By: Dave Turo-shields, Acsw, Lcsw

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Author: Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW
Copyright: by Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW
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Word Count: 673
Category: Mental Health


Have you ever overheard people talking about couples that
have been married for a very long time? One of things
often said is how a couple will begin to look alike over
time. How and why do you think this occurs?

This phenomenon parallels a tea bag being steeped in clear
water. After a while the water takes on the color and
characteristics of the contents of the tea bag.

This is what happens with couples. They are both, at the
same time, the "clear water" AND the tea bag -- Each
saturating the other with ideas, attitudes, beliefs,
behaviors, food choices and so forth. After a while there
is a melting pot effect where they each more resemble the
other, and this is so powerful that couples eventually
begin to look alike. Powerful, eh?

Now, having a relationship with depression can be scarily
the same. The depression tea bag will steep itself deeply
in your life at least one time. Normally you will be able
to take out the depression tea bag by adding new coping
skills and continually diluting the mixture back to its
original quality. "Clear water" is who you really are at
your core.

You have a base set of qualities that make up
both your personality and what is most important in your
life. It's your essence!

We all know that some teas are stronger than others. The
depression tea bag is a strong, biggie-sized tea bag! It
can powerfully impact your life, saturating you completely
until you forget who you are. Depression becomes you!

When this happens you take on all the characteristics of
depression, leaving much of who you are behind. How you
walk will reflect depression. Your tone will reflect
depression. Your moods will reflect depression. Your
posture will mirror depression and so on.

It's been said that some people look at life through rose-
colored lenses. When you become chronically depressed you
look at life through ash-colored lenses. It taints how you
see everything in your life.

To lend an example... I walked out into the waiting room to
greet a new client. I extended my hand and introduced
myself. The gentleman replied with, "Hello, I'm Mr.
Depression!" In all fairness, he said this in a funny
manner. We each had a chuckle, but it gave me automatic
insight into how deeply depression had sunk into this young
man. We'll call him John.

By the end of our initial session I was talking with John
about how is life might be different if (listen closely
here) he was a man "under attack from depression" vs. a man
who "is depression." Do you see the incredible difference

If I AM DEPRESSION... if that's who I am, how in the world
can I change WHO I AM? John immediately saw how he had
over-identified with depression. He had lost his identity.
This took about two years. His insight was a huge first
step in putting distance between himself and depression.

In later sessions we had some fun. I had him create a name
for the depression problem. Then he completed a biography
statement of the depression problem, including traits,
goals, dominant feelings etc. In a following session he
brought a picture to represent the depression problem,
introduced the problem to me by name and taught me about
the problem using the mini-biography form I had given him.

This added great distance between him and depression. We
didn't stop there. His next task was to complete an
exercise in re-acquainting himself with who he was at his
core (outside of depression).

This was a powerful exercise having to do with death and
what was most important to him as he imagined that he was
in his final days here on Earth. Although a painful
exercise, it is a direct path to the heart, making it very

And once you strip away all the clutter in your lifeComputer Technology Articles, the
heart holds the truth about what is most dear to you --



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