People are afraid of making demands on the beloved for fear of destroying the relationship. The person therefore does not express his anger at unspoken demands not being gratified. Anger is turned against the self and she becomes chronically depressed. Fear of making demands regarded as insatiable arose in childhood when his mother withdrew in the face of emotional demands. Depressed personalities fear that her demands are too much and cannot see mother’s inability to give.
Chronically depressed personalities complain of profound feelings of worthlessness and low self esteem since childhood. He has generally led an isolated life because of a fear of making insatiable demands. The relationships that she does establish tends to be relatively superficial, because she fears that if anyone got to know who she really is, he would reject her. He feels hungry to be loved. If you are sensitive to depression, you may feel when you are with her an unspoken demand to love her and feed her. However, he is too frightened of rejection to let you really know him. She presents herself as the person that she thinks you want her to be, while inwardly fearing making insatiable demands. He is angry that demands to be loved have not been met. Her mother withdrew from her when she made demands to be loved as a child. He concluded that his very neediness is destructive. This belief is at the core of her belief that she is unworthy of love. He fears making demands on her adult partners and instead establishes superficial relationships.
The depressed personality generally feels something is missing and his whole life is effected by what he feels as a fundamental lack. She often feels cheated, robbed and crippled.
The origins of the depression lie in his experience of inadequate mothering. The child does not really recognize that there is a difference between internal or psychic reality and external reality. When he is well cared for, he believes that the satisfaction of his needs came from within himself. She feels self sufficient and that she need not seek anything outside herself. There is an illusion of self sufficiency and of having created his own nurture.
The depressed personality does not get good care in childhood and is not able to develop self confidence based on the illusion of self sufficiency. Self esteem will suffer from feelings of inadequacy and feelings of helpless vulnerability. She feels unlovable because she was not loved. He believes he was not loved because of some deficiency in him and not because their mother was deficient in her ability to love him. He/she fears making insatiable demands that will destroy his/her current relationship.
Good And Bad Introjects
The infant cannot experience either good or bad during early stages of development; this only happens later. Badness is eventually associated with frustration. Initially he/she feels frustration, then anger, then a capacity to hate. Some people who have suffered from inadequate mothering, have not been able to feel anger. Instead she feels grossly inadequate to meet life’s tasks. He can’t structure a picture in his mind of a mother who has failed him.
Hate is not as inevitable as frustration. To feel hatred means that there is an awareness of love. To feel frustrated, presupposes that there must have been some gratification. The depressed personality must know something about feeling loved or gratified to feel hatred, frustration and develop a picture in their mind of a mother who failed them. [This is called a bad introject.]
When the child complains about bad treatment on the mother’s part, the mother of the depressed personality typically withdraws. The child experiences this as a failing in herself and comes to feel that her very need for love destroys the relationship. He becomes afraid of complaining. Any dissatisfaction with the mother is turned against the self. This turning of anger at not being loved against the self produces a chronic depression. The depressed personality becomes afraid of making demands. You cannot have an intimate relationship if you are frightened your demands will drive your beloved away. You can only have a superficial relationship. This is a major barrier to loving.
Often depressed personalities are more comfortable giving to others than demanding care for themselves. She is afraid to make demands on her beloved and typically chooses partners like themselves; people who are afraid to make demands and who fear that demands have the potential to destroy a relationship. A superficial relationship typically exists between the depressed personality and his beloved where each partner is terrified of making any demands for fear of destroying the relationship.
The depressed personality has a more stable identity than the borderline, the schizoid or the narcissistic personality. This is so because there is generally evidence that the person received some maternal tenderness in spite of the person’s inept childhood surroundings. Mothers will give some nurturance that is sufficient for the person to develop a nurturing picture of mother in their mind. [A good introject.] So, they are able to nurture themselves at times when they need comfort and solace. Depressed personalities are also able to draw on this to nurture others, as well. They develop maternal attributes, for example. The central core position of the picture in their mind of their mother becomes the source of stability in the depressed personality and becomes a source of strength to draw sustenance from.
The depressed personality is helped by therapy by a focus on her fears of needing the therapist. Therapy with depressed personalities is often best done when the focus remains on the relationship with the therapist in the present. He may get too overwhelmed if the focus is on the spouse or parent.
Curucucu Dove (Paloma)
This mariachi song expresses the dynamics of depression.
They say that through the nights
He wept endlessly….
They say that he didn’t eat…
That he drank himself away….
They swear that even heaven shrugged when it heard him cry….
How he suffered for her….
That even as he was dying he sang to her:
Ay ay ay ay ay……he sang
Ay ay ay ay ay……he groaned
Ay ay ay ay ay……he sang
Ay ay ay ay ay……from mortal passion he was dying….
So very early in the morning a sad dove came to sing
to a lonely house with its doors wide open…
They swear that the dove was nothing but his soul which still awaits
for the beloved who betrayed him
Cucurrucucu….. don’t cry
Stones will never know, dove…
How can they ever know anything about love?
Dove, stop crying for her….
He weeps endlessly through the nights. He doesn’t eat and drinks himself into oblivion. His weeping is so profound that it causes the heavens to shrug. He wept and suffered for her. Even as he was dying, he sang to her. He was dying from mortal passion. Early in the morning a sad dove came to sing to a lonely house with its doors wide open. The dove was his soul which still waits for the beloved that betrayed him. The dove, his soul tries to comfort him. The dove says that stones know nothing about love; stop crying for her. The dove is trying to help him see that he is mourning for a woman who is unable to love. She is like a stone. He is depressed because he doesn’t see that the deficiency lies in her inability to love and not in some defect in him. His depression will only lift when he recognizes he is looking for someone to love him who is incapable of it.