New Year’s Blues: What is depression?

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Depression is a psychological condition in which we lose appetite for life. Symptoms can be lack of self care, unchanging and prolonged low moods, loss of appetite, insomnia, etc. Depression can be understood in two non exclusive fundamental ways. The first is the preferred approach of western medicine that believes the condition is caused by chemical imbalances in our brains. This school of thought often prescribes a pharmacological solution (Meds). Fortunately, many doctors are now aware that the use of antidepressants, when combined with talk therapy, gives the person the best chance to improve. The second approach is that depression is caused by unhealed (unfinished) past events. Specifically, depression is caused by the maladaptive suppression of emotions throughout an extended period of time. These emotions can come from any number of things in our day-to-day lives, present and past. They can be anything from our financial security, issues in our relationships, or suffering a personal loss. Although these events are part of our lives, they can sometimes seem too much to bear, much less to share with another person.

To be able to heal depression (in contrast to just coping) and slow down our collective epidemic we need to understand…

The key is to understand that we have an emotional cycle that allows us to be emotionally competent. This competency, in turn, is what gives us the ability to process whatever life throws at us. This process consists of being able to consciously feel our emotions and express them clearly.

Our emotional cycle is always in a state of motion. Popular culture and our efficiency driven society tend to celebrate personalities that never seem to be vulnerable or are always in a state happiness. It seems that no one has the time to be sad. The truth is that this sort of rigid behavior is unnatural because it throws a wrench in our emotional cycle.

So, if you’ve been feeling down and out for a very long time, thinking that it’s just matter of toughening yourself up is only going to prolong your depression. The way out is not escaping from your feelings. Recognizing your emotions and embracing your vulnerability are the gateways to emotional competency and your path to healing.

– by Gui Mansilla

Gui is a Coach, Psychotherapist and Director of Breakthrough Center in Toronto.
Breakthrough Center delivers Psychotherapy and Coaching services to Individuals, Families and Groups. We support clients in creating strong personal foundations to experience a lifetime of positive change and growth.

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 Edited by Edgar Valderrama Medina 

Edgar is the content manager for Breakthrough Center and Breakthrough Broadcast 

This entry was posted in Mental Health, Psychotherapy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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