- Feeling sad or low most of the day, nearly every day?
- Losing interest in things you used to enjoy, feeling increased lethargy, or losing motivation to do things?
- Feeling like your attitude has changed toward your life, that it seems less meaningful?
- Feeling unexplained physical changes, like insomnia, changes in appetite, or fatigue?
- Experiencing increased sense of hopelessness about the future?
- Feeling an increased sense of worthlessness or guilt that seems disproportionate?
Depression is fairly common – artists, writers, musicians, scientists, and world leaders have suffered from depression throughout history. It can be severely debilitating with withdrawal from the world or a general feeling of ‘being down.’’
There is considerable diverse opinion over “what works best”. Depression can strike at three levels – thoughts, emotions, and physical changes.
When we are depressed everything seems hopeless and we paint life black and cannot see our achievements, we devalue ourselves.
Is depression a reaction to an external event, or, is it striking for no apparent reason?
“….depression isn’t really a disorder at all but like physical pain, an alarm of sorts, alerting us that something is undoubtedly wrong; that perhaps it is time to stop, take a timeout, take as long as it takes, and attend to the undressed business of filling our souls….” Quoted in “Dark Nights of the Soul” Thomas Moore Piatkus Books, 2004 P.51)
I see depression as a legitimate response to life’s difficulties. Sometimes it can be a protective mechanism to help avoid feelings that may terrify such as rage, anger and fear of annihilation. Feelings for which there seem to be no outlet or resolution. Feeling depressed is the ‘better’ than feeling the rage, anger or anxiety. Perhaps it isn’t safe to show your feelings and easier to ‘de press’ them. Depression means something important in our lives has gone wrong.
Depression includes some very powerful emotions such as loneliness and feeling useless and unworthy of anyone’s love. It is a time when some of our systems need to shutdown, reset and restart. Depression is the result of a realisation by our body’s wisdom that to continue living the way we are is getting us nowhere and unless we experienced this we would do nothing about it. We need to change, let go of something or someone who is probably already gone anyway. I read somewhere that Depression is an advisor but should not become a close friend.
So we learn from our mistakes and move on. There is nothing gained in blaming ourselves for our mistakes. They are learning episodes and will happen time and time again. It is natural. We do not need to know the why, we need to recognise it, acknowledge it and allow our natural rhythm to keep going.
When you are depressed, your whole body is depressed and it translates to the cellular level. The first objective is to get your energy up, and you can do it through play. It is one of the most powerful ways of breaking up hopelessness and bringing in energy to the situation. Dr O. Carl Simonton
There are many causes of depression and psychotherapy can help in treating it.