When depression feels too big

Do something little – it can change the story

‘I was going to cancel this session with you because I didn’t think I would be able to speak,’ said Mehan, blinking at me uncertainly from his Zoom screen. ‘It is the first time in two days I’ve opened the curtains. I’ve hardly got out of bed, the depression is so bad.’

I had seen Mehan once before, in my capacity as one of the counsellors for his university. We had addressed the paralysing anxiety he had felt, largely the legacy of an extremely overbearing father, for whom the actions, efforts and opinions of his four children had never come up to the overly rigorous standards he set.

‘I’ve had depression a lot in my life,’ Mehan revealed now. ‘I think I need to see a psychiatrist to be diagnosed and get this chemical imbalance sorted out.’

‘You don’t need to see a psychiatrist and you don’t have a chemical imbalance – that is all a myth,’ I responded firmly. ‘Depression results from needs not being met and/or innate resources not being used correctly. So what has been happening to you, Mehan?’

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