Depression Vicious and Virtuous Cycles

Understanding how depression takes hold and how to free yourself with depression vicious and virtuous cycles.
depression vicious virtuous

Depression and Depression recovery becoming beautifully clear

I use vicious and virtuous cycles when explaining mental problems, notably depression.  Vicious and virtuous cycles convey beautifully the vital insight of what mental distress is mostly about.  That it is a dynamic process of cause and effect, where the starting point to understanding is to know where you were yesterday and how you got there and how you progressed towards today… and so on, back through time.

Two Images worth a Thousand words: Vicious and Virtuous Depression Cycles 

depression viscous cycle

Depression Vicious and Virtuous: Garnering insight and wisdom

That what you see in front of you is the consequence of a dynamic process of coping and responding to what you had found in front of you.  That this either worked well and so was part of a virtuous cycle, of greater emotional control, and better action to live a life that worked or the opposite. Then there was higher emotional arousal and lack of control – leading to over-dreaming and exhaustion and a vicious cycle.

Another powerful metaphor

To see the dominoes, each falling one after the other is to understand the story of your life.

As the dominoes fall, they can be leading you down to serious depression or can take you back to health.

What comes before will determine what happens next. And you can see the process leading up or taking you down.

Dominoes

dominos

Depression Vicious and Virtuous: Motivating Action through Hope

Hope fades away in a vicious cycle. As exhaustion takes over and action becomes harder and less effective, you will lose volition and life will become hopeless.    Life become more and more precarious, with needs unmet.

Hope grows in a virtuous  cycle. In this happy process of greater emotional control, you do more and this creates more.  And hope then rises until you are sailing on a high ship at sea.

Depression Vicious and Virtuous: Using the Emotion around a powerful Metaphor

We know that human beings are healthiest when they are taking action to help them lead a better balanced life – involving work, relationships, meaning and so on.  And the stress they are enduring will be stopping them doing what they need to do.

A key part of rapid healing is therefore to develop a virtuous cycle where action and motivation is getting life needs met. In so doing, emotions subside and become useful once again. And so for depressed people to understand how vicious cycles can lose their forward momentum and be replaced by a virtuous cycle is a massive motivator for action.

This then builds of hope and begin the virtuous cycle at one fell swoop.

vicious virtuous cycles