Wednesday, December 12, 2007


So, as a therapist, let me tell you a little about depression. Depression is made up of lots of regressions.

First, when people are depressed they tend to forget about how time passes as an adult and think about time from a young child's perspective. For example, depressed people think that they have been, or they will be depressed "forever". When really, 3 weeks, 3 months, even 3 years isn't forever. But, if you were a young child, say 3 weeks old, then 3 weeks is forever. It's actually a lifetime. And, 3 months or 3 years to a 3 week old is beyond comprehension.
Get it?

Second, when people are depressed they feel helpless. They forget that they take care of themselves every day. They get themselves up and dressed. They feed themselves, go to work, or school and often take care of others. See where this is going in terms of regression? An infant or very young child cannot take care of him/herself. S/he IS helpless and relies on others for survival. A young child cannot distract himself from his feelings. Whereas an adult can. He can take a nap, go for a walk, call a friend, eat something...whatever it takes to distract from the depression, if even for just a little while.

Third, when people are depressed they feel hopeless. As if nothing is going to change, ever. Babies really don't have any idea that things will be different for them. But things always change.

We just have to remember about time as we know it as adults, that we are not helpless nor do things stay stagnant.


Rosie said...

You know Sue this is the first Christmas in 4 years where the abiding and consuming thought throughout the season isn't how different it will be since Mom isn't here. Four years. Who knew?

My serious bout with depression was ten years ago which had nothing to do with Mom at all. What helped me the most was singling out one thing everyday that was a treat for, first, getting up and second, interacting with my family, and third going to work.

Sometimes the treat was a bubble bath, sometimes it was reading and not fixing dinner (my husband did), sometimes it was taking a drive. Just something to look forward to each day. Liberating myself from my routine, because most of the time I like it and my lists, helped a lot. I quit doing stuff that I felt I "should" do.

Although, as a therapist you probably know all this stuff already.

Elisabeth said...

Sorry to read about your bout with some sort of low-grade depression. I think that I have been going through something similar lately, although I can't really put my finger on its cause...

Hope you bounce back very soon!