Have you ever overheard people talking about couples that have been married for a very long time? One of things often said is how a couple will begin to look alike over time. How and why do you think this occurs?

This phenomenon parallels a tea bag being steeped in clear water. After a while the water takes on the color and characteristics of the contents of the tea bag.

This is what happens with couples. They are both, at the same time, the "clear water" AND the tea bag -- Each saturating the other with ideas, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, food choices and so forth. After a while there is a melting pot effect where they each more resemble the other, and this is so powerful that couples eventually begin to look alike. Powerful, eh?

Now, having a relationship with depression can be scarily the same. The depression tea bag will steep itself deeply in your life at least one time. Normally you will be able to take out the depression tea bag by adding new coping skills and continually diluting the mixture back to its original quality. "Clear water" is who you really are at your core. You have a base set of qualities that make up both your personality and what is most important in your life. It's your essence!

We all know that some teas are stronger than others. The depression tea bag is a strong, biggie-sized tea bag! It can powerfully impact your life, saturating you completely until you forget who you are. Depression becomes you!

When this happens you take on all the characteristics of depression, leaving much of who you are behind. How you walk will reflect depression. Your tone will reflect depression. Your moods will reflect depression. Your posture will mirror depression and so on.

It's been said that some people look at life through rose- colored lenses. When you become chronically depressed you look at life through ash-colored lenses. It taints how you see everything in your life.

To lend an example... I walked out into the waiting room to greet a new client. I extended my hand and introduced myself. The gentleman replied with, "Hello, I'm Mr. Depression!" In all fairness, he said this in a funny manner. We each had a chuckle, but it gave me automatic insight into how deeply depression had sunk into this young man. We'll call him John.

By the end of our initial session I was talking with John about how is life might be different if (listen closely here) he was a man "under attack from depression" vs. a man who "is depression." Do you see the incredible difference here?

If I AM DEPRESSION... if that's who I am, how in the world can I change WHO I AM? John immediately saw how he had over-identified with depression. He had lost his identity. This took about two years. His insight was a huge first step in putting distance between himself and depression.

In later sessions we had some fun. I had him create a name for the depression problem. Then he completed a biography statement of the depression problem, including traits, goals, dominant feelings etc. In a following session he brought a picture to represent the depression problem, introduced the problem to me by name and taught me about the problem using the mini-biography form I had given him.

This added great distance between him and depression. We didn't stop there. His next task was to complete an exercise in re-acquainting himself with who he was at his core (outside of depression).

This was a powerful exercise having to do with death and what was most important to him as he imagined that he was in his final days here on Earth. Although a painful exercise, it is a direct path to the heart, making it very powerful.

And once you strip away all the clutter in your life, the heart holds the truth about what is most dear to you --


Publishing Guidelines: You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the resource box is included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.
Author: Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW
E-mail: mailto:editor@overcoming-depression.com
Copyright: by Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW
Web Address: http://www.Overcoming-Depression.com
Word Count: 673
Category: Mental Health

Author's Bio: 

Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW is an author, university faculty member, success coach and veteran psychotherapist whose passion is guiding others to their own success in life. For weekly doses of the webs HOTTEST success tips, sign up for Dave's powerful “Feeling Great!” ezine atwww.Overcoming-Depression.com