United Press has an article on depression in middle aged women saying, "fifteen percent of U.S. women between the ages of 45 and 64 experience frequent depression, a U.S. researcher says.
I invite you to look at these statistics not as a grim call for medication but as a trumpeting call that announces a new and more satisfying way of living.
It's not easy being a woman at any age. Our society makes impossible demands on women in terms of appearance, femininity, independence, fine motherhood, being asupportive and interesting, understanding wifeIt's not easy being a woman at any age. Our society makes impossible demands on women in terms of appearance, femininity, independence, fine motherhood, being asupportive and interesting, understanding wife, financial acumen and being savvy about money.
Middle age brings the genuine loss of youth and all the perks that go with it. She enters a time in her life where many of her youthful ways of coping with the world do not work anymore. The shock is not just because they don't work. The shock, and then depression, is that they are never coming back, and she will continue to get older.
What's needed here, and she has little preparation for it, is a way of learning how to broaden her perspective,
deepen her mind and soul, be present for what life has to offer a mature woman. Life offers a lot! In many ways the offerings are richer and more satisfying than what came in earlier years. But she needs to change the dial. She needs to receive on a different frequency. She needs to drop old fantasies she believed when she was young about how her youth would last forever.
She didn't know these were fantasies. That's what makes the realization that she needs to embrace a new position in life bring on depression. Doing psychological and spiritual work at this time in her life is essential. It may take her some time to realize this because she is unprepared for the knowledge, the feelings and the need to find her path to solutions.
She doesn't think about getting a therapist. She thinks about what she imagines might be "wrong" with her. She thinks about what is unfair. She feels angry and ashamed about her own jealousy and frustration. These are the thoughts and feelings that make the end of one way of being in the world and the beginning of another.
The women who meet this challenge and find their paths to new growth, both in depth and reach, enjoy the benefits of these middle years which have so much to offer.
Many of the adult women I see in my psychotherapy practice are dealing with these issues. Many have turned to food and binge eat or fall into a full blown eating disorder as a way to ease their depression.
As we bring mindfulness practices into their lives and dispell cherished but invalid fantasies, they find their way out of the dark and into a new way of being in the world. It's beautiful to witness.
The Nautilus shell, lined with mother-of-pearl, grows into increasingly larger chambers throughout its life and so has become a symbol for expansion and renewal.
It begins small and young, as you did. As it gains experience in life it grows and adds layers becoming one of the wonders of this world. Did you know the nautilis design represent the golden mean number. The golden mean number is also known as PHI - 1.6180339... The PHI is a number without an arithmetic solution, the digits simply continue for eternity without repeating themselves. The uniqueness of the golden mean is that it can be found in all living forms such as the human skeleton, the shell and the sunflowers seeds order. Plato called this value - "The key for the universe physics".
You too, can be a golden mean, going on through your life renewing yourself, never repeating yourself and adding continual layers of beauty and wonder.