DEPRESSION can be viewed as an opportunity for spiritual growth. An opportunity to see the cause of your suffering, to accept where you are, to embrace yourself with compassion and to let go and end the suffering.

The key to the healing is to turn towards the discomfort and study it. Ask yourself ‘what am I depressing’ and then look inwards. Imagine you are with someone you have no reason to dislike. Pay attention to all your feelings and write them down. No analysis – just let it flow. Stay with yourself (this person you like) until you have expressed everything you need to. (Record, paint, draw or sculpt if writing is hard). The point of doing this is to begin to see patterns. Whenever we pay close attention to ourselves in depression we notice things.

We notice the sensations in our bodies don’t vary
The thoughts in our heads don’t vary
(We label them) I am depressed
What depression is
What it means
What I am for feeling it
What will happen as a result
How the future will be

The emotional reactions don’t vary
(I don’t want this, I’m afraid, This is too painful, Oh no, not this again)

The impulses toward certain behaviours also don’t vary
(We usually avoid or attempt to escape)
I should quit my job
I’ve got to leave town
I need a drink/a drug
I want a divorce
I’m going to kill myself
I can’t function (paralysis)

And the chain of events does not VARY

To break the patterns, instead try to pay close attention and do what seems kindest, most encouraging and seems best right now.

Have compassion when you see the steps you take that lead to self-rejection and depression and give yourself what you need. You are the best person to know what that is.

If you would like further help to grow awareness and understanding of your patterns in a supportive and respectful group environment, register your interest in attending Victoria’s process group. Subject to eligibility criteria interview. Spaces are limited – group runs with a maximum of 10 participants.