Depression: Our Life Long Struggle

Psychology teaches that we are born with a life instinct which drives us toward growth and creation, along with the death instinct, which drives us toward destruction and disintegration.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), said that to avoid being destroyed by our own death instinct, we employ our Narcissistic or, self-regarding life instinct (Libido) to force the death instinct outward, directing it against other objects.

In other words, life itself is striving against a drive toward death. This perpetual struggle in each of us creates a constant psychic tension that persists throughout life.

Instinct of Aggression

Expanding on Freud’s theory, psychologist Melanie Klien (1880-1960), believed that even as we redirect this death force outward, we still sense the danger of being destroyed by “this instinct of aggression.” We acknowledge the huge task of “mobilizing the libido” against it. Living with these opposing forces is the inherent psychological conflict central to our human experience. She claimed that our tendencies toward growth and creativity are constantly opposed against an equal and opposite powerful and destructive force. This ongoing psychic tension underlies all suffering.

Working with Extremes

Klein believed that we never rid ourselves of these impulses. We never reach a safe harbor, but live with an unconscious that simmers with constant conflict, never allowing complete happiness. Life is about finding a way to tolerate the conflict. She felt that this state of tolerance is the best that we can hope for. This is the explanation of why life falls short of what people feel they deserve, resulting in our depression and disappointment, anxiety and pain. People must therefore learn to work within these extremes.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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