Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Some Depression Could Be Mammal Brain Survival
This post is in response to a number of questions about depression, low self-esteem, and shame. Surrender and lowering one's rank in the pack, herd, or tribe are Mammal Brain survival responses to keep us from fighting when we can't win and to preserve the society's order and hierarchy.
In humans, the chemical reactions that lower aggression and notify us that we are not the "top dog," are too often interpreted and experienced as shame, depression, and low self-esteem.You feel bad and even depressed often because you've been "put down" and forced to surrender in order to avoid further injury, punishment, and abandonment. That is, some forms of depression are a lowering of physical aggression. See Awaken Your Strongest Self [McGraw-Hill, 2006] for ways of over-riding lower brain programmed reactions with your "new human brain" choices and the positive assertion of your ability and worth.