Most of us experience it for days or months. But when it feels like it will last forever, somatic therapy can help.
The good news about the neurobiology of depression may surprise you
Those feelings of heaviness, brain fog, lack of motivation, procrastination or sadness are part of a biological strategy, known as the Freeze state. Your biology, in trying to help you manage overwhelming stress, starts to turn down the thermostat. Like a dimmer switch, your biology softens the shock of too much data, to ease feelings of overwhelm. What was too much, too soon or too fast, needs less, not more. It needs support for stillness, invisibility, even immobility . . . And these are the superpowers of freeze.
But they don’t feel like superpowers.
Many people call this depression, but from the point of view of your biology, this intelligen- by-design strategy, supports and preserves valuable inner resources.
And it mostly does not FEEL that. It feels awful.
But why would your nervous system do this?
- Especially when your kids need their breakfast,
- The bills need to be paid,
- The laundry taunts from the pile on the floor,
- Work beckons.
- The world needs us to step up.
Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning feels like a monumental task when your biology leans toward Freeze.
When we look deeper into accumulated stresses that your biology has had to face over a lifetime, they add up:
- Difficult medical or dental procedures
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Emotional hurt
- Being bullied or betrayed
- Setbacks such as losing a job, a pet dying, financial or academic set backs
- If you’re a minority, micro-aggression and physical threat
Add to these normal life events, other experiences like childhood neglect, loss or abuse, military service, death of a loved one, being the victim of an assault, gas lighting or other inescapable double binds, your biology has a remedy: The Freeze State.
These experiences demand a lot from your body and nervous system because they are “saved” in a kind of kinesthetic database, waiting for the opportunity to be “righted.”
Because you may have had to put up with bullying, or were powerless to resolve a betrayal, had to survive a difficult childhood, you may have entered adulthood with some feelings of “I can’t,” a sometimes not so subtle feeling of helplessness and confusion.
The biology of Freeze tries to turn down these distressing signals. These signals tell us with a pervasive sense that “the world is not a safe place,” or “I’m in danger.”
And somehow, you override these feelings, and function when you must.
And it’s exhausting.
Some people with Freeze patterns, feel a strong impulse to avoid pain, loss and hurt by isolating or avoiding things, using drugs, food, alcohol just to get some relief.
But in our modern, busy lives, most of us can’t take a time out to rest and process losses, especially when we may have had a series of setbacks. So we override the biology of Freeze and heroically make ourselves meet the challenges of daily life.
But it has a price.
We get tired, exhausted, then feel embarrassed or ashamed that we can’t rise to the sometimes even simple tasks of everyday life. And this double bind makes it hard to rest, hard to recover, and worse yet hard to get help, thinking that we’re broken beyond repair.
The Good News.
Freeze can be completed.
Like every other cycle on this planet, the natural rhythm of Freeze has a beginning, middle and an end. And using the principles of Somatic Experiencing® we can help your body find and return to that natural rhythm and the feeling of easeful readiness.
In a somatic therapy session, we support your body to complete, or as we like to say “re-negotiate” these stressful events that accumulate in our lives.
People experience this process sometimes as
- “Depression’s letting go of me.”
- “I feel more like myself.”
- “I can breath again.”
You may be surprised how enjoyable and “easeful” this “re-negotiation” work can be.
Because we are working directly with your biology and its natural cycles awakening your animal intelligence to survive and thrive. Rather than being heroic, the natural impulses and longings of our body for sustainable flow of life return.
If this approach to depression sparks an interest in you, read articles on the Blog.
With such a high demand for Somatic Experiencing®, you may be on a waiting list for a while. You can add your name to the list here.
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Common Symptoms of Depression
- Trouble concentrating on tasks, remembering things and making decisions
- Decrease in your regular amount of energy – feeling fatigued
- Feeling guilty, worthless, hopeless, pessimistic or helpless
- Trouble sleeping or change in sleeping habits
- Easily Irritable or more restless than normal
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy doing
- Change in eating habits – over or under eating, not by your choice
- Aches, pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive troubles
- Feeling sad, anxious, or “empty”
- Suicidal thoughts
Click here look at some of the indicators of the Freeze state. If you find a number of these, and they are lasting more than 6 months, you might find Somatic Experiencing® Therapy helpful.