Casebook: when Depression fear is overwhelming
For some locked in depression, it is the trauma of their first depression that is the biggest hurdle.
Trevor needed to overcome the trauma of his original depression
First a little personal background on depression fear.
I was learning Human Givens, had not yet completed my practical training but was managing to find people to work with, from all kinds of places. These were from friends, a depression help group, a very helpful nutritionist and so on. Yet I still remember clearly a man in his forties coming to me who was almost permanently locked in depression – caused by a powerful depression fear.
Or to put it more accurately – he was never ever free from the fear. And every so often and for no good reason, he fell back into a black despairing hole.
I remember that he could recall vividly his first depression. It was while he was at secondary school and if memory serves me (going back all these years) it had a lot to do with bullying and being unable to complete his exams.
I could be wrong about the detail of it. But what was so clear was how terrifying and immediate that memory was for him – even after 25 years or more. And so I de-traumatised that depression fear – using the Rewind technique. This was my first time using it in a serious therapy situation. And it “worked”.
Therapy was very new and fresh for me then and I had not built up a memory and experience bank of successful help and of course interventions that were less successful. But I remember how transformational the rewind was for that man. He never looked back after that session.
Having a traumatic depression fear of your first depression
Since then, I have always been aware if my depressed clients are living with a great traumatic fear of their first depression. That in consequence, they are always on high alert looking for signs of the depression returning. And so, unfortunately and tragically they find themselves locked in chronic and what seems like, permanent depression or near depression.
I would say that perhaps one in six of my depressed clients need to have an original depression fear experience de-traumatised and for maybe a half of these, that is all that they need.
And that has been true of a client I will call Trevor. He was also in his mid forties and with a wife, young child, a job as a floorer and doing GSCE evening classes in maths and science (having left school with nothing) – was on the face of it living a life that was working pretty well.
Trevor had had an eventful earlier life with drugs, booze and criminality very much part of it. But he had escaped this and seemed clear of it. But what was still active was the memory of a terrible depression just as he was freeing himself from this part of his life.
I did wonder whether part of the depression fear was of the memories of his earlier life and the terror of falling back into it. No matter, we de-traumatised his memories around all of this using the Rewind technique and he is now free from his serial depressions and of the fear of falling back into them.
I wonder how many depressed people today are still terrified of their first depression experience? For these, the depression fear must be cleared before permanent recovery can possibly take place? But this can be done.