The loss of an important relationship, the loss of a job which seemed to define you, ‘living the dream’ yet unsatisfied with your life, feeling alone and unloved; there are so many different paths to this thing we call ‘depression’.
It is a common human experience to find oneself saddened by a loss or stuck in a rut and yet, the sufferer of depression seems unable to move on. When one takes the time to open up these experiences it soon becomes apparent that there are beliefs and values at work that cut to the very heart of who we are. Why is this latent meaning, begging to be revealed, so often ignored? When did despair become a disease?
We are told that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain, but is that not true of all emotional experience? Everything we perceive or feel can be traced to chemicals and/or electrical processes in the brain, who decides what is balanced?
Depression is apparently so common that doctors are prescribing anti-depressants to an ever growing portion of the population. It’s strange, is it not, that so common a facet of the human condition is written off as a meaningless disease to be chemically subdued?
Existential therapy allows a person to give voice to their despair, to explore what beliefs and values have led them to give up and most importantly, offers the chance to re-engage with the world and the choices that are still theirs to choose.