depression

Finally, an intelligent approach to mental illness

The field of mental health has come a long way from the asylums of the 19th century, through the idea of drug cures for chemical imbalances of the 20th century.  As astrologers we know that certain chart patterns are prone to depression (Saturn), deep core sadness (Chiron), anxiety (Uranus) and oppositional behaviors (Mars) (these planetary correlations are illustrative, but simplistic and don’t tell the whole story).  As human beings we know that grief after the death of a loved one is an important part of the human experience and doesn’t need to be medicated.  I was very happy to see this article suggesting that some mental disorders are adaptive techniques rather than disorders at all:

In a compelling new paper, biological anthropologists call on the scientific community to rethink mental illness. With a thorough review of the evidence, they show good reasons to think of depression or PTSD as responses to adversity rather than chemical imbalances. …

[T]he study authors note that despite widespread and increasing use of antidepressants, rates of anxiety and depression do not seem to be improving. From 1990-2010 the global prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders held at 4.4% and 4%. At the same time, evidence has continued to show that antidepressants perform no better than placebo.

Taken together, the authors posit that anxiety, depression and PTSD may be adaptive responses to adversity. “Defense systems are adaptations that reliably activate in fitness‐threatening situations in order to minimize fitness loss,” they write. It’s not hard to see how that could be true for anxiety; worry helps us avoid danger. But how can that be true for depression? They argue that the “psychic pain” of […]

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By |2021-08-27T07:35:53-04:00August 19th, 2021|Health & Healing|11 Comments

RIP Robin Williams, the astrology of Mars and depression

Robin Williams astrologyRobin Williams lost a long battle against depression and substance abuse when he took his own life this week at the age of 63.  Like many comedic geniuses, Williams had a dark side that was evident in some of his darker film roles which allowed the multidimensionality of his personality to emerge through the veneer of hilarity.

Depression and addiction take many forms in the astrological chart.  A prominent Saturn can cause depression through a sense of one’s own failure.  A strong Chiron can bring one’s inner wounds to the surface where emotional sensitivity is the central experience.  Neptune can bring about a desire for escapism and a tendency to avoid the harsh realities of life.  But underlying many forms of depression we find a weak Mars and a buildup of anger and rage that becomes turned against itself in helplessness.

Anger is associated with depression, and it is often the denied or unexpressed anger or aggression which correlates most closely in depression. In the astrological chart, anger and aggression correlate with the planet Mars.  The placement of Mars in the birthchart reveals how comfortable the individual is with expressing their own needs and how they respond when those needs aren’t met.  Infants demonstrate the purest expression of Mars: an infant is hungry, they cry to be fed.  There are no filters when those needs are expressed but if the needs are not met, frustration is the result.  Habitual frustration leads to anger, chronic anger leads to rage.  This kind of anger and frustration can erupt into violence on an external level, or internally.

Williams’s astrological chart shows that as the ruler of his Scorpio ascendant, Mars was an important planet and a driver of his personality. […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:25:57-04:00August 12th, 2014|People, Psychology|9 Comments

The astrology of depression: Andrew Koenig

photo montage from CNN. Andrew Koenig, the son of Walter Koenig who played Pavel Chekov in the original Star Trek series, has been missing since February 14th.  He was last seen at a bakery in Vancouver.  Koenig is an actor who is best known as Kirk Cameron’s sidekick in the long-running television series “Growing Pains.”  Some of Koenig’s friends fear the worst, reporting that he had been depressed and fed up with his life in California. He sold all of his possessions and walked away from his home in Venice on February 4.

Koenig (8/17/1968, time unknown, LA CA)  is 41, the age at which transiting Uranus opposes Uranus in the birthchart, and because he is one of those “Uranus/Pluto” people who were born between 1962 and 1968, that Uranus opposition is particularly intense.  Briefly, Uranus is the planet of rebellion and revolutionary change, and Pluto, the planet of death and rebirth, presides over experiences that transform us from the ground up.  This cohort of people carry this archetype of revolutionary change within them.

The Uranus Opposition is a planetary cycle in which Uranus in the sky opposes Uranus in the birthchart.  It occurs at age 40-42, and is the most intense of the “midlife crisis” transits, generating an urge to break free of whatever is holding us back.  For this age group, because Uranus opposes not only natal Uranus but also natal Pluto, this time period is even more urgent and powerful and necessitates a letting go of the past in order to move forward into the future.

Pluto squares his Moon, or his emotions, and Andrew’s former landlord told TMZ that Andrew did not have a good relationship with his mother (the Moon often, but […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:26:12-04:00February 26th, 2010|Death, People, Psychology|Comments Off on The astrology of depression: Andrew Koenig

Avatar Blues

I haven’t yet seen the film Avatar so I can’t comment personally, but evidently some fans are reacting with depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film:

James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle “Avatar” may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.

On the fan forum site “Avatar Forums,” a topic thread entitled “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible,” has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

“I wasn’t depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ,” Baghdassarian said. “But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.” …

“Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it,” Mike posted. “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar.’ “

read more here…

So is it the film Avatar that is causing this depression and despair at the […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:04:59-05:00January 25th, 2010|Consciousness|Comments Off on Avatar Blues

The Joy of Sadness

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.

— Chinese proverb

crows

A post in Beth Owl’s Daughter about Seasonal Effective Disorder started me thinking once again about the way our culture attempts to medicate all emotional reactions out of its citizens (and thank you Beth for that wonderful proverb!!).  She writes:

When I was many years younger, I used to be hit hard by what later came to be known as SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. As Autumn proceeded from its kaleidoscopic colors into rusts and browns, and finally into Winter’s endless grays, my own spirits would slump accordingly. As the days grew darker, my moods followed along, bringing bouts of tears, withdrawal, and lethargy. By the time I crawled into late February, I would often be struggling with outright despair.

But, thankfully, that changed. Perhaps, it was in part that I fell in love with a man who truly revels in the cold time of year. And maybe as I got older, my hormonal changes helped. But the truth is that, long before I was perimenopausal, my Autumns and Winters were beginning to pass without loss of emotional equilibrium.

Was it just coincidence that this shift was in synch with the deepening of my Pagan spiritual practice? As I attuned myself to the seasons of the Earth, and embraced the cycles of life and death, growth and surrender, rather than dreading the darkening of the year, I learned to love it.

Don’t get me wrong. … I am well aware that for many people, it is a very painful and serious problem.

But I wonder if there could be any correlation between SAD […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:35:26-04:00January 18th, 2009|Consciousness, Health & Healing, Psychology|Comments Off on The Joy of Sadness
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