Walking in the Darkness; Mapping the Terrain of Depression
"Life bears such simple and nourishing joy: the delicious air of evening, the radiance of natures under our questioning, the love of family and friends, generosity between strangers, the virtually infinite condensation of abundance in great literature and art and music, a good run when the air is dry, the vivifying spontaneity of children… But some there are for whom darkness comes, and all light, and all memory of light, is obliterated. Every inhalation is a premonition of suffocation; possibility fails; time encases them in unbreakable concrete that stretches endlessly. A blackness closer and more invasive of marrow than the ninth plaque envelops."
- David Franks, Ph.D, in the Forward of Catholic Guide to Depression written by Aaron Kheriatry, MD
Who can Understand a Darkness so Alien to Everyday Experience?
...those who have no choice but to bear with it.
"When darkness falls in our lives and in the lives of those we care for, we have to learn to walk in it and be with it, even when light and healing does not always come."
- Professor Brita Gill-Austern from Boston College
Who can Become Depressed?
Clinical depression may manifest at any age, is twice as common in women than in men and can happen to the rich, the poor and the middle class alike.
When Does Depression Most Commonly Occur?
Clinical depression occurs more commonly within a context of relational poverty where individuals experience impoverished interpersonal relationships. Higher rates of depression are found among those who are separated or divorced, or among single people compared to married people. Additionally, individuals who have experienced trauma or abuse are 3-4 times more likely to become clinically depressed than the general population. LGBTQ youths and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts, indicating a higher prevalence of relational poverty in this population than in the general population.
Is Depression a Product of Culture?
Dan Blazer- author of The Age of Melancholy; Major Depression and its Social Origins- suggests ways in which the world around us contributes to a "society of melancholy." The hectic pace of modern life, social and occupational pressures, fragmented relationships, and severe social isolation play into the rising rates of depression:
"The early modern period was characterized by an optimistic confidence in the power of autonomous human reason and technological progress to solve all human problems and gradually eliminate human miseries. In our so-called postmodern period, this confidence has been deconstructed and undermined… Western society is now characterized by instability, saturation of media images, social isolation (the ‘lonely crowd’), and a widespread sense of dislocation."
- Aaron Kheriaty, MD, in Catholic Guide to Depression
There is always hope.
"Majore depression is a treatable disease. Indeed, 70% of those who take antidepressant drugs respond, and relapse following initial treatment can be significantly reduced with a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy."
- Dan Blazer, author of The Age of Melancholy
At Huston Therapy, you will find a therapist who is deeply committed to walking with you in the darkness of your depression. Together, we will commit to mapping the terrain of your depression and find solutions which work for you.