Talking Honestly about Depression



I’ve always had trouble talking honestly about depression, in therapy or out. Even though much of its influence is gone, this remnant of depression is still holding on. I was always able to report the latest news to a therapist – I’m down at level 2 instead of up at level 8 (or whatever other shorthand you might use). And talking about history was not the problem. I could summon up all the turbulence and pain I’d gone through long ago from the safe distance of time.

It was the here and now that stopped me. Telling anyone the full emotional truth of the present, as I was feeling it – especially the intense stuff – was next to impossible. The fear was that the words could not be formed without the emotions flowing with them, and it was the spontaneous rush of feeling that had to be prevented. Something in me always reacted faster than thought. It was more than a censor, it was a builder of strong barriers that walled the feelings in and me with them.

That autopilot response hard to stop, and it worked with cold efficiency most of the time, especially in therapy. That’s supposed to be a refuge for healing as old poisons are purged from my present life. How much emotional truth of the moment was I able to get out? Let’s put it this way. If there had been a buzzer going off at every half-truth, that would have been the loudest and most frequent sound of the hour. Read the rest»