I can imagine some of you reading this are here because emotionally you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. It’s been so hard and you are just sick of it, and you would like some answers.
Or maybe you are watching a loved one go through it. They just seem so miserable, but it’s hard for them to get motivated to reach out for help.
I won’t sugar coat this- there are plenty of triggers for depression in our modern society.
The modern world can be experienced as materialistic, superficial, and lacking enough fulfilling connections in the age of many time emotionally empty social interactions. Many are living on autopilot to get through draining careers that don’t always help create a sustainable life. Other personal life experiences like surviving abuse, enduring medical conditions, or having a void of fulfilling emotional connection and life goals can make the chances of depression much higher. Then the Covid pandemic came and increased disconnection, stress, and developmental delays. And this is just the tip of the iceberg for causes of depression for humans as a whole.
When you add a marginalized or vulnerable identity into that experience, it increases the chances of depression significantly.
Professor Ken Hardy (in relation to racial identity, but the point still stands with the queer community, especially in relation to Queer People of Color) has a concept of the “assaulted sense of self”, which refers to negative views towards oneself due to society discriminating against and marginalizing people within your identity group(s). This experience can lead to internalized queerphobias, which is the belief that something is inherently wrong with you for being queer because that’s what your environment has been telling you. For queer individual who grow up in queerphobic households, communities, states, or see the discrimination towards other queer people in different places, it can take a huge toll on overall wellbeing and very understandably fuel depression. Humans aren’t meant to live in a way that denies them the ability to authentically express themselves.
Depression can be described as the weight that comes from pushing down your experience. Whether depression is coming from a personal life circumstance or a greater societal concern (or a mixture of the two), depression can show itself through a significant shift in appetite or sleep patterns, low energy, a sense of hopelessness, and on the more severe end, suicidal thoughts or behaviors or thoughts or acts of self harm. When depression is existing on a more existential level, it can feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, with a perception of powerlessness in changing your circumstances for the better.
Healing from depression starts when the suppressed parts of your experience come to the surface. If you are depressed because you’ve had to repress a part of your identity, healing is helping that repressed part surface. If you’ve had to repress your authenticity due to the environment you are in, healing is letting your authenticity express itself freely. If your depression was triggered by needing to suppress certain emotions that were considered taboo or shameful in your life, healing is mending your relationship with those emotions so they can be expressed. For existential depression, the healing is exploring and acknowledging what you need to thrive the best you can given the circumstances. Particularly with our Compassionate Inquiry approach, we can help you explore the root of your depression and what you specifically need to release it.