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Depression: A state of no desire to be

By Nathalie Khalaf , Family Flavours - Aug 06,2023 - Last updated at Aug 06,2023

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Nathalie Khalaf
Holistic Counsellor

 

When children are not made to feel like they can freely express any of their full range of emotions, then they may start suppressing how they feel in order not to threaten their relationship with their parents-this is known as depression-it is here that our encounters with depression start which will later spill over in adult life.

 

Depression and mental health

Depression today is one of the most talked about and, unfortunately, feared topics in mental health, and no wonder. It is a scary and lonely place to be. As a child, I remember my happy moments with my family at home. I remember not feeling comfortable when any unhappiness or fights arose. As a child, I was not comfortable with hearing or seeing my parents ‘unhappy’ and I certainly did not understand it as a natural relationship dynamic.

I always wanted everyone to be happy. That desire later was also transferred onto friends and society. Children need the security of feeling loved, accepted and wanted and when they don’t feel that, they often take things personally.

 

Emotional overload

If parents fight between themselves, a child may translate this into “my parents hate me, I am the cause of this”. A child is also exposed to a multitude of other emotions such as anger, sadness, jealousy and other unwelcome emotions. Even the overly loud, joyous screams and expressions may be a cause to be reprimanded because the level of sound is not appreciated by the adults around.

Children need to express themselves and that also involves the sounds which accompany those feelings: Screams of joy and laughter, tears, screams of rage and anger and so on. As a child is growing up and experiencing all these emotions — all that energy in a little body which they cannot truly understand, but simply experience — they just instinctively express it in the most convenient way which is by “allowing it out” — this is the correct way to release emotions. 

If a child learns early on to “manage” emotions and to only express the desired ones accepted by others, then a lot of energy will be suppressed until that becomes the norm.

 

Suppressed energy

 

The way the body reacts by default becomes the depression of flowing energy. That flow of energy, as I addressed in previous articles, is the healthy natural state of being. Once we learn to suppress, the energy at one point becomes too heavy for our mental and emotional states of being to be handled. This is when we suffer from what is called “depression”.

When we discuss our symptoms with a psychologist or psychiatrist and we mention intense tiredness, deep unhappiness, worrying anxiety, crying for no reason, the lack of appetite for life. Mainstream medicine’s solution is by prescribing antidepressants, which for some odd reason still suppress more emotions.

 

A state of no desire to be

 

I speak out of personal experience. Having suffered and dealt with depression and anti-depressants for several years I suffered from what I call a “state of no desire to be”. I did meet with a psychiatrist who took no more than 10 minutes to label me with clinical depression, with no attempt to find out anything about my upbringing, childhood traumas or relationship issues.

I was prescribed pills for several months until it was decided on my behalf that it was time to stop and eventually released from medication. Here is what happened during and after the time of medication: I felt no sadness nor anger... but neither did I feel joy! I was just so happy not to feel sad for as long as possible.

Then came the time I had to drop the medication and go out into the wild world, unarmed with chemicals and face my life. I soon realised that nothing had changed! My relationships were the same, the world was the same and my mood swings returned and so did my desire to not feel the sadness, despair and anger.

Needless to say, it took a few trials on and off of antidepressants until I found someone to talk to. This therapist talked to me for hours, even days. We spoke about my childhood, parents and relationships. She explained to me how so much energy had been depressed in my body over the years, due to me not wanting to feel the painful emotions, until my mental and emotional health could not deal with the depressed energy anymore.

 

The body and mind connection

Of course, the physical body is forever intertwined with what goes on mentally and emotionally inside of us. I swore to understand and release all suppressed sadness and anger until I started feeling the release, the freedom, the love, the happiness and joy again. Of course, it takes work and of course, it takes time. I chose my health above everything else.

The next time someone labels you with the Big D, please remember where to start: Find someone compassionate to talk you through it and learn to release all pent-up emotions. You deserve happiness and joy!

 

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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