Archive for April 13th, 2010
There is no doubt that it is spring here on the Canadian prairies as the Canada and Snow Geese have arrived. En route to the city in order to have my hearing aids repaired, several thousand geese were noted in a series of sloughs (large ponds on the prairies) and farm fields). Here on the outskirts of our small town, I got this photo of a pair of Canada geese on the edges of the town’s reservoir. It began as a record of another spring’s approach until I saw the result on my computer. Then, I knew that it belongs here.
Perhaps it is just my imagination (of course it is, it all is about my imagination – active imagination), but the elements of the image point to so much – relationship, blocked libido, spirit, the unconscious – and, of course, hope, renewal and alchemical transformation (rebirth). Looking at this photo points me to a holistic view of being in the world, in the present, a world that is cyclical and where everything exists in states of movement between points of polarity.
Life isn’t only about depression, there are periods where depression recedes and one is engaged with life with all the energy one would hope for and expect. When this doesn’t happen, one has a medical issue. This is something important to note. Depression that is constant needs medical attention, usually a regime of medication. Not all depression is about the soul. That said, all depression affects the soul, the psyche. Therefore, though there may be an organic cause for the depression, the fallout for the psyche would require that one seek therapy as well as medicinal relief.
Here I think of one of my previous long-term clients who suffers from a bi-polar disorder. He requires the help of both a psychiatrist for his pharmaceutical needs and a counsellor for the needs of his psyche. This is something he needs for the rest of his life even though he has already been in treatment for more than fifteen years. Counselling alone would not meet his needs; neither would just the medications.
When I talk about depression here, I do so from a Jungian point of view, one that focuses on the psyche, a depression that is based on loss of soul which usually finds its roots in the woundings one experiences, especially in childhood but not limited to childhood. For my readers, I felt it was important to remind all of this focus. As well, I must reiterate that this blog site doesn’t pretend to be talking about anything more that my understandings. This is not a site that proclaims any “truths” about the human psyche. I don’t trust any person or site that claims to have the answers. Life is about living the questions in order to discover individual answers as one passes through the questions.
Now, back to a bit more comment on the photo. I noted the pair of geese and thought about how for many of us, depression affects one’s partner as well as one’s self. Relationships must work through the loss of libido experienced by the depressed partner, a loss that interferes with being fully present. This loss of libido expresses itself during the day with a lethargy and a lack of interest or focus; at night, it affects the quality of sexual union, sometimes to the point of withdrawal. The partner who tries to navigate through the depression of his or her partner, needs to learn as much as the depressed partner. In my opinion, it would be wise to have this non-depressive partner also engage in personal counselling. The human psyche is porous and one can never stand outside unaffected by what is happening around the “self,” what is happening to “other.”
This was my hardest lesson to learn, one that I am still working hard to deal with – I can’t do this work fully on my own and protect those in relationship to me from the workings of my psyche. As much as I want to do this all on my own and keep my shit to myself, it is not possible. This is a problem of being human, being connected to other humans on both a conscious and unconscious level.