Why do I feel depressed? How to 'let go' of depression

The feeling of depression sucks energy; it is a constant feeling of being drained, exhausted, sad. Almost like you're walking through mud.

Your head can feel heavy and strange. Constant headaches can ensue, and tiredness and exhaustion mean the body and the mind are heavy and worn. There is a loss of enjoyment for most things and everything can feel like an uphill battle. It is completely common to feel drained of energy and excitement, and as though there is a 'cloud' hanging over you, which follows you around everywhere.

Sometimes, a gap of light breaks through the clouds. Though, the heaviness can return leaving you feeling sad, weepy, irritated, exhausted and completely fed up.

How can you 'let go' of depression?

The thing with depression is, it's a state which occurs as a direct result of living inauthentically. Let me explain.

Do you feel that you're living? 

And I mean truly living? Think of a young child, bouncing with a spring in their step down the dusty path, trees hanging overhead with the warmth of the sun stroking their skin, skipping along without a care in the world. They're unaware of themselves in many ways, completely uninterested in what others may think of them, skipping and singing at the top of their voices. Do you think wow, what a wonderful image? Or perhaps it is a sad and painful image when you realise that this has been lost, taken or repressed in your own life. 

When was the last time that you skipped, danced, smiled laughed? Why do we lose this freedom and start to focus instead on working hard enough, "What will others think of me?"

Perhaps that freedom was never allowed or it was lost. Is it any wonder that we can end up feeling depressed with the constant anxiety of being good enough or constantly carrying around pain?

Depression doesn't have to be a lasting experience. You can let it go.

When painful experiences are suppressed as we haven't yet been ready to experience them and let them go, it drains us. It takes a huge amount of energy, constantly, daily, hourly to keep these emotions buried.

This suppression often happens entirely unconsciously, it's also a very courageous thing to do, it's helped you to survive for so long. The problem is that we can only do this for so long, as it takes a great deal of energy to do this. It takes energy to keep these emotions repressed, to throw ourselves into other activities, work, family, children, gaming, projects, tv, helping others instead. It all takes energy. It takes energy to bury the emotions in this way, though they often still linger there.

These repressed feelings often start to 'leak' out after a while; we get irritated when others are demanding from us, heartbroken when we can't go on our favourite Xbox game or our favourite series is ending, fed up with constant work demands, tired of earning money to just pay the bills and not actually enjoying anything anymore. Perhaps we just feel that we can't continue. Maybe the millions of tasks we have drowned ourselves in are just no longer helping as they used to. Maybe relationships just don't bring the same joy. 

This is because we are living inauthentically because the energy that we have thrown into burying all of those unprocessed feelings is just wearing out. We can't repress them forever and not burn out in the process. This complete exhaustion from using all of this energy for so long can lead to depression and it is entirely reasonable to see why.

Imagine holding both arms out with 10 tonnes of bricks in great big bags, and a huge rucksack full of rubble on your back, and being asked to hold them for minutes, days, weeks, years (and continuing to do everything else in your life)!

It's understandable that we will feel miserable eventually, that there won't be any joy in the things which we once loved - because the weight of the bags is just constant.

Letting go of these bags is the way to live again. It's the way to connect to that freedom that once was or seek the freedom that you deserve. I am sure that you wouldn't want to make anybody else hold those bags up, so why is it OK for you to do? You deserve to live, to be authentically you.

How can counselling help?

When you start to process the repressed feelings in a safe space through counselling, the bricks can be taken out. The energy that it took to hold onto them for so long starts to disperse. You can start to acknowledge these bricks and make sense of your past experiences in a new, meaningful way and, ultimately, shift the feeling of heaviness and the sadness which follows.

When we can shift these bricks and find the hidden grief within, there is a release of energy and freedom from depression will begin.

Reach out for counselling and let go of the bricks. You deserve happiness.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Warrington, Cheshire, WA1

Written by Alexandra Bate

Warrington, Cheshire, WA1

Alexandra Bate (Alli) is an experienced Integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist and lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Having walked her own path of 'darkness' Alli has made it her mission to be a 'light' to those who may feel currently stuck their own 'darkness'. She is passionate about counselling and the changes it can bring.

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