Tending the Depressed Soul
Depression is a part of our lives. It can be a result of experiencing a traumatic event and sometimes it can creep up on us without us ever understanding it’s origins. As much as we might try to deny it, depression affects us throughout our lives either on a personal level or indirectly through family and friends.
Most believe that depression is something bad or burdensome and some even experience feelings of guilt about being depressed saying, “I can’t believe I am so down all the time. I shouldn’t be feeling this way.” After being bombarded by numerous television commercials promoting pharmacological treatments for depression promising happier and more fulfilled living, people turn to their doctor looking for some kind of medication to “cure” the depression. Others will turn to a psychologist or a marriage and family therapist for help. Those that do venture into therapy usually come in hopes that the therapist will have some “magical” words to “cure” them and an unconscious belief that once therapy is over so will the depression.
The truth is depression cannot be cured, only managed. Depression enters into our lives as a messenger bringing us valuable information about issues we need to tend to within our psychological life. Have you ever heard someone say, “Every time I get really down, it feels as if everything that has ever bothered me starts to surface as well”? Depression offers that to us. It slows us down, makes us introspective and forces us to take the time to listen within. If we can stop trying to eradicate depression, we can begin to honor its existence in our lives, we can then become more aware of our needs, wants, motivations, and goals. It can help us put our priorities in order so that we can live a more fulfilled life.
Depression is exacerbated by a belief that it should not exist and furthermore by feeling guilty that it does exist.
Depression is very treatable and many find relief by getting help. Initially, medication may be vital for some but working through a depression with an experienced guide is also imperative. Like life, depression should be treated as a process not as a disorder. It requires our attention, guidance, nourishment, and respect. When we become more conscious about why depression has befallen us, then we can get a clearer more conscious understanding of the meaning and value of depression in our lives.