In today’s world, depression has become a word that carries enormous weight; either for people who have it or for people who hear about it. It could also be described as a modern day taboo, with people often wanting to avoid the whole thing.
However, what is clear is that depression is not something that can be ignored. It is a very real challenge in today’s world. And this is just one aspect of what are often described as ‘mental health’ problems.
This is not something that can be cited as having one cause, as there are often said to be numerous causes. These can be: genetics, diet, repression, chemical imbalance, abuse, illness, the environment and other factors.
And as we are all so different, it’s not a case of one cause being the same for everyone. So as this is such a complex area and not something that can be put into one box; I will cover one of the above aspects that can cause depression.
On the Google home page, it is described as the following - 1.Severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. 2. A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.
So here, one feels at a low ebb and is unable to feel any positive emotions. Their energy is gone and the will to live doesn’t exist either.
While depression is often treated as a taboo, emotions are not too far behind in this respect. They are generally ignored and this is partly due to a lack of understanding in how to deal with them. One is not simply born with emotionally intelligence; this is something that has to be learnt.
And when it comes to how one responds and perceives their emotions, the childhood years are typically the most important time. This time will often define what kind of relationship one will have with their emotions.
This relationship can be just like a relationship that one has with other human beings; it can be positive and empowering or it can be negative and distempering. So emotions can be seen as problems and as something that one needs to avoid or as feedback and as something that one needs to listen to.
The Education System
One of the reasons this time is so important, is that one doesn’t usually learn about their emotions during their years of being in education. Certain areas are seen as vital, but emotional intelligence is a new thing.
This means that the early relationship that was formed with their emotions will generally be carried into their adult years. And it won’t matter if this relationship is healthy or unhealthy.
So coming back to this early relationship, there can be two ways that one can develop in order to cope with their emotions. And this will generally depend on how their caregivers responded to ones emotions as a child and to their own emotions.
Here, a child will develop the ability to regulate their emotions; this means that they will rarely act on them or deny that they exist and repress them. They will be able to just be with them, without getting too caught up in them. And if they become too overwhelming, the child will learn that it is safe to seek assistance in others.
In this case, the child will not develop the ability to regulate their emotions. This means that the child will have to either act on them or to deny and repress them. They won’t be able to just be with them and will end up being caught up in them. And during times of being overwhelmed, they are unlikely to feel safe asking for assistance.
Empathic and Unempathic
The first example will relate to a caregiver that is empathic and the second example is for a caregiver that is unempathic. An empathic caregiver is emotionally available and will generally mirror, match, hold and sooth their child during emotional distress.
And an unempathic caregiver will is likely to be emotional unviable. So this means that they generally won’t mirror, match, hold or sooth their child during emotional distress.
These are just general guidelines, as there is likely to be moments where it won’t be this black and white. However, this creates an idea about what it is like.
As a result of the above taking place, it is likely to lead to completely different consequences. If as a child, one learned to regulate their emotions through having an empathic caregiver; it is likely to mean that one will have a tendency to either regulate their emotions or to seek support in other people.
And if as a child, one didn’t learn how to regulate their emotions through having an unempathic caregiver; it is likely to mean that they will have a tendency of either repressing their emotions or of acting on them.
So the first child is rarely going to have to repress their emotions and this means that when this child grows into an adult, there shouldn’t be the need to repress them either.
But the second child, who has to repress their emotions, will likely grow into an adult that continues to repress their emotions. And this is inevitably gong to lead to an emotional build up in the body.
These emotions will have accumulated from when one was a child and all of the emotions that one has experienced as an adult, but denied and ignored.
Different Types Of Repression
For some people, this will involve certain moments as a child where they were abandoned, ignored, rejected, humiliated, felt hopeless, helpless, suicidal, guilty and ashamed for instance.
These can relate to the odd occasion or perhaps when one experienced these things on a daily or consistent basis. This can also include traumatic moments where one was: physically, emotionally or intellectually abused as a child.
And due to these moments taking place many years ago, they are generally blocked from the mind. But the body remembers these feelings and will not be silenced until they are recognised. This creates a heavy burden on the body and can result in a loss of energy.
In the beginning these may have only been emotions or feelings, but as time has gone on, they have become emotional states and have completely taken over. A bit like how one weed appears and soon after, the whole patch is covered in weeds.
So the fact that there were only one or two weeds to begin with is hard to comprehend and finding the original weeds or weeds can then be extremely difficult. Here one no longer feels one or two emotions, but has become emotionally trapped. And no longer experiences one or two emotions, but a general feeling of being overwhelmed or – depressed.
It could be that one has felt this way their whole life or that one felt this way after a certain experience. This could be the result of some kind of loss or traumatic occurrence that triggered emotions that have been trapped and frozen in the body for so long.
For the first person it may be experienced as normal and how life is, simply because they have never felt any different. And for the other person, it might not feel normal. This could be due to the fact that these feelings have been repressed for so many years and this has caused a disconnection to occur.
Perhaps one has recognised the connection between how they felt as a child and how they feel as adult or just that they need to be assisted emotionally. And this can be done through the help of a healer or a therapist that will allow one to feel and therefore release their emotions
This doesn’t mean that one will be forever caught up in them. If it is done right, it means that one will be able to let go of the emotions that have built up.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.