Depression is Rational: Suffering, Love & Transformation

 

Lassie and Blue Eyed Woman
Portrait: Reminder of Kirby (left) 1986-2003

Depression has multiple contributing factors: bio-chemistry, genetics, childhood attachment, adolescent support, trauma, stress, diet, exercise, season, access to ongoing support, life transition. For this post, ignore the question of sources. In the form I am investigating (moderate-severe, chronic, melancholic), depression isolates and prevents appreciation of previously enjoyable activities. When under depression’s fog, the individual repeatedly fails to engage in the world. Opportunities are not seized. Why does a person remain stuck?

Depression can be characterized as irrational thinking or a debilitating state of hyper-rationality. Let’s table those definitions to explore the condition in terms of its rational function. How can depression be considered rational? My explanation of rational depression strives to illuminate the essential link between emotional suffering, love and transformation.

To the sufferer, depression is experienced as intimate and familiar. Therefore, the threat of normal life’s slings and arrows reduces openness to opportunities, hope and vulnerability. One way to freshly approach this condition is to honor depression’s protection of our consciousness from isolation, loss, disappointment and other types of psychic pain. Acknowledging the protective role that depression plays is a key to shift focus and reduce shame. We begin to reconnect with what is deeper than psychic pain — our core desires, hopes and love.

As we can gain this perspective, here’s an exercise to continue the road toward health and greater wholeness (shalom). We can sit quietly to deliberately and briefly reconnect with our essential longings. Allow painful emotions rise into your conscious mind.  Notice your breathing ease. In order to remain stronger than repressed psychic pain, focus, too, on the purity of the great loves one has felt, avoiding contaminated moments in relationships. The proper integration of pain and love strengthens the forces of life against the unproductive though rational depressive mode. Through practice we can sit longer as love and the repressed openly war.  The great the conflict, the more psychic space is cleared for new life to emerge.

Look forward to future practices and readings, including Hasidic and other religious teachings about breaking the walls of depression, connecting with one’s essence and channeling the conflicts within.

 

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2 Responses to “Depression is Rational: Suffering, Love & Transformation”

  1. susanna Says:

    Interesting post…thanks for sharing. i like the idea that beneath the pain that causes depression is love, hope and core desires. That is an uplifting thing to remember even in the most challenging times!

  2. top spychic chatlines Says:

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