Humans make sense of the world metaphorically and so I am always on the lookout for metaphors which work – like seeing depression as a flood and contrasting that with the eruptive fire of anxieties.
Listen to this Twelfth Audio of the “What is Depression” series and you can also read the accompanying blog post.
Listen/download to my audio: Depression is a Flood and Anxieties a volcanic eruption
Read my Depression Help Blog post: Depression is a Flood and Anxieties a volcanic eruption
1: How Depression takes hold
Audio 2: Waking Up Exhausted
Audio 3: Twisted Ankle Fairy Story
Audio 4: Dreaming and Depression
Audio 5: Water Hose Metaphor
Audio 6: From Dreaming to Depression
Audio 7: Finding Trauma
Audio 8: What is mental illness?
Audio 9: Clearing Trauma
Audio 10: Examples of Rewind
Audio 11: Lacking Self Confidence
Audio 12: Flood metaphor for Depression
Audio 13: Sleep differences – Depression & Anxiety
There is an obvious contrast between the almost infinite variety of anxieties in their various forms with the simplicity of a depression. Think of the difference between a volcanic eruption and a flood caused by inadequate drainage and water escape. Anxieties are the volcano and depression is the floods. Both are caused by extreme pressure but while a volcano is more spectacular and will manifest in more ways (ash, dust, flames, ground fissures and so on, all spread variably over the land) a flood is quieter, less differentiated but can do at least as much damage.
When thinking about anxieties therefore, my first observation is that you understand them as deriving primarily from an over sensitive and so malfunctioning amygdale (the flight or fight response) – in other words from a trauma of some kind. These then will transform into many and varied manifestations, depending on the circumstance of the original trauma and how successful or not are attempts to live with the trauma.
A depression by contrast is a specific form of mental distress caused by excess worrying which leads to exhausting over dreaming which then collapses motivation and self confidence. And just as most floods look the same (ie water everywhere) so depressions will have much more similarities than anxieties.