This posting came from an article Tom Wootton posted in Psychology Today, with his approval for it to be on my site. It reinforces what I keep saying about the holistic healing of depression – body, soul, and spirit. It’s not just the body. It’s not just the soul (mind, will, and emotions). It’s not just the spirit. It’s all three. We learn tools to keep our depression within the boundaries we can function in, and the fear of depression goes away.
Those who do not understand depression and mania think that the only way to control it is to make it go away. It works for a while,
but when mania or depression returns they find themselves back in crisis with no awareness or skills to do something about it. When mania, depression, rage, hallucination, delusion, or any other manifestation returns, chaos ensues.
You must make sure you are working with a level that you can control. That is what I have been teaching people to do for many years. We do not learn to control things by avoiding them or denying their existence. We learn by finding the limits of our range and keeping ourselves within it.
The focus of Bipolar IN Order training [and training for depression] is recognizing the edge and learning tools to get back within it when we cross it. We teach people how to expand their range instead of contracting it. The focus of the old paradigm is to try to make mania and depression go away. That may not seem like a big change, but it is “the difference that makes the difference” as Gregory Bateson so eloquently stated. Our approach needs to be different (from the old paradigm of making it go away), but not too different (as it would be by letting depression and mania go completely unchecked).
We need to learn to be depressive or bipolar without letting it get too far and losing control. Hiding from it and hoping it will somehow never return does not work.
I’ll finish with a quote from my book Bipolar In Order as it illustrates the same point: “Since it is believed impossible to thrive in depression, mania, hallucination, and delusion, we are not taught how to thrive and are instead taught only how to avoid the symptoms and live in fear that they might some day return.”
Tom Wootton founded Bipolar Advantage with the mission to help people with mental conditions shift their thinking and behavior so that they can lead extraordinary lives.