the meaning of depression


my story, my art


quotes and notes

journeys into depth - poetry and writing

introductory articles


articles by Peter Wilberg

links and bibliography




In the years that this site has been up I have received a
tremendous response from all around the world, for which I am very grateful..
Click here for excerpts from some responses.

The Chains of Depression (detail)
- Marianne Broug -

If you have been struggling with depression you may have been to countless therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, Reiki practitioners, faith healers ... and you may have read countless books. You may have taken up jogging, tried dieting, changed your relationships, tried to think positively, confronted your past,  ... and at times you may have felt as though you were finally getting a bit better - improving ... but then once again you have been thrust down into the pits of despair. You want to die. You wonder why it never gets any better. You wonder why you can't live your life in the same way as everyone else. And you wonder what the answer is ...

This site is about understanding that when you're depressed it actually MEANS something ...
something that can never be reduced to a 'chemical imbalance' or a 'clinical condition' ...
not even to 'this problem' or 'that problem'.

This site is about understanding that depression is at the same time both a natural response and a natural solution, not of some sort of biochemical machine in the shape of a human body, but of the human being, a being who is both spirit and an everyday self - that work together as an inseparable WHOLE. 

When we feel depressed we are feeling the weight of our questions and the world's questions, both those we can articulate and those we can't. We are asking ourselves who we are and how do we live in the world (an increasingly superficial world). It's message is that we need to take the time to go down into ourselves, to reassess things from a new vantage point, to listen to ourselves and ask questions of ourselves in a deeper way, and digest our experience in new ways. It's message is that we are feeling adrift, unable to find within us a 'ground' or a solidity that we can, above all else, rely on and listen to. And the reality of depression is that it will actually take us to that ground. It will allow us to sink and deepen, further and further into ourselves. It will reconnect us with WHAT we are - OUR TRUE NATURE.  Reconnect us with our vast and multi-faceted interiority: soul, spirit, God, Presence, Awareness, Stillness, Silence  ... and ultimately Oneness.

 Depression is a call into Depth.

We only stay depressed, caught in the mire of depression's desperate misery and suffering, when we feel that the weight of those questions, the weight of our lives and the call of Depth is something we must fight at all costs.

This site asks the questions - 

'What actually IS depression?'
 'What actually IS a human being?'

There are so many paths, techniques, medicines and religions in this world but your happiness and sense of meaning does not depend on them. Your path to True Nature is as singular as you are, and no technique or way in the world can possibly encompass that. There may be times when you need the comfort of a technique or a prescription-for-living, but ultimately you will not find True Nature in them. If you do need the comfort or guidance of a person or a philosophy or a path, find one that above all values YOU, believes in YOU and acknowledges the profound Knowing, meaning and validity that YOU have within. THAT will be the sign of The Truest Path.

This is a site about my journey to that understanding and that wisdom, my journey to a life that I can live: a life beyond depression, a life beyond 'ego'. a life which is lived as True Nature. It is a site full of depth, art, reflection, wisdom, writing and spirit. Go to My Story or Quotes and Notes.

Our society does not value depth. Our society has very little language for depth. Our society values an increasingly frantic movement over the surface - a horizontal gathering of faster, more exciting, more entertaining experiences - shopping, travel, latest gadgets, new lovers, spiritual highs etc. However, we are at our fundament, depth. In depth we find our Home, meaning, our True Selves. And yet, how is depth expected to make its presence felt in these frantic surface lives?? If depression hits us, inviting us to look more deeply or move more deeply into ourselves, we recoil. And yet what if depression, as the simple bodily feeling of movement downwards, is simply showing us the way into depth? Pulling us into depth? And yes, this can be painful, particularly if we believe ourselves to be a limited surface self or we have unresolved trauma. Deepening is a never-ending process. It is extraordinary and utterly worth it.

- Marianne Broug, Adelaide, Australia, 2004-2014 -


"Being is a magnificent reality. It has all that a human being needs to grow and develop. It does not matter what one missed in childhood. If one looks within, and is genuinely interested in the truth, one finds treasures beyond imagination. Only purely physical needs cannot be fulfilled with Essence. Any need that is emotional, mental, spiritual or moral, can be completely fulfilled by the richness of Being." from The Pearl Beyond Price, AH Almaas

This site is a dedication and a tribute to those countless people around the world, who unacknowledged, endure tremendous suffering and have the courage day by day to continue looking for the answers.


My book Seventeen Voices: Life and wisdom from inside 'mental illness' is now available from various on-line sources, Wakefield Press, or please contact me.

See Seventeen Voices website.

We know what the words 'mental illness' mean to psychiatrists or doctors. But who are the real experts? These candid interviews bring 'mental illness' to life from the inside out. This book offers solace and encouragement to people who suffer, but also an intensely personal insight into the experiences and opinions of those who have been labelled as 'mentally ill'.

This book covers many topics: views on the nature of 'mental illness', therapy, drug use, depression, spirituality, Aboriginality, suicide, self harm, alcoholism, homelessness, crime, violence, AIDS ...

Quote from the book: "My discovery that many of the great spiritual writers - including Mother Teresa of Calcutta - say that suffering is a gift was a great joy to me ... it hit me between the eyes! It makes so much easier to accept the road that I've travelled down. Suffering can seem to be so negative yet it can, if we allow it, produce in our Being the positive gift of compassion. Compassion doesn't come out of thin air." John

All materials, paintings and writing by Marianne Broug on this site are Copyright Marianne Broug 2004-2014
It is an offence to reproduce any material on this site for commercial purposes.
As a courtesy, for other than commercial purposes, use of my work (without the website logo) can be requested.  Thankyou.


The author of this site will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature occasioned to or suffered by any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of reliance on the material contained in this web site. This site was written to compassionately inform  its readers. While the reflections and techniques mentioned in this site work well for some people, they may not be appropriate for you. Contact your physician or mental health professional first. Neither the author of this site  nor any  associate shall be liable or responsible to any person or entity for any loss, damage, injury, or ailment caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, by the information or lack of information contained in this site.