Process work or process-oriented psychology often takes a paradoxical point of view on disturbance and conflict. In his post below, fellow Process Worker, David Bedrick shares insights on the ups and downs of depression.
The word comes from the latin “depressare”- to press down.
Our culture heavily favors being “up” and many of us have internalized this bias. Mainstream psychology also fails to be more even handed as it works to “anti-depress” folks, suggesting psychopharmaca, exercise, diet changes, talk therapy, and activities to lift us up.
This bias devalues our downward motion at significant cost to our well-being. For example, “down” can take us into deep feelings that get left out of a fast moving, reasonable, and productive life – feelings that can moisten life and make connections with people, animals, and earth more likely. For others, going “down” leads them to forgotten visions of what life can be- visions of different careers, values, relationships, and reasons to be alive.
I say “Yes” to going upward; I also say “Yes” to going downward. Because “up” is already supported and favored, most of us need support for our downward movement. So next time you see a person who looks down (including yourself), stop for a moment and think “I wonder what kind of beauty, power, and richness they’re seeking.”