Freud was wrong. People who suffer from depression don’t do so as a result of past trauma, but because they have a bleak view of the future.
Difficult life experiences make most people stronger. But those who suffer from depression continue to struggle with past events because they over-predict failure and rejection in the future.
The key to resolving feelings of depression then, is to train sufferers to imagine positive outcomes more often than they dwell on what might go wrong.
In Chinese medicine, depression is said to be caused by “blocked liver energy”. When the liver becomes stagnant and its ducts are congested with old and hardened bile, there is a natural lack of movement. This lack of movement causes all sorts of blocked and negative feelings, like anger, frustration, resentment, and depression.
In a way, one might think of a healthy liver as a facilitator for a better future. When it is functioning well, and bile can flow smoothly, it is easier to be optimistic. When the liver is blocked and stuck, past events loom larger. We can’t seem to move beyond them and the future looks bleak. Its blocked ducts don’t just block our digestion, but also our ability to anticipate and hope.
In this way, cleansing of the liver and gallbladder can be seen as an act of faith. For those who suffer from depression, doing a yearly liver and gallbladder flush can clear away pessimism and doubt, and restore confidence in a brighter future. No wonder the liver is so named. A healthy liver does nothing less than restore buoyancy to life, both physically and psychologically.
About the author: Rebecca Wong has been working in the herbal business since 2000. She has received her training in acupuncture and herbalism from respected authorities Paul Des Rosiers and Vu Le at the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Toronto, and Michael Tierra at the East West Herb School in California.