My last post described how the empty, numb experience of depression comes about from suppression of ‘the monster’ – the unwanted truth about your own passion. It also described a process for clearing away depression by connecting to ‘the monster’, telling the truth about who you really are, and finding an outlet for blocked emotion.
The first step in reversing depression is to honestly describe de-pressed emotions to at least one other person to whom the emotion is connected, This, strangely enough, is usually the most difficult step for a lot of people.
The second step is to do something that satisfies the de-pressed emotion. This becomes easier once the person has been given permission to act on his desire by at least one other person.
Remember, the ‘monster’ is only viewed as such by conformist, security-seeking, depressive Headmind. The monster belongs to Bodymind – the realm of passion, love, relentless desire, and personal growth (as well as sex, pleasure, and ecstasy). Left to itself, instead of being beaten into submission, the monster would be no more than a very playful, if shocking, child. Rather like Michelangelo’s Bacchus (left) in fact.
Thanks to Dawn Ward for working with me on this. The names below are pseudonyms.
Case 1. Serena. Female 40s. Married. 3 Teenage children. Depressed for over 20 years. Bodywork focusing revealed that her de-pressed emotions were anger, fear and sexual hunger. She had blocked these out of subservience to her role as wife and mother. She told her anger to her husband and three sons. She related her fear (about loneliness and independence) to the Reverse Therapist. She experimented with sex with her husband, becoming much more dominant with him, telling him to lose weight if he wanted to enjoy sex with her. She reduced the amount of time spent cooking and cleaning for her sons and took a job in a freight company. She started to go out on her own, made new friends, and arranged holidays with them. Her husband was initially shocked but their relationship is now much better, if more distant. Her depression vanished.
Case 2. Jeremy. Male. 20s. Severely depressed 3 years and in psychiatric care. Bodywork focusing revealed that de-pressed emotions were frustration and excitement. He had blocked this because he thought he ought to be looking after his girlfriend and because he imagined that his parents knew better than he did. Felt trapped by university course (his parents’ choice) and demanding girlfriend at the same university. She herself had been depressed since 15 and threatened to kill herself if he left her. He related his frustrations to his girlfriend, his parents and his best friend. He left the university and took a job as an English-language teacher in London. He started to spend more time on creating music and then left on a round-the-world trip for two years. He stayed in touch with his girlfriend whose own depression began to lift without the co-dependent relationship they had developed. His depression left him the week he told his parents to stop making decisions for him and left university.
Case 3. Graham. Male 50s. Moderately depressed 5 years. Company Director. Married. 4 children. Bodywork focusing revealed that his de-pressed emotions were boredom, frustration and joy. He had blocked this because he thought he should be ‘strong’ and a provider for everybody around him. He had over-identified with his role as a successful businessman. He felt numb and empty inside and thought about death often. Described his boredom and frustration to his wife and a close friend. Began to reduce long hours he spent on his business and decided to sell it at the first opportunity. Also started to say ‘No’ to partners and employees who wanted more of his time. Went back to writing poetry, something he had enjoyed years before. Spent more time with his son, with whom he became close once more. Gave up drinking – realising that it was Headmind’s way of ‘keeping the monster quiet’. Depression lifted gradually.
‘What is bad? All that proceeds from weakness.’ Nietzsche.