Sometimes we think of our trauma as specific incidents from our past such as painful childhood experiences, injuries we’ve sustained, or abusive relationships we’ve survived. We might not think of our depressions as a form of trauma, but they definitely are. Many of us experience recurring depressions, cyclical depression and bipolar depression. Every occurrence of depression, even one isolated episode, can be extremely traumatic and destabilizing.
Depression is often accompanied by intense anxiety and panic. Our fears can cause us considerable pain and distress and are traumatic in and of themselves. When we are consumed with fear, we often adopt a fear-based perspective about everything- our thoughts, who we are as people, the world around us, our future. We can find ourselves afraid to leave our homes, venture out into the world, and be around other people. We isolate ourselves out of fear. We don’t necessarily question our fears and whether or not they are rational because they can be all-consuming, and we come to believe them to be true. This accumulation of fear can be traumatizing. The isolation we feel, the lack of support we so desperately need, and our disconnection from other people can all be traumatizing.
Because we attract things into our lives with the energy we carry, when we are depressed, we are manifesting with an energy of sadness and fear. We therefore find ourselves attracting more thoughts, feelings, relationships and experiences that reflect this painful energy. We often respond to these new manifestations with the same sadness and fear- we panic, we feel like we’re being hit from all sides, like we’re being kicked when we’re down. We feel like we’ll never be able to dig ourselves out of the hole. This build-up of more and more difficult challenges can be traumatizing.
We often come to believe that our addictions and mental health issues are proof that we are inadequate, weak, pathetic, and destined to suffer. We create all kinds of limiting beliefs about ourselves, and our painful thought patterns reflecting these beliefs can be so relentless we feel like we can’t escape the pain of our own minds. Our psyches are in distress. We might panic at the thought of having to live within these minds for the rest of our lives. All of this can be traumatic.
As we embark on our healing journeys, we can choose to feel compassion and understanding for ourselves and for the suffering we’ve experienced, rather than belittling or dismissing just how traumatic our depressions can be.
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