I have never come across someone who suffered from the depression who didn’t have a legitimate reason to be depressed. It wasn’t so much that they had lost a loved one, lost their primary source of income, were ill of health or any of the number of issues that can cause people to suffer from depression. (These are understandable reasons to become depressed) It was because they were married to a flawed life script.
A life script is a set of beliefs and instructions that you have learned from your parents, guardians and adult members of your community about what steps you should take in achieving any measure of success in your life. Therefore, a flawed life script is a life script that contains a set of beliefs and instructions given to you with the intention of achieving success in life, but does not help you do so.
In a previous post dedicated to understanding depression, I discussed about the three types of depression, with one of the types being about people who are depressed but have no idea about what triggers their depression. The reason I bring this post up, is because from time to time, I encounter people who simply believe that their depression is solely a biological cause.
For instance, some time ago, a patient of mine informed me that he had done some reading about depression and he believed that he had a chemical imbalance. I agreed with him about his chemical imbalance and then I asked if he knew about what had caused his chemical imbalance, to which he could not answer. There is a cause for everything, even depression and I don’t believe that it is healthy for a depressed person to settle for idea that he or she was born with or developed chemical imbalance out of thin air.
When it comes to depression, said chemical imbalances amounts to receptor cells in the brain not being able to receive neurotransmitters like serotonin from another neuron. This is a topic I addressed in this previous post about how depression occurs on a biological level and how nutrition can help over come chemical imbalances.
Consider this, if post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is caused by an traumatic event experienced by the sufferer and people with PTSD have been shown to have chemical imbalances due to having PTSD, then it stands to reason that chemical imbalances that lead to depression have also been caused by severe unpleasant and traumatic events.
This is where the life script comes in, if you have been living your life by a set of beliefs and instructions that have done nothing but cause you more problems, it stands to reason that over time you would have developed a chemical imbalance from the constant contradiction of the reality in your head versus what your eyes, ears and senses experience. After all the human brain was designed to be congruent, and several research studies have shown that well adjusted people consistently demonstrate consistency between their beliefs, actions and desired outcome.
As a child and a teen, I frequently would hear adults talk to my peers and I about keeping an open mind. As an adult I have come to realize that nothing could be more true. Disappointment is hard to accept, especially if you have been conditioned to investing a lot of time and energy into achieving a certain goal, only to feel that you wasted your time.
This coming Monday, I will be publish a post on how to recognize flaws in your life script and use disappointment to your advantage, using specific examples.
Ugo is a psychotherapist, life coach and owner of Road 2 Resolutions PLLC.