These days it can be easy to fear depression, it is the apparent curse of our age. Depression can be transient, a feeling much like any other that comes and goes like clouds in the sky. The problem comes when the feeling gets stuck, and it stays for weeks, months or even years. The bleakness of depression can be strong, and some lose their lives to it.
Negative feelings like sadness, depression, loneliness, trauma, hurt, anger and loss are useful and essential emotions. They tell us that something is wrong and it needs to be changed, or worked through. Loss of a loved one for instance cannot be changed but it can be worked through with the process of mourning.
Depression is exactly what it says, a pushing down or ‘depression’ of feelings, because the change that is needed or the working through has got stuck for some reason. In pushing our feelings down we maintain the status quo, keeping everything as it is, and at times this might be a desirable outcome. However the longer it goes on the the more we push away or deny a part of ourselves.
In the quote ‘Without the rain, there would be no rainbows.’ Chesterton reminds us that suffering is inevitable, but that if we take a chance, to make the changes we need or to work through our hurts and trauma, we can glimpse the rainbow.
Some people can do this on their own, but others may need help and guidance on their journey with depression. Counselling and some types of meditation can be useful tools. Please seek help if you need it.
Let me know your thought on, and experiences of depression below.