Kinds of Depression

The many kinds of depression and the call for growth

Some people hesitate to use the word depression, because of the negative associations that come along with it.  Many people I meet define depression as weakness and hopelessness.  However, if we know how to listen we might find depression is something entirely different.

Depression has many faces.  For some, it looks like sadness, despair, isolation and a loss of energy.  For others, it can be a lot of tv and continued distractibility.  But what is depression really?  There are actually a number of standard answers to this question.  Depression can have its roots in biology, situations, loss, seasons, personality, dilemmas, anger, and many other places.  The flatness of depression is actually quite excruciating for anyone that has ever experienced it.

I believe depression is a call inward.  It is a deep introspective hibernation closing the walls off from the world.  Depression reveals what hurts most inside of us.  It shows us our core wounds and what needs healing.  If one avoids that call, depression just keeps pounding away harder and harder and then we get overly identified with the symptoms of it.  If one can honor and respect its call and know what to do, then it is much easier to move through depressions grip.  The symptoms of withdrawing from friends and family, feeling weak and worthless, lonely and exhausted, are really symptoms of a wound that needs attention.  The body and mind is really just screaming to pay attention and pounding away until we learn how to listen and respond.  Learning how to listen and respond takes tools and practice, but this leads to a metamorphosis that seems to be at the bottom of many peoples’ longing.