About Depression

Depression is a large topic but I thought I would bring a snippet about it today…

When I talk to a client about depression in a session, I hear from them about the flatness, the emptiness and the nothingness. We have to remember in those moments, that the defences are doing their job and we need to understand why they are doing that and give them new instructions. 

Explaining the reason why the defences feel they need to, for example, take away the wanting to go out, taking away the wanting to shower and get dressed, taking away the wanting to reply to a text. The defences think they are helping, saving the client from hurt. The defences go by the inner functions of the person and feel the change, bringing on a defence. What our body/mind needs to re-learn is to assess the change in our inner function and pause before sending the person into a particular state of mind that it thinks is appropriate even though it has ‘no eyes on the world’ and therefore acts solely on the inner regulatory factors which often have no bearing on the ‘outside world’ of the person. 

It’s common for a depressed person to have trouble explaining exactly how they feel and this is usually because its difficult to say what it is… when what it is isn’t the problem, its what it isn’t…or what we feel we are left with that is difficult to relay to someone else accurately.

If our defences pack all of our feelings away for safety, what is left to find a word to say what is left? The closest and most accurate I have heard is that ‘I have been emptied out of all my feelings and so when you ask me to explain, there are no feelings words left as they are the very things which are gone. I can’t say I’m sad as my sadness feelings have gone; I can’t say I’m annoyed as my annoyance feelings have also gone. The words I have left are empty, flat and nothingness.

If we take the theme of our feelings being packed away for safekeeping, we can begin to get a sense of why our defences are working this way. We can begin to ask the questions that our brain needs to hear so that it can understand the reality of what it’s doing and change the way it functions rather than function from its closed off world with no real sense of what is actually going on in the world outside of the brain.  The questions we ask are important, as the defences are reasonable in acting upon a basis of why they decide to defend the emotions in the first place. As we begin to understand that particular persons reasons, we begin to understand the defence. As we begin to understand the defence, we begin to release the emotions back to the person.

Depression is a function, a defence, and when we get to why, we get to know, and when we get to know, we get to work with our defences, teaching them that we understand and will work with them. Getting to know ourselves and regain our feelings again.

It takes a process for your defences to give you back your emotions and feel ok about it but with the understanding it can happen












About Liverpool Therapies

Qualified Psychotherapeutic counsellor. Transactional Analysis/ Integrative Psychotherapy/CBT
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