How To Use Depression
By Michele Rosenthal
Depression is an enormous issue for us PTSDers. It hangs huge, dark and luminous over our heads every day with such heaviness it seems like even Atlas would eventually feel his strength sapped.
There’s nothing good about that despondent feeling - it serves no purpose, renders us even more helpless and only adds to our already great suffering.
Or does it?
Maybe we need to change our perceptions of depression.
In his book Care of the Soul Thomas Moore writes,
Because of its painful emptiness, it is often tempting to look for a way out of depression. But entering into its mood and thought can be deeply satisfying. Depression is sometimes described as a condition in which there are no ideas – nothing to hang on to. But maybe we have to broaden our vision and see that feelings of emptiness, the loss of familiar understandings and structures in life, and the vanishing of enthusiasm, even though they seem negative, are elements that can be appropriated and used to give life fresh imagination.
I’ve often heard the saying, “The only way out is through.” Perhaps moving into and through PTSD depression is one way we work to integrate traumatic memories into our persona and worldview.
Maybe we should not give into depression but walk into it, heads held high, looking around for what we can learn, how we can assimilate new knowledge, and how we can use this murky feeling to ultimately help us heal.