Today I would like to begin to talk about Depression from the ESM Perspective. Depression has been classified as a mental illness in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM – 5) as well as previous editions of this manual put out by the American Psychiatric Association. However, from an ESM Perspective, the constellation of symptoms comprising “depression” (e.g. impaired sleep; excessive eating or loss of appetite, low mood; loss of interest in daily activities etc.) represent a symptom or symptom picture. Depression is considered a symptom of some underlying problem.
Years ago, when I was a graduate student in Clinical Psychology, depression was classified as Reactive or Endogenous. For example, depression was considered Reactive if it had a clearly defined stimulus which served to trigger it (e.g. the loss of a valued job or relationship). In contrast, the term “Endogenous” was reserved for depression with an unidentified stimulus. Most Endogenous depressions were considered to be genetically pre-disposed.
According to the information provided to us as part of the ESM Perspective, in the case of Endogenous Depression, the stimulus or catalyst for the depression is the fear-factor in the cell. Endogenous Depression is always a reaction to something that is already present there. However, this catalyst may be very, very subtle, deeply-rooted in the cell memory and the contents of the cell memory may derive from past generations.
The origin of this type of depression is much more difficult to identify or recognize than Reactive Depression wherein the catalyst is more obvious. This has contributed to a clinical tendency to consider Endogenous Depression as a genetically pre-disposed disorder most effectively treated biologically with medication and, in severe cases, ECT, and as not treatable by talk therapy.
From the ESM Perspective, Endogenous Depression is really a symptom of something that has happened previously and may have represented a pattern which was unconsciously observed but never fully recognized. If you take a depressed individual back in time, they might recognize a FEELING of when they first experienced depression being triggered. We have a feeling. We can ask the feeling why it is there. The feeling relates to a memory that was buried in the cell.
The advantage of ESM is that we do not have to know what the feeling is about in order to eliminate it. This is an advantage because the process of identifying the memory in Endogenous Depression tends to be very subtle and so it can take a long time, if we are successful, to have this truth manifest. With ESM, if it is significant for the person to remember what the memory is about – if it will serve them – it will be revealed. Otherwise, it can be extinguished without risng to consciousness.
In next month’s blog I would like to talk more about Depression and anger and a failure to speak our truth – as well as provide guidance from the ESM Perspective on how to better heal ourselves from depression.