Hi Marianne, Thankyou so much for going to the effort of putting your website up. I have always sensed there is a whole lot more to depression than the medical fraternity would have us believe ... but I've always felt I should hedge my bets and listen to what they have to say. But in a way, listening to them has only made the depression worse - there's a voice inside always badgering me to "do something about it", "to seek more help" ... on and on it goes. Reading your site I started to relax. I started to feel okay about depression. I'm not defective. I don't have chemicals doing things in my brain that they shouldn't ... I can take the time and go in and listen. I think perhaps that learning to listen to my inner self rather than the imperatives of others, is the key. Thankyou again.
After one more full week feeling depressed, I decided to once again research the web on the theme. My question was: "depression as a means of...". I wanted to find articles on WHAT THE PURPOSE OF DEPRESSION IS. I have felt depressed 95% of time for 5 years.
I am a very talented, bright, good looking and charismatic young man but have dealt with depression since september 2005. As you know, these have been miserable years, of great suffering. Finding your website feels like finding a wonderful treasure. I have made many different researches on the web in the past years, trying to find help to heal my life and get back to a happy and worth living life. I have been visiting a psychiatry who is also a psychotherapist twice a week for 2 years and we have talked A LOT about my soul. Still, reading your website opens up a great sense of HOPE in me. Is has profoundly touched me.
I am very enthusiastic about reading all the writings and articles. I just felt like contacting you. You are the first person I have read writing about what I feel in an amazing way. I wanted to let you know that I am very glad to have found your writings. Thank you very much for publishing your experience. I really feel like I found someone I can relate to.
Thanks Marianne - I LOVE your website ... haven't finished all of it yet - but I'll work thru' it little by little!
I know the depression territory pretty well! Maybe it's not surprising that I'm very interested in the soul approach ...
… OK .. take care .. and thanks again for all of your work and research. And your "staying with it". It's great (sometimes!) to remind ourselves of that little flame that we have inside us that keeps us going.
The kindest of kind regards to you,
B. (South Africa)
I like your website. I have been depressed my whole life. I have constantly been badgered by the people around me (society, psychiatrists) to take medication and accept that I am ill. I have been told that the very fact that I am unwilling to accept that I am ill is definitive evidence that I am ill. The one thing that has kept me strong under all this pressure to conform has been the philosophy of J Krishnamurti. The ideas on your website are similar to the things he talks about.
It has been good to read. Thank God they haven't succeeded in brainwashing us all. I think that society label us as ill because they don't know what to do with us. We are an enigma to them. People with depression generally have an acute sensitivity to the world around us. We think deeply about things and I think that this is the problem. Our brains work better than theirs, we think more. They can't cope with that truth, perhaps feel threatened and so attempt to control and suppress us by calling us mad.
Throughout my life the only place where I have been genuinely afraid of others, has been when dealing with mental health professionals. Almost anything I said was dismissed as a potential lie because they believe that you are of unsound mind and so your judgement is not to be trusted. When I complained of severe side effects from medication I was told that those were simply symptoms of my mental illness and that under no circumstances could a medication affect one that severely. The way that we are treated is shocking. At least websites like yours challenging the accepted mental illness theory will help chip away at their hold on us.
You are to be congratulated for such an important contribution to the issues of depression, illness, and wellbeing. I will be suggesting your website to a lot of people, and I am sure they will get a lot out of it. Your story is fascinating, as is the interview with Andrew Paul - truly wonderful and original thinking, heretic or not!!
People are being sold a dummy with the "chemical imbalance" idea - though no doubt chemicals DO get out of balance - more as a consequence than a cause. ...
I've just spent some time in your website and will be back again.
It is superbly written. It rings very true for me. I realised as I was reading that the times I become angry, then depressed are the times when I stop seeing myself from my inner self and start seeing myself the way others do.
As a child I was full of confidence and happiness because my mother continually fed that. As I got older … it became harder to hang on to the true me.
Thanks for a wake up call. I'll come back to your site when I need to find me again. I will also refer someone else here.
I have had depression since I was 5. I am now 30. I came across your website and it has struck great interest. I can see the majority of the points you have made. Thank you for your hard work and effort and your time putting your website together. You have found and used very valuable information. I only hope I can find a way of processing this information for my personal use, so I no longer live the 'victim' life I have lived so far.
It has also helped me to see how I belittle my children’s feelings and thoughts, by saying things like ‘that’s nothing to cry about’. I can now treat my children as respected human beings and not deny their feelings. Thank you ever so much for this new insight. You have helped myself and my children and hopefully future generations.
Look after yourself and enjoy a life full of possibilities and challenges
Hello Marianne. I couldn't stop crying when I read your website about depression. I know what you mean about the bandaid solutions medical professionals give. I have also seen a homeopathic doctor but he can't seem to nail it. It's pretty funny. I want to be happy desperately. I understand all of the literature on your site. I keep asking life’s big questions and I have for a lot of my life. I have only experienced depression intensely in the last three years, but probably had it before. I was given antidepressants and I have been free for 10 months now. I am having problems again and desperately do not want to go back on them …
I [do] extensive work with chronic pain syndromes. In preparation for giving a new talk to my colleagues, I was searching for pictures that reflect how individuals perceive themselves when they suffer in order to contrast those images to the clean, clinical criteria that physicians use to define their syndromes. Your pictures were the best I have seen to date and I believe they powerfully convey suffering on multiple levels. ... I truly hope that the suffering you portray in your work is only episodic and that you are able to find times of peace and contentment …
Dear Ms. Broug,
I have stumbled upon your website this sleepless midnight after searching the web using the words "I have no hope in life."
I have always lived with a certain amount of depression, believing that my pain in this life was due to low self-worth brought on by my dysfunctional, emotionally abusive upbringing. i have tried out many remedies: psychotherapy, all manners of religions, atheism, drugs and alcohol, sexual addiction, ignorance and education. Nothing has worked.
I will be spending some time visiting your website. Discovering it tonight has made a big difference already. Reading your posted journal entry helped me realize that I am indeed not alone in my desolation. Reading further has helped me to see that, after all, there is reason to hope. Thank you.
Thank you so much for your "the meaning of depression" pages. I´m so happy that I found them. You writings goes straight to my heart and to my bones. At first time, I feel that somebody understand me and I´m understanding myself better by your pages.
You have done so important work, which surely helps a lot of people, including me. Your healing words, like honey to my soul :) The "truth" is really able to uncover. I cannot find right words to tell you how much I appreciate you work.
Thank you, thank you and once again, THANK YOU!!!
I thank you so much for the humanity in your web site about the meaning of depression. It is perhaps odd to write that I found it a great joy to read, even though I suffer from depression ... I shall read more ...
I read your story about depression. It was wonderful to read it. I could relate to so much. In your journey you write about doing all kinds of things to heal yourself .... I would always think, if I "fix" this issue I'll be happy. Always yearning for happiness and thinking I would get it at the end of a hard struggle with my imperfections. But I got so tired of the struggle, and I always remind myself that in the end, being yourself and also then accepting yourself is the way out, it's not supposed to be a struggle.
It's funny how you say you sometimes yearn for days of darkness ... because it's often how I feel!! I always feel that when I'm feeling disconnected or down, it's because some big change or transformation is in the offing. All those years ago, I wouldn't have been able to even imagine that one day I would be able to see the positive side to feeling despair. But I suppose that maybe depression only turns in to real despair when you don't understand what's happening or you can't see the meaningfulness in it.
I am so happy to have been GUIDED to your website and so to you.....
I have always believed that depression is an essential part of the human condition rather than an "illness" that must and can be cured.
I have always felt that discussions about depression that are generated by think tanks such as beyondblue and the Black Dog Institute are superficial and inadequate. I have always wanted to explore what depression actually means. ... Looking at your website, it's heartening to know that there's somewhere else to look apart from the think tank websites.
Thank you for your story, the artwork and the wonderful resources on your site.
Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks so much for posting a wonderful website on the subject of depression and meaning. Sometimes when I'm depressed I search the web for answers. I know that they're not there but I think the movement of my fingers on the keyboard just makes me feel more alive. That's what brought me to your lovely website today. I can't claim to have explored it fully as I just can't concentrate for that long right now - but I will in time ...
As an artist and writer myself, I found that I could really relate to your observations on the creative process and it's relationship to depression. I like the concept of "going within" and that indeed does seem to be the way it works for me too. I have been suffering with depression and it's twin sister anxiety for most of my adult life. Lately, it's been much better than it's been for years, but clearly it's more than capable of rearing itself when I least expect it - "Surprise! surprise - you thought I was gone forever, huh?"
I also agree that it's a much more meaningful process that just a glitch in the neurotransmitters - on a very deep level - I've always felt that there's a message - an invitation to re-evalute one's path.
A book that I've found helpful along the way is "Care of the Soul" by Thomas Moore. I found it to be a very scholarly but somehow comforting view of "what our souls want out of life".
Lastly, I love your paintings! They are very expressionistic and colorful. I sense a lot of repressed energy in them - like a coil about to spring! Do you paint in acrylics?
Well, one thing your website has give me today is permission to go and sit on the deck and read - if that's what this depression wants today then it shall have it! To heck with the laundry and cleaning the studio!
A Sister-in-depression (US)
I have just come to know your site and explored and read a many things and OFFENBARUNGEN – revelations – and I am very grateful and thank you very much and feel very touched … and I am very touched and I feel this is the main thing in all, to let oneself be touched.
I LOVED YOUR SITE! GREAT WORK!
I have been looking for that kind of take on depression for ages, it was really a buzz to see so many things that I have thought myself written by other people (and expressed better) …
I have read most of the articles on the website and whilst I found Peter's writing quite dense, it was very heartening and illuminating. It really is the way I have always looked at it – an existential condition and above all – a question. Beautiful.
Yesterday, I saw your website, found your beautiful paintings and read some of your notes.
I think this is a very general fact, that people has many things in common (when they are child) but in growth process they lose many of them. And also I think most of these losing has a big reason: We live far from nature and our natural creation. We have lost PEACE and tranquillity in our life. And we don’t know the fact of being. We want to get success, but we don’t know how! and with how much price. We lose many things to earn many thing else but we don’t know why … we are not highly ambitious person, we dreams a lot but not in a correct way. Our dreams are nonsense and because of them we trample many good things in our personality and our pure nature. People cover their face with a false mask and their relationships are affected from lies.
L. (Middle East)
Through this mail I want to thank you for writing your "My story" on your website.
It was very emotional to read your story. I cried the whole way through it. It is so easy to question your own feelings and your own desires. And even though I should have the strength to know what my truth is, reading yours was so affirming. I thank you for being so incredibly honest, so open and for having the courage to actually write it down how you experienced it. I cried not only because I recognised everything (and I literally mean everything) you wrote. But because it also proved you can live "in truth". That you can restore the connection to such a degree that you will actually express your deepest self …
J. (The Netherlands)
Thanks Marianne for writing this web page.
I am going through a depression (oh not again.....) and typed in Google "find meaning in depression" and this is how I found your web page that is quite helpful for me and I wanted to thank you for that. Especially the fact that there is no need to try to get rid of it. I plan to read more and share it with some other people too.
I came across your website today. When I saw your artwork I could deeply relate to the emotion represented within them.
They are beautiful. I found the idea that depression has a role in enabling one to ask questions about self and live valuable. I thank you for bring this to my attention.
I just want to say thank you. I came across your website a few days ago and consider it a blessing to have done so. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for a large portion of my life and have always felt like something was wrong with me. Thank you for providing a different perspective into the workings of depression and how it is a gateway to deeper understanding rather than a malfunction.
I loved all the art on the website, particularly the image you created with the chains going through your beautiful woman. It so profoundly shows the link between psychic and physical pain.
Sunset, Cooktown, Far North Queensland.