Depression can manifest in many forms. Yet we are often caught into the classic perceptions of how it presents itself. Our reliance on the textbook presentations of depression can often blind us to the existence of the feeling in ourselves and in others.

Perceptions of depression

Depression can present as lethargy, a lack of motivation, problems with sleeping, eating, sex drive and we may become more prone to illness. A person suffering from depression can have feelings of dissatisfaction or meaninglessness.

In many cases depression may be a reaction to events. The loss of a job or, indeed, a loved one, for example. Freud claimed that depression was the mourning of something or someone lost. The loss is a loss of a part of ourselves.

When depression is diagnosed it can often be liberating. When the problem is named it can allow the client to seek treatment. In some cases it can give the client a reason, a justification, for entering psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy requires no such justification nor is it interested in diagnosing any condition. Each client is an individual and their suffering is individual to them. Psychotherapy offers the space to explore our feelings and how we interpret the events in our lives.

Anger and Depression

Sometimes it is a feeling that cannot be exposed or thought about. Sometimes we are not aware of the rage and anger that exists inside ourselves. Or we may be aware of it and feel that we are simply not entitled to express it. Imagine the internal turmoil: I have feelings of anger and rage coupled with a feeling that I am not entitled to these feelings or that they may not be justified. I may simply feel that my anger and rage is so enormous that to allow these feelings any form of expression would be immensely destructive to me and those around me.

An example of this would be where a man has cared for a sick wife. The level of care is consuming and goes on for many years. His feelings of sadness for his wife and are acceptable. But feelings of anger and rage are not. He may feel that her illness denied him a career and he has not been allowed a life for himself.

In the safe setting of the psycho-therapeutic relationship, feelings, even those which are difficult to face or to think about can be explored and held. Sometimes the realisation that uncomfortable feelings can be held and thought about can be a relief for the client and can allow a process of healing to begin.









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