Fear of Relapse into Depression
By: Sandy Sayah-Pedram, JD, LMFT
Concern with reoccurence of symptoms is commonly spoken of among clinicians in connection with Panic Disorder. When it comes to depression in remission, on the other hand, it's mostly clients that will tell us about their often overwhelming fears of being drawn in again when they've momentarily let their guard down. Like a rip tide, depression silently lures us into its depths before we realize that our only way beyond it to safety is to swim against a wayward current.
Most people don't want to acknowledge just how powerful our emotions are, especially sadness. We imagine that we can think it away. We imagine that we can behave it away through frantic doing and non-stop busyness. We will try anything to not have to face its enormity.
Yet depression can be seen as the cry of a hungry soul. Our soul is hungry for purpose, pleasure, and shared experience. It's hungry for unity and integrity as opposed to having one part of self at war with another part of the same self. If we can learn to increase our tolerance of it, sadness is a wise teacher for the soul. Depression can be a mark of a souls growing pains. This is not an easy thing to ask of someone. At no point in our experience are we more aware of our existential aloneness in the universe than when we find ourselves sunk in the abyss of depression, powerless to help ourselves back to shore.
Sadness leads to fear and the fear leads back to sadness unless we accept the hand by a fellow companion and allow them to lifeguard us back to safety.