To move from an understanding of dreaming to depression explained. Who could have believed it could be so straightforward? But it is for most depressions and this is the great contribution of Human Givens.
Listen to this Sixth Audio of the “What is Depression” series and you can also read the accompanying blog page.
Listen/Download to my audio: From Dreaming to Depression
Read my Depression Help Blog page: From Dreaming to Depression
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
The Human Givens insight was to realise that dreams act out our unexpressed emotional expectations (positive and negative) through the medium of metaphor. They are imaginary, metaphorical and perceptual experiences that occur primarily in REM sleep and they have the effect of preserving the integrity of our emotional responses.
All dreams are expressed in the form of sensory metaphors. The reason for this is found in the biology of dreaming and the REM state itself, which is the experience of all mammals. Thus for example, we know that instinctive behaviours are programmed during the REM state in the foetus and the neonate and Griffin could then postulate that the REM state is the state that humans access in order to imagine, remember and learn. Importantly though, the REM state does not just occur when dreaming but is also accessed as the trance state when learning or when attempting to remember or focusing on just one thing.
This dreaming theory is called the expectation fulfilment theory of dreams.
So it is now easy to understand what a depression is. It is a response to excessive ruminations and arousals, caused by a life which is not working. (In HG terms this is understood as a life where essential human needs are not properly being met). Those worries of course then require a large amount of REM dreaming in order that the arousals can be deactivated. But dreaming takes a lot of energy and the brain becomes too exhausted to complete the required dreaming and so the person wakes up in a state of exhaustion and de-motivation. A downward spiral begins – of worry, exhausting sleep, de-motivation and a growing incapacity to act effectively to get the initial problem solved and so get needs better met.