Almost everyone experiences ups and downs/good times and bad times.  This is normal as life is unpredictable and many events are out of the control of the average person.  Natural disasters, war, financial collapse, health emergencies, childhood traumas abound.  But most people have the adaptability and support to process these via the Grief Process.   Some people cannot, largely due to life experience thus far, but some also have a genetic predisposition towards chronic anxiety and/or depression.

These are called Affective Disorders, because they influence the way we think and feel(our affect) and the resulting behaviour.   Addictions and compulsive behaviours often are ways the person tries to medicate this – they are often described as Mind Altering for that reason.

The most extreme is bipolar affective disorder (until recently, known as manic-depression) where the sufferer swings from “highs” (intense energy, intense feelings, out-of-control behaviour such as spending) to “lows” where getting out of bed is not worth the effort.  A variant is bipolar type 2, where the “highs” equate only  to normal levels of thinking/feeling/behaviour for most people and the “lows” question the will to live.  There is some excellent medication for these disorders, especially when combined with therapy and psychoeducation.

Numbers of people carry a low-grade anxiety or depression with them through life.  Others may experience an intense depression after some life events such as job loss, giving birth, divorce, death of a child.  Sometimes this will ease with time; sometimes it will not.  Some of the best therapy for these is known as “bottom up” treatments, in that it works through the body and feelings, where trauma is known to be stored.  These include EMDR, EFT, SE, Sensorimotor modes.   This does not rule out talking – talking is the first way in which we process experience – and it is no accident that in the most dysfunctional families the first rule is The No Talk Rule.  Talking to a professional breaks that taboo with safety.

Reading Suggestion:  I Don’t Want To Talk About It by Terence Real