Thirty minutes past the hour. Our first session.

The psychiatrist’s words shocked me. I was beyond mildly depressed and anxious. I was at the DEFCON 1 crisis alert, and on a downward spiral.

It was in November 2012 when I saw the psychiatrist, hoping for better treatment for my intensifying depression. Over the years, I saw seven therapists. The outcomes were weak and fleeting. Seeing a psychiatrist was my last hope. I was desperate.

After that single visit, I felt alone. Out of options. My fate was sealed. I took the pills for a few days only. Did not go back.

I became angry once my resignation subsided. My life’s lift-off countdown began then. I kept asking myself why a credentialed psychiatrist did not understand me properly.

The problem was not with the psychiatrist. It is the science of depression that is broken.

The psychiatrist was diagnosing me using the industry standard PHQ9 Depression Assessment, which I was familiar with. Like my previous therapists, he focused on managing symptoms but missed the human experience.

The fact is that today’s prevailing symptom-management approach to treating depression is drawn-out, costly, and often inconclusive. Let me explain.

Fuzzy Diagnosis. The PHQ9 questions were developed based on the average population studies, capturing the most reported depression symptoms. The assessment items are not relatable. Most people’s patterns of emotions, diet, sleep, pleasure, and health practices fluctuate constantly. Depressed professionals often tolerate extended periods of physical, emotional, and spiritual duress. In response to such general PHQ9 questions, as I observed, they may say, “I have a few of these symptoms. But I am busy, have got things to do. I’ll be OK.” That was my attitude in answering the PHQ9 questions.

Reveal Personal Narratives. Instead, ask open-ended questions of your clients (or yourself). “How is life going for you? What are you sensing in your body right now? Deep down, what are you longing for? What are you hoping to achieve from your therapy?” Help reveal the subterranean human experience. Depression is often experienced as perturbing feelings such as emptiness, disconnection, isolation, restlessness, heaviness, feeling lost, broken, and fragmented, and a sense of painful yearning. Meet people where they are.

Better Science. As my 30-year research has shown that the core of depression is unfulfilled emotional needs. Emotional fulfillment is minimally reflected in PHQ9. My research has also shown that Emotional Rights assessment and intervention feel more intuitive, real, and practical. The results show the way to faster and more meaningful action planning. Clients often experience a gush of emotional release, insight, and clarity. As one client recently said, “This work made me make sense to myself.”

Better Outcomes. The strong insights that emerge from applying the Emotional Rights framework to healing depression are about precision, hope, and personal mastery. Healing depression is less about relieving symptoms. It is claiming and growing one’s emotional assets. The symptoms then lessen.

For years, I had accepted that I would live my life with depression, like an albatross wrapped around my neck.

When I finally freed myself, applying the liberating science of The Bill of Emotional Rights, I was surprised by the outcomes, to be honest. Now, I have a duty to share my work with you now.

Depression and anxiety once shaped the way I lived my life. Not anymore.

After my lost years, I am working hard to catch up and build a better life.

But I am no longer hurting.

Neither should you.

With love and gratitude,

Dr. Ardeshir Mehran
Dr. Mehran Studio