The depressive spiral is what happens when a person turns away from life. That can be inner life as well as outer life. For example, one common cause of depression is stuck grief.
Let’s say that a woman’s husband dies. And she loved him very much, and she’s just so very sad to be without him. If she surrenders to her grief, a paroxysm of bitter pain will seize her. It will feel like her heart is being torn apart. But it is only short-lived: the peak of grief only lasts for a few minutes. And she might feel that peak on a finite number of occasions. And then, while still keeping a place for him in her heart, she can get on with her life.
But maybe she can’t or won’t feel that grief. Then she is turning away from an essential part of her aliveness – her grief. The grief is painful, but it is also a nourishment. Only feeling the grief can give her the gift of a fresh start and a bright future. Without feeling it, she is likely to become depressed. [Stuck grief can manifest in other ways too. Also, stuck grief has an opposite: endless grief, unending tears. This means that there is some other underlying emotion, perhaps guilt or anger, which the person does not acknowledge to themselves.]
Authentic pain is part of aliveness
A key step in her healing process will be, at the right time, to face the fact that her husband is dead. She may weep bitterly, and it may look for a moment as if the depression is worse. But it is not. Authentic pain is part of our aliveness; when you feel it you are alive, not depressed. These are not tears of misery and hopelessness, these are healing tears. This is not understanding, insight, rumination or analysis. It is a courageous step to face reality. It looks as if it is focused on the past, but it is not. It is a strong action, overdue but entirely in the present: the action of saying good-bye so that life can move on.
The un-acknowledged emotion doesn’t have to be grief. It could be anything at all. Depression is also commonly caused by anger which can’t be expressed outwards and then gets turned inwards towards the person’s own self.
These wounds often originate in childhood. Inner child healing (ie hypno-psychotherapy) can be a key tool in therapy for depression.
Fighting depression and winning is entirely possible. The right type of talking therapy works. My combination of life-dynamic counselling, hypno-psychotherapy and action-oriented CBT-style self help can help you to effectively restore your energy, motivation and enjoyment. To make an appointment and take the first step to get your life life back, give me a ring. Please don’t be shy, I’m happy to answer questions or arrange, in Bristol, a free, no-obligation half-hour initial meeting. My approach is friendly, respectful, and effective. Please click here for contact information.