When our internal world is not validated,

Updated: Aug 23, 2018



when our internal spontaneous flow is kept in a state of de-pression


Validation is the interactional space during early childhood that affirms us as a part of that which is. It is characterised by exploration & discovery of us & our potentialities in relation to them. This process develops the necessary grounding to move away because we know that we can return. Eventually the return loses its value & we can keep exploring, integrating new information, & moving on yet again. Then comes the shift in returning the favour to the world by using those potentialities. So is the meaning of life, to develop self & to use self to improve life through our return investment.


In the absence of trauma our sense of control is free flowing. It means that our boundary is intact. This coupled with our sense of groundedness is also an awareness of a life that is in comfortable correspondence to one another. Depression & anxiety on the other hand are the result of a life not lived. When our spontaneous flow is compromised through trauma, the de-pression of certain potential creates anxiety & despair. Anxiety is the direct outflow of a sense of loss of spontaneous flow & a lack of an internal point of reference. The disturbance through trauma of our sense of groundedness spawns an uncertainty on whether life is trustworthy & whether we are worthy of complete acceptance. So depression & anxiety are born from the same neural tree.


Obsessions are fertilised by this uncertain state of anxiety. It is kindled during our very early-years, & it never leaves us alone again. The lack of nurturing, or that which replaces the nurturing, being it neglect or abuse of some kind, results in a centre that cannot hold because it does not exist. When we feel out of control our need is to regain that sense of control. So we become obsessive in order to hold onto something that has ego value. We dissociate more by wanting more, thinking & believing that the more will make us feel more worthy, that it will ground us. Our obsessions are also found through the kind of drug that works for us, whether it is too much gym, running too many marathons, or just flunking out completely & doping our receptors with dopamine into a state of delirium.


The ever vigilant postman of living life always rings twice. De-pression implies potential on-hold that will not remain as incubated potential nor will it wither away into obscurity. The nature of things is that it will eventually retaliate & make itself known by expressing through explosion. Its job is to be on the move, & the spontaneous eruptions happen when they should. When the inner voice is subdued with more obsession, it reaches a personal critical limit & it grinds us to a halt.


The time has come the walrus said, to talk of many things.

Of shoes & ships & sealing wax, of cabbages & kings.

And why the sea is boiling hot & whether pigs wear wings.

(Lewis Carroll)


Such an internal happening is often a bifurcation point, where we need to make a choice or are left with serious consequences. These type of consequences can be our body that goes into crisis, or chronic disproportionate emotions to activating events. Depression & recurring anxiety are such events that cater for waking up to life. It is selling the message that we are not living our potential. And should we not listen to this message the symbolic rebellion will increase in magnitude to the point of severe chronic dis-eases.


- Dr JO Steenkamp

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Dr JO Steenkamp
Pretoria South Africa
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