What is Depression? What does it mean to be depressed?
If you are someone that calls themselves or are diagnosed as depressed, these questions are expressed in personal ways with certain characteristics and causes.
Sometimes a failure or disappointment pushes us so hard that we do not have the energy to stand up or sometimes a loss of a relationship feels like a loss of our ground and our identity. Difficult living conditions or perceived inability to succeed in what we want may cause us to feel helpless.
In its mildest form depression can mean just being in low spirits, it makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile.
There are also some of us that feel depressed with no apparent reason, and this ‘type’ of depression can last for years. We feel like we have no energy and no motivation to move on. We wonder what is the meaning and the purpose of our life. We feel defeated. There is no hope and no desire. Life feels overwhelming. People seem too distant, too preoccupied with their own lives and stories. Others do not understand us and life feels unbearable.
Depression is used in psychology as a general for many sub-categories. These categories are defined by the symptoms that people present. In terms of the reasons that people develop depression, different therapeutic approaches have identified a variety of elements depending on their focus. Often there is no obvious cause or trigger, no easy way to explain the feelings to others or ourselves thus leading to isolation, confusion, shame and guilt.
Therapeutic work can assist in transforming depression.
We can create meaning to what we want, we can have choice of our beliefs and values. We can move on from the beliefs and values we were given by changing perspective and move into our own freedom. We can create openness to others and increase our courage to communicate.
Therapy can help us shift from the dwelling pain, despair and cultivate our empathy and by using depression as an arrow that points to things that we no longer use in our lives we can move forward to a life we do want.
Realising depression can be a result of spending too much time in the past can help us in working through the issues that keep us stuck back in the past and a therapeutic intervention can be really useful for learning how to stay in the here and now and through practice enhancing our awareness.