Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling once said, “Depression isn’t just being a bit sad. It’s feeling nothing. It’s not wanting to be alive anymore.”Rowling went on to say, “I don’t wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it off.”
Some signs that you are depressed is too much sleep or too little. You can’t find the energy to take care of yourself for example, eating junk food, not washing. Wanting to hide from the world is another symptom and the thought of spending time with a group is the last thing you want. Things that usually bring you pleasure or excitement you have no interest in. The joy and life get sucked out of everything. Your thoughts can go between self-pity and beating yourself up. Pessimism is a permanent state of mind. There is hope working with a counsellor or therapist can help you to explore the roots of your depression.
Too often these days a person suffering from depression will be prescribed antidepressants by their GP or six sessions of CBT. The medication is helpful to some people who report that the treatment gives them something they are lacking. However, most people report that while it cuts them off from uncomfortable painful feelings they don’t feel connected to anything. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can be useful again short term but we are much more than our thoughts and most of our anxiety and fears stem from repetitive painful thoughts that are then felt in our bodies. Depression should be taken as seriously as any physical ailment and like most physical illnesses there are ways of treating it.
In my experience both personally and professionally depression is about disconnection from oneself. To have suffered trauma and dysfunction within the family will have meant splitting off parts of ourselves in order to survive our childhood. It also meant having to put in survival strategies. For example, you survived by becoming the joker to alleviate the tension in the house or become very good in order not to cause any problems.
How do we reclaim those parts we had to bury and how do we give ourselves permission not to play the same roles that we did as a child? The fear is that once we start to look at the past we will be overwhelmed and unable to cope with all those painful feelings. Working with Psychosynthesis techniques we can focus on different parts or sub-personalities. For example, are you aware of a critical or bullying voice or another part of that is very sad or lonely. By working this in way we can identify the reasons for feeling so down. It is possible to give a voice to these different parts that we have ignored for so long.
We are now lucky enough to have some tools to help us manage the anxiety and fears that may come up. EFT and Matrix Reimprinting are two of the most powerful tools I have come across in managing to help with overwhelming emotions. Working with a combination of psychosynthesis counselling and EFT/Matrix will help you to understand your childhood and how you managed to survive it.
This work on ourselves is an ongoing process and every day if we are paying attention we can learn more about ourselves. Checking in on how you are feeling around a particular person, how you are feeling tackling cleaning your home, for example is a way of getting to know yourself.