Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Depression is connected to our unhealed emotional trauma.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Depression is connected to our unhealed emotional trauma. Emotional trauma, both in childhood and later in life, leaves us most susceptibl...
Depression is connected to our unhealed emotional trauma.

Emotional trauma, both in childhood and later in life, leaves us most susceptible to depression.

If you have any kind of unhealed trauma (that can be big, or small), we are much more likely to develop depression.

An emerging model of how humans process and deal with stress may explain a very practical purpose for depression.

The vagus nerve influences many functions of the body.

One of which is immobilisation or feigning death freezing.

The fight or flight response is very popular and well known. However, it is not the only survival response we have.

We are also programmed to feign death freeze in the presence of a threat.

So, depression may not simply be what we thought. It may also be an ancient Survival Pattern designed to help us withdrawal and pretend to be dead or freeze, in order for us to survive.

Our bodies are genius at survival. So much so, that depression may be our way of staying physically safe from an ongoing perceived threat.

When we add in unhealed emotional trauma, the body has a good reason to pretend to be dead or to freeze, so that it doesn’t experience the trauma again.

Understanding that depression may be a Survival Pattern helps us have self-compassion and compassion for anyone who has struggled with depression.

Perhaps it’s not them. Perhaps it’s an automatic response to stay safe.

When we see that diet, unhealed trauma and our body’s nervous system are perhaps causing depression or at least contributing to it in a significant want, now we see why just telling someone to “be happy” is perhaps one of the worst things we can do.

Having depression doesn’t mean we are a bad person or that there is something wrong with us.

Perhaps, it does mean that something painful has happened to us. And our body is trying to cope as best it can.

Perhaps having depression means we are not producing the neurotransmitters we need to feel better.
Perhaps having depression means that we are trying to stave off any further threats and survive.

Perhaps depression is an appropriate response to an, unhealed trauma and a scared nervous system that wants us to play dead and be safe.

Perhaps we need to see depression differently.

Which brings me to the healthy point.

When was the last time a medical or mental health professional asked you…

“Are you living your Recovery Purpose? Do you have meaning in your life?”

It seems odd for me to suggest this. However, the research is clear.

 Having a recovery purpose and meaning in our life literally helps us live longer.


It can be very hard to have recovery purpose in our life when we are shut down, don’t have a healthy relationships with ourselves and others and have unprocessed trauma.

However, a recovery purpose can be a doorway to help us get free.

It’s vital to find meaning in our pain or depression. To ask for help. And to help others.

You don’t have to make some grandiose stand and be a super hero.

But, you can make small steps every day to help others. To find what’s meaningful. To get outside ourselves and help other people.

This is a vital part of reducing our symptoms of depression.


Prescription Drugs can save lives, but they can’t make our trauma go away or restore balance to our lives. Drugs can’t give us recovery purpose.

They can save our life in the short term, but in the long term, without doing the rest of the work, prescription drugs will just help us cope better.


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