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The Meaning of Depression

Often clients will come through the door after suffering from depression for a large proportion of their adult lives.  As we explore the depression and where the depression may have come from, many questions are thrown up.

Every thought, feeling and emotion arises for a reason and depression is no different.  If a client can work out the meaning of the depression, I believe they will be one step closer to coming to terms with the depression and subsequently will start to come through it.

It is important for a person to reflect on why they do what they do, why they think the way they think and why they feel the way they feel.

Useful questions to ask when experiencing a depressive episode are:

  • Where are the feelings coming from within me?
  • What are these feelings saying to me?
  • Where do my reactions come from?
  • What part of me is being triggered right now?

It can be useful within the therapeutic setting, for the client to question why they are feeling depressed at this point in time and to question what the depression is attempting to change in their life.

A person experiencing a depressive episode will often withdraw from their work, family and friends. Yet, depression can be functional and often serves a very important purpose. The person will retreat into solitude; give up their daily routines and interests whilst spending hours thinking about the depression. Days will go by as they lose themselves in the darkness and become consumed by their thoughts.

In this place, which at first may feel hopeless, a person can begin to ponder the deeper questions in life, and think about how they have lived and continue to live their life. If a person can sit with the questions, explore the possibilities and begin to generate answers, they can begin to make changes to the way they live their life and life may renew itself in a whole new way. This approach to depression initiates change, as the person relates to their depression in a completely accepting and positive way.

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