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Eneegetically speaking, what is depression?

 

I remember someone saying something about depression being a misplaced dantien or chakra. 

 

Could someone describe what the corespondence or depression is in terms of energy?

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This is an orthogonal response, so take it for what it's worth. 

First, it's important to make a distinction between clinical depression and a transitory experience usually called "having the blues".  I'm not sure if what follows always just refers to "the blues", but not being a psychiatrist, I'm leery of making a broad statement about what goes on during clinical depression. 

Having said all of the above, in my experience conversing with Jesuits (part of my "cloudwalking thing") I came across their meditation system called "the Ignation Spiritual Exercises". One part of their system is to divide mental states into "desolation" and "consolation". My understanding was that "desolation" is what most normal people would describe as "depression" or "the blues". They had several things they taught people, such as "you should never make important decisions while in a period of desolation". Another thing that they teach is that many times "desolation" is followed by "consolation". That is, depression is often followed by a new insight. 

What I practice as a result of learning about this is to see a period of suffering from "the blues" as a time when my subconscious is wrestling with a profound question of some sort. This means that I am able to "bracket" the experience as something that will eventually pass, and, when it does so I will become a wiser person. This breaks up the "despair" that is the worst part of suffering from the blues. And I also have learned to look for what I have learned that makes me a wiser person afterwards. I believe that when I do this I usually do find that I've made some sort of break through that allows me to see the world---and my place in it---much more clearly. 

Unfortunately, other strains of Catholic spirituality make a fetish out of depression, saying that it is some sort of "gift" from God. I read the letters of "Mother" Teresa to her spiritual adviser. I found them really sad in that by the time she died she had totally lost any faith in God and thought that she was a total fraud---but her adviser twisted all this around into being a "test" meant to deepen her faith.  

One last thing. I don't know how committed you are to the whole "energetics" way of understanding Daoism. It is a traditional way of looking at things, but I've come to the conclusion that it is a leftover from a pretty-much obsolete school of Chinese science. I think it's much better to look at stuff from a more modern viewpoint---like I've tried to do in this comment. 
 

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In terms of TCM, clinical depression would be an inbalance of multiple Souls, depending on which are the characteristics of said depression.

 

For instance, depression which makes you apatic (with apparently no sadness) and incapable of basic living skills (such as getting out of bed) would be related to the Heart (Shen), Lungs (Po) and Kidney (Zhi) souls.


All forms of suicide would be related to the Heart soul and Liver (Hun) soul.

 

Excessive thoughts and anxiety which lead to depression (mood variations), however, would be related to the Heart, Spleen, Liver and Kidney souls disbalanced on a system which works more or less like this:

 

Stirred Spleen Soul ---> Uncontrolable thoughts ----> Stirrs the Liver Soul ----> Uncontrolable thoughts with bodily signs of anxiety ---> Heart Fire ---> Reality Displacement signs (begining of euphoria) ---> Kidney Soul enters in action, stirrs the Kidney Qi and "drowns" the body with kidney Qi ---> instaled Euphoria (feeling of having lots of energy to do lots of things).

 

Euphoria ---> Kidney Soul exerts overdominance over the Kidney Qi ---> Kidney Qi deficiency (usually Kidney Yang) ---> Kidney Soul loses control over Kidney Qi ---> Heart Fire (ending of euphoria) ---> Heart Yin deficiency (reality displacement, catatonic state) ---> Liver Soul loses control over Liver Qi (prostation) ---> Spleen Soul loses its grounding on Spleen Yang (catatonic state).

 

Spleen Soul "cools down" with time ----> End of catatonic state ---> Liver Qi reestablished (prostation starts to wane away) ---> Heart Soul might or might not ground itself on Heart's Qi-Xue again (depending on the level of damage to the Heart Yin) ---> Kidney Soul might or might not ground itself on Kidney Yang again (depending on the level of damage to the Kidney Yin).

 

If the Liver, Heart and/or Kidney souls find themselves unable to ground back on the respective organs' Yang, that will generate fire which will in term eventually reach the Heart and/or Liver. This Heart and/or Liver fire will then stirr the Spleen Soul, and the euphoria process will start anew.

 

It all starts with thinking too much. In a highly mind-overexerting society, bipolarity is to be expected due to the excess of use of the analitical and logical mind (Spleen Soul). I would say it is almost inevitable :)

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Little note: All of the above mentioned are valid only for an already stablished case of bipolarity. The body has its reserves and ways of self-repair, so if you just use your mind too much one day, usually the Liver will exert dominance over it and you'll stop the process before getting to the point of feeling anxious. And even if you do feel anxious, that might not generate Heart fire (if your Heart Xue and Yin are in a good state). And even if you do have Heart Fire, this might be controled by the Kidney Qi/Yin once it starts to circulate through your organs.

 

However, if you have already damaged these organs' Yang, Qi (or worse, Yin), then the stablishment of the cycle above is very likely. It's a vicious cycle of euphoria -> depression -> euphoria-  ...

 

In the end you'll eventually come to a point where you won't be able to recover from depression, and will remain in a catatonic state for a very long time.

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