Is Depression like a Water Hose?
A water hose can be flowing steadily or squirting out of control. Is this like your emotions? And might it explain depression?
A water hose out of control explains emotions in depression
Look at this water hose– water in full flow. It looks fun – squirting out and soaking everybody and everything that might get in its way. How do you control the water flow? Though it’s is fun to play with hoses like this, you can never use them seriously if the flow is so strong.
Is this water hose metaphor a little like emotions?
Just as the water flow through a hose has to be the right pressure and not too powerful, so the same is true of emotions if they are to be useful and not destructive. When emotions are very strong whether it is anger or fear or in the case of most depressions, an overwhelming hopelessness that induces a terrifying fearfulness, then they are of no possible use. And indeed will do serious damage.
Water hose metaphor – when emotions are flowing at the right pressure
But consider when emotions are flowing at the right pressure. Then,they can be directed usefully to where they are needed. And then they are doing the job that they were intended to do. Emotions drive action and movement and so are essential to human life. Without emotions, humanity would be dead and motionless.
And that is why the overwhelming objective of my work with depressed clients is to help them use their emotions well and to be in control of them. That they are using their emotions productively to get a life that works for them or in Human Givens parlance, to get their essential emotional needs met.
Are you Depressed?
I will typically use one or more of the following to quieten the water hose.
- Explaining what depression is so that you don’t feel you are to blame. This often leads to ‘light bulb’ moments which are in themselves liberating and relaxing
- Undertake a Needs audit so that you can begin to perceive your situation differently. In this more empowering way, you can begin to see how you can begin to shift. As part of this, I may very well make suggestions and recommend tasks that that lead to understanding of the changes that might be needed. All of this is designed to reduce arousal and to engage your problem-solving capacity.
- Investigate whether there is trauma or threshold trauma that is prompting high arousal. And if there is, then to clear this trauma which all Human Givens practitioners are trained to do, using trance methods.
- Take every opportunity from the beginning to reframe – which may be directed at softening strong black-and-white thinking or suggesting more empowering explanations of the past.
- Explicit trance work – designed to impart an experience of relaxation, to access the client’s strengths and resources, to heal habits and emotional patterns that are not helpful and to rehearse beneficial changes.