Depression and it's effects on the Family

Recently was participating in the lives of some of my clients and connecting in my own heart and mind the impact of depression that disseminates and permeates a family system.

Whether it be the muffled cries at night, and the longing for a connection with someone who would understand, or the irritation that comes when one is lacking energy and everything seems to be a drain. I hear and connect with those cries, longings, and lack. I see that there is a need and the heart within me in this fictional scenario is beginning to believe that I need to cry with them, long for them, and identify with the emptiness. Isn't that the incredible thing about the human heart. It beats in harmony with other hearts. It creates a rhythm, a passion, and a desire. I don't think it's selfish to think this way. What I know is that the interconnected weaving and process through which we communicate, connect, and even share our DNA is responsible for this reality that we hurt when we close ourselves off, think we are closed off, or become curmudgeons because we can't stand the noise and the lights and the pace of life.

When all of this is happening to one individual let alone several in a family, there is a lot of tempest or emotional energy. Families ebb and flow, give and take, and when they don't recognize the plight of one of their members, they fight, prod, create distance, or look to sources of help. I would hope the latter would occur, but I know I have met a few folks that would rather eat the dying than wait until they falter behind. Some systems justify the actions as though they truly believe in Darwin's thoughts on survival.

Families are best when they are in motion together. I liken this to a dance or a baby mobile that is active and enticing. Sometimes the motion becomes rote or confined, though, and this can cause the system to lock up it's bearings. Some also can see the family system that has been scientifically studied in a pack of wolves. They are known to travel in such a way that they are catering to the needs that each individual has within the system while benefiting the whole. While it would seem that it would not benefit to move as slow as the slowest member, lets say that member is the oldest and contains the stories, memory, and history within them.

Have you taken the time to go and sit at your Great Grandmothers feet lately? Listen to her feeble lips voice soothing tones about the days she lived?

Maybe that is not the season you are in and the mover and shaker in your life is a two year old who has needs, wants, and independence like you have never experienced before. What do we do when one of the members is depressed? Shun, walk away, or avoid? I have truly seen what avoidance does in cases of systems. The avoidance of pain will lead one to create a mental illness, become worse or the avoidance becomes the behavior symptom of mental illness. When we don't pay attention and tend, mend, and win over pain, it debilitates, defeats, and denies. I mean that wounds become sores. Sores become bitter, and bitterness leads to resentments. Resentments when talked about are full of scathing remarks, caustic comments, and creative revenge.

Where is the balance? Where is the source of light in your life? Where is the way out or back to some semblance of life?

These are things that I work on every day with every day folk like you.