Depressed? Or Just Shocked?

The Depressive Tree by Corina Chirila

Flat. You’re just flat.  You can’t even think why.  Nothing happened that should make you apathetic like this, or sad, or even depressed.  Outwardly you might be described as calm.  Depending on how well someone knows you, depressed can appear calm.

My mentor, Andrew Feldmar, would say that that there is no such thing as “depression”, that there is only “frozen emotions”.  I agree with him.  From a bodyworker’s standpoint, I would add there are “frozen tissues” too. I’ve joked with Andrew that I have yet to come across anything in my own health that isn’t psychosomatic—where no matter what, if my body’s acting up, trapped emotions are also involved.  I find, if given the opportunity, my emotions and my body will release simultaneously.

I think people get “depressed” quite often.  Your gut and blood can trigger it by getting bogged down with too much or the wrong kind of food.  Lots of sugar first raises anxiety, and after enough hours, will turn to sadness.  Some people reach for something sweet when they’re sad, and so the cycle perpetuates.

Some people get “depressed” right after an argument.  They’ve gotten mad, but didn’t let it out, and presto, they feel low within a couple hours, and it can last for weeks.  Somewhere inside had to take the brunt of the intensity and keep it under control or dull the big feelings.  You’ve got to have a pretty strong internal mechanism to contain big emotions, like anger.

“Depression” can be left over after a sinus cold—what are typically fluid and flexible vessels have gotten gunked up and have stopped being fluid and flexible, resulting in an over-all rigid “cap” over the brain’s layers.  What happens?  Not much.  That’s the problem.  The brain wants to breathe, move, drain, and so do the fluid-filled layers around the brain. Sinus congestion can be a real block to a happy body and mind!

The body gets “depressed” after being scared.  Many children I’ve treated have developed a high fever and cold right after getting overwhelmed in the playground, after someone shouting, or falling suddenly.  Yes, the fever is helping them fight an unwanted pathogen, but the shock has trapped all their natural fire in a tiny pocket up in the brain’s fluid system, and they can’t spread it around their whole body.  That tiny pocket, if gently released, will help the child’s immune system settle down and will let them relax again.

Women often are depressed after birth—for good reasons sometimes—like not having enough support, or having had a very challenging birth that no one has really understood from them yet.  If anyone had their whole body go through such quick structural changes it would be enough to leave anyone”depressed”.  When you’ve been taken apart, sometimes the pieces need a little guidance (and time) to come back together.  Sometimes a woman just needs to cry at the sheer shock of going through such a transformation in order to catch up with the changes and restore her natural health.

Next time you’re flat (or maybe strangely calm) don’t be hard on yourself.  Go spend some time with someone who you can move with— internally, like a Craniosacral Therapist or Osteopath, or externally, like a dance or movement facilitator.  And if talking is just the right movement for the moment, just start, and see where it takes you.  And sometimes, it doesn’t always work on the first go.  Frustration and even futility can be important stops along the way to restoring your fluid nature.