The organising idea of Human Givens is about our essential human needs – essential that is for our emotional and mental health. Privacy is one of the needs that Human Givens identifies – not as obvious as some – but absolutely vital nonetheless.
Listen to this Fifth Audio of the “Wellbeing” series and you can also read the accompanying blog post.
Listen/Download to my audio: Is a life without Privacy what a Depression is?
Read my Depression Help Blog post: Is a life without Privacy what a Depression is?
1: Human Givens Organising Idea
Audio 2: Emotions not Thoughts
Audio 3: Flexibly webbed
Audio 4: Healing Emotions
Audio 5: Privacy and Depression
Audio 6: A life without Attention
Audio 7: Mental Health Stigma
Audio 8: The Observing Self
Privacy is an essential emotional human need according to the Human Givens. And these needs, again according to HG are not optional extras but essential for our survival. So, without these needs being well met, human beings will endure serious mental distress and in extremis wither and die, as they would suffer similarly without food and shelter.
I have been reminded of this by my experience recently with an extremely depressed client. Her suffering could be understood as entirely driven by a complete absence of any privacy at all. And what was interesting was that it was not privacy in the obvious sense – as she certainly had space in which she could be alone and which she could keep her things. No, it was that she had no place that she could go to or be in or even be: that felt at all safe – where she could allow herself the time to begin to process and daydream.
It occurred to me that being profoundly unsafe meant a complete absence of any privacy and that this was the simplest description that one could find for what a depression is.