Let’s be honest, you know you lived with depression for a while now.  It comes and goes, and it never really goes away.  

At times, your art is your haven where “the blues” can’t really touch you.  At other times, even your creative energy is taken away when the depression invades you in its darkest shades. 

Sometimes, you think to reach out for support.  Maybe you can find some purpose or meaning.  Or, perhaps you can find a way to feel alive and inspired for more than the moments when you’re expressing your craft and finding your flow in your art. 

You want to wake in the morning without being held back by the blues that keep you hostage in a lonely and disconnected world.  You want to be seen, valued, appreciated and emotionally fulfilled by simply being you, the artist and the person behind your art.  

But what really hides beneath your depression? 

We tend to think that we know what depression is and minimize the messages that it’s trying to convey to us.  Often, depression, is just a symptom that covers deeper wounds. 

Depression can mask the experience of being an unloved child.  A lack of emotional acknowledgment and love in the early years can leave an adult with a continued sense of loneliness, disconnection, and emptiness. 

Depression often emerges in the aftermath of early emotional trauma. Your  natural life energy can be repressed by unresolved early emotional injuries such as abandonment, rejection, criticism, shame, humiliation, loss, or abuse.  Emotional trauma doesn’t have to be a big shocking event.  Emotional trauma is any experiences that won’t allow you to really bloom. 

Depression can also be brought on by a failure of individuation.  This can happen if you were not allowed to explore this big and beautiful world as a child, so you can find yourself and understand where you belong.  If you don’t have the chance to individuate you can’t really be of touch with yourself.  You don’t truly know who you are or what you want.  What are your dreams and aspirations?  What makes you tick, what makes you hide?  What makes you spark, what makes you cringe?  If you live like this for too long, eventually you cease to exist on an emotional level. 

The lack of authentic and fulfilling relationships can cause depression too.  All people need genuine connection to feel alive. You need to be inspired, motivated, and validated and cannot thrive when you’re starved of joyful connections. We feel and become our best selves through connections that feel right. 

Or, depression may simply be the result of a genetic or biological predisposition.  When you have a genetic predisposition, depression can be more easily triggered by your circumstances.  

At the same time, what we might call a genetic predisposition may be just an unhealthy emotional environment that gets passed down from generation to generation.  Emotional circumstances impact and even change our genes.  With that in mind, you can actually change your genetics through your own emotional transformation and this will positively impact the next generations too. 

Depression can be understood as a “life force” or problem 

Despite the different flavors and causes of depression, there is one common thread among all of them: loss of vitality.  

Inherently, we are all born with a life force.  We are all born with the predisposition to survive, become, and thrive.  Our life energy enables us to create, to connect, and find purpose and meaning.  

But, sometimes, something happens, and our natural life energy gets trapped.  When we can’t express that life energy, depression takes over. 

As an artist, you found your art in order to connect and express your life energy.  But, when you’re away from your art, you’re often lost.  It’s seems harder to connect with that life energy if you’re “just you.”

 So, the question is: what is the story behind your depression? 

The lonely abandoned child? The rejected child? The child of the alcoholic parent? Or, maybe, the survivor of abuse?

Whatever your story is, you can rediscover it and rewrite it.  You can find in that story the nuances of you that you never discovered, saw, or felt.   Remember, behind that story there is also the gifted child with an amazing talent and a sense for human expression in its most mystical way.  

When you’re fully in your art, you can be an expression of everything you’ve ever craved or needed. You can be all that you ever imagined: the survivor, the hero, the fighter with the brave heart who’ll never give up. 

You found a way to survive and show up through you art.  Now, you owe to yourself and those who love you to figure out how to fully show up in your life.

You begin this journey when you revisit the first draft of your story – those childhood memories and experiences.  As an adult, you can revisit and rewrite the story over and over again until you find all the nuances of you that you never realized were there, shaping your entire life.  And when you find the real you through reconnecting and rewriting your old story, you can start writing and living a renewed story.  The real story of you, the original.   

When you can get to the the roots of your depression, you can start recovering that story of the real you and all your humane nuance, shades, and colors can shine through.  You can live and create using the full rainbow of your life energy, including all the shades of blue.

Contact me to set up a free 15-20 minute consultation to see if psychotherapy can help you further your career and your personal life.

I am Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Doctor in Clinical Psychology. I help creatives and performers with emotional trauma, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, creative blocks / creative issues, relationships, and addictions – to be and live their own best version. You can read more about Therapy for Creatives and Performers here.

Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Psy.D. LMFT

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