Depression may be caused by divorce, unemployment, loss, physical illness, or identity/belief system challenges. Depression may also result from past traumatic experiences, as seen in complex trauma, challenges in early relationships in which we were asked to take on more than we could manage on our own.

Somatic therapy for depression.

Our instinctual physiology mobilizes a tremendous energy in self-affirming responses to life’s challenges. If this preservation impulse is overwhelmed, if we did not have enough support to manage, the life force becomes depressed inside. The emotional result is that we feel less safe, less prepared and able to manage life. We may start doing less, which in turn gives us less chances to feel accomplishment, hampering our sense of confidence, self-esteem, and personal agency. The result is that our life begins to get smaller.

Physiological functions, busy trying to manage the internally depressed stress, draw vital energy from important metabolic functions of pleasure and ease, rest, and comfort. Rather than enjoying life, we end of managing it.

Depression effects concentration, memory, decision making, and follow through on goals. We may notice a drop in interests, activities, appetite, or energy level. We may feel hopeless about the future, inadequately prepared to manage. We may notice our depression as anger turned inward, in the form of negative self talk, believing it’s our fault, even though we didn’t have enough support at a time when we most needed it. As we try to manage our depression and other symptoms of trauma on our own, finding ways to manage the stress, such as isolating, self-medicating, taking on less and less, we inadvertently feed our depression. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it may be time to get the support you need. There is hope.

Contact Joel: 510-229-9765 Oakland Office


More Reading on Abandonment Depression
In “Managing Abandonment Depression In Complex PTSD” Pete Walker gives us a detailed account of a complex trauma survivors experience of waking up with feelings of depression. Since the child’s relational trauma him conditioned him to believe he is unacceptable in this state, he responds the same way, quickly becoming anxious and ashamed, and then becoming perfectionistic to escape the feelings.

His article describes a clinical approach to minimize re-traumatizing of the internal affect that is abandonment depression, to meet abandonment feelings neutrally by staying present to the felt sensations. He believes resisting unavoidable encounters with abandonment depression blocks the access to and hence healing of complex post traumatic stress. When the child is never soothed when depressed he has no quick resources for self-comforting, no model for responding to the ensuing depression, which needs to be experienced to be worked through. >>> view article
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