Circus animals are prone to get depressed. Tigers, lions, bears, and elephants, are wild animals. They are meant to roam large and vast lands, hunt, mate, and explore. When they are put into the circus, however humanely they are treated, they are confined. Instead of being free, they are caged. Rather than explore and be the animals they are, they are trained and forced to perform in unnatural ways. Many animal rights activists criticize circus companies for torturing animals in this way because it rids animals of their autonomy to be who they are. Similar criticism is given to zoos.
Oppression and Self Expression
Humans face a similar tale. Oppression is a common story in a human life. Though the reasons are different, people get oppressed in their ability to fully express who they are. Whether it is due to cultural conflict, religious conflict, environmental conflict, or other means, people are not allowed to fully actualize who they are. Each human is a unique and different individual. Like snowflakes, humans have numerous similarities and commonalities, but at the core, not one of us is exactly like the other. When others find ways of repressing that, humans react in one of two ways: they act out or they shut down, a symptom of which can be depression.
Gbenga Adebamo is a counselor who wrote on the many ways depression is created out of a lack of expression, for The Good Men Project. He describes everything from lack of gratitude, to grief, to overparenting- and includes addiction. Depression and addiction are highly co-occurring disorders. Worldwide, depression is a leading mental illness. “One of the major reasons why people relapse back into addiction,” Adebamo explains, “is simply because they are unable to find positive expression for their energy.” Adebamo continues to describe the energy behind people’s addictions and how, after getting sober, that energy needs to find somewhere to go. Often, addiction is a coping mechanism for pre-existing depression or other areas which Adebamo might label as being resistant to expression.
Finding Your Expression
Recovery is a process of discovery. Through treatment and therapy, you have the opportunity to discover, or re-discover, how it is you express yourself. Expression doesn’t have to be creative, it just has to be you. After years of being told that your means of expression is wrong, you begin to believe you are wrong. You are not wrong. Now is the time to find out who you really are and live an authentic life expressing who that is.
Start with Enlightened Recovery Solutions on your path to sobriety. Our partial care programs are designed around the unique needs of each individual to help them become their authentic selves. If you or a loved one are experiencing difficulty with depression, addiction, or both, call us today at 833-801-5483.