The importance of understanding
depression in general a
and yours specifically:
Your depression is not random.
and believe the same things
Perhaps what you are depressing changes.
How you depress remains the same.
The only way we can know what is going on is to sit down with an open mind
and pay attention
if we watch
we notice that there are sensations
in our bodies that go with depression.
They don’t vary.
They’re the same every time.
We have a labelling system that goes with those sensations. In this case, the label is depression.
With this label comes a learned response,
the self-talk- everything we’ve been
taught to believe about depression.
What it is
what it means
what I am for feeling it
What will happen as a result
How the future will be
When that talk starts, we have an
emotional reaction to it.
I don’t want this.
I am afraid.
This is too painful.
Oh no, not this again.
And then comes a conditioned behaviour pattern which is usually avoidance/ escape.
I should quit my job.
I’ve got to leave town.
I need a drink (or drug).
I want a divorce.
I’m going to kill myself.
I can’t function. (paralysis)
THESE ARE GOING ON ALL THE TIME,
not just in depression.
If we are willing to pay close enough attention we notice that in depression:
the sensations in our bodies don’t vary
the thoughts in our heads don’t vary
the emotional reactions don’t vary
the impulses toward certain behaviours don’t vary
and this chain of events
DOES NOT VARY
(ED’S NOTE: this is a big clue.)
Adapted from ‘The Depression Book- depression as an opportunity for spiritual growth’, by Cheri Huber – Zen Buddhist Teacher