I thought I would write out some more Jungian Psychology. This one is about depression. I have to go carefully for “depression’ is a loose word used to describe many different things. The treatment of depression depends on the used definition and what model you use. For example, I work primarily in the ‘medical model’ of depression, based on the disease and physiological models. I am not going to write about that model. I am going to write about a psychological theory of depression.
Spiritual depression is not the same as clinical depression although they can look a lot alike and have very different treatment plans.
Several schools of psychology see depression not necessarily as a bad thing to eradicate ASAP. In the object relations theory ‘depression’ is a GOOD sign, portending healing when split off parts of the psyche are melded back into the whole. In the Jungian theory, depression is a symptom of a wrong direction, or a necessary step of discarding false matters to make room for real psychological growth. So, in Jungian psychology, depression is not an ‘illness’ per se but a signal, sort of like a ‘red warning light’ that comes on when the engine has a problem.
Depression is a state of being where libido (psychic energy) is sucked down from the conscious state into the unconscious. ‘The well is dry’; the waters have retreated into the depths. According to Jung, the Unconscious or the Self does this as a protective measure – your psyche wants to you sit up and pay attention to something awry in your life. Psyche doesn’t want you to squander libido foolishly – so it is withdrawn for your protection and for your attention.
‘Being depressed’ is considered a good thing as it is seen not as disease but as a blown fuse – something the body does to avoid further meltdown. When depressive symptoms occur in Jungian analysis, the patient isn’t quickly rushed into trying to cure it. He or she is made to ‘be’ with it and look at ‘what is going wrong in your life’. ”Getting you less depressed as soon as possible’ is not high on the agenda.
When you are in a desert, you should not too run fast to get out of it.
Going through depression, or the Dark Night of the Soul, is no fun but it is the start of real growth.
A very different approach – indeed.