Casebook: Depression recovery by peeling away the onion layers
Sometimes a depression becomes chronic and accumulates from a number of difficult experiences over time.
Tricia needed to work steadily through a number of negative experiences – peeling them away
Sometimes, people have been depressed for so long – not necessarily all the time but chronically that they have accepted the depression as central to who they are and the life that they lead. They don’t believe in their heart that they will ever have a depression recovery or ever escape completely from the depression.
They have tried anti-depressants or indeed may still be taking them (and scared to stop even though they don’t seem to be doing much good).
This was true of Tricia.
Tricia was in her mid sixties, married and with three grown up children and now five grandchildren. She traced the beginning of her depression to a time some twenty five years previously – a time of great stress. Her mother had died, she had been made redundant and there were money worries to contend with. At times over these past twenty five years, it had got so bad that she was considered a suicide risk and had spent time in hospital, heavily medicated.
She was miles away from depression recovery at those times.
Tricia was quite naturally resistant to the idea that her depression could be simply explained – that depression was caused by ruminating too much and so slipping into a vicious circle of over dreaming and exhaustion (for more go here . She found after our first session, that my Overcoming Depression audio, though “interesting” had clearly not got through to her. She was though a very good trance subject (as many depressed clients are) and so in addition to some very gentle guided imagery, I used the Rewind detraumatising method.
In that second session to de-traumatise the memories around her crisis of twenty five years ago.
At our next session, the emotion around those memories of that time had clearly faded but she was still feeling stressed and depressed – scoring a little better on the CORE system I use, but not that much better.
So we went further back to her childhood where we discovered patterns of insecurity related to living just with her mother and severe money worries. We also spent time looking at her relationship with her children and how she could be different with them and so enjoy her grandchildren much more.
Finally we discussed her day to day life now and how she could do certain things differently and find small pleasures.
It was like peeling away the layers of an onion – until depression recovery. All that was left was Tricia as she actually always could have been – capable, efficient and busy and at last clear to live a life that would work for her. And four months later, her depression has still gone.