Bill Plotkin has just articulated what I have been thinking so instead of a 'depression' blog - here is his musing..
Probably the most common condition addressed by psychotherapists is depression. For me, the most precise definition of depression is a bad case of suppressed emotions — emotions that had been managed, deflected, or defused instead of being fully felt, digested, assimilated, and acted on in a way that improves our relationships with self and others. When a person is depressed, he has a significant backload of undigested feelings piled up behind an inner dam, blocking the natural flow of his psyche and his life. If this blockage becomes severe or prolonged, his physical and psychological vitality will grind to a halt. He’ll become sluggish, spiritless, and possibly suicidal.
What the depressed person needs is to feel more, not less. This highlights the disastrous consequences of thinking of depression as a bad case of sadness and that the cure is to feel less sad. Such a prescription is exactly wrong. If the person is depressed because of a backload of unassimilated sadness — or of any number of other emotions — then what he needs is to feel his sadness more fully, to grieve wildly. Any attempts to talk him out of his grief, distract him from it, or suppress it with pills would just make his depression worse.
Depression is, at root, the suppression of one of the innate facets of human wholeness, namely the blockage of the wild, emotional, erotic, and fully embodied dimension of our human wholeness, about which I’ll say more in the next Musing. The best therapy for depression begins with the resuscitation, animation, and liberation of our capacity to feel fully and to be in communion with other people and with the greater web of life. Wholing supports the deepest and most effective healing.
One reason the cultivation of wholeness has become so rare is because most everything about mainstream culture neglects, or even actively suppresses, these aspects of normal human development. Another reason is that Western psychology has lacked a comprehensive map of human wholeness. It’s much easier to catalog ways that people can be psychologically or socially unhealthy — such as in psychology’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals — than it is to identify all the ways people can be healthy or whole. Even psychotherapists who do attend to the cultivation of wholeness — and there are many — rarely recognize or embrace the full spectrum of our innate human resources. Most focus on only one or two dimensions.
Read more at his website site the Animas Valley Institute