Dr. Vance Whippo
The Enneagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular personality tools available. This ancient system has recently been making a huge comeback and for good reason. No other tool gives quite as much information into your personality, thought patterns, habits, and behaviors as this one does. If we know another’s enneagram, we have a lot of insight into their personality.You may not be familiar with the Enneagram, and this post will assume that you have a basic knowledge of the Enneagram and your type. This article will give suggestions for navigating seasons of depression and information on how you can tap into another type during this season.
It should be noted that depression is best managed with a trained counselor as well as practices at home. Short-term seasons of depression will be handled very differently than long-term clinical depression. Please don’t allow these suggestions to substitute for professional support and care. They are offered as an added form of self-care.
Knowing which Enneagram type you are can help with depression
Knowing which of the nine types can provide valuable insight and information for navigating seasons of depression. Some of the ways that each enneagram types have an effect of your wellbeing.
When you get depressed, you’re likely to struggle with asking for help. It’s okay to struggle. It is okay to need help. Perhaps the biggest thing you need to know is that it’s okay to let things go or let them be imperfect right now. Give yourself time to relax, process your disappointments (though not dwell on them), and tap into your Seven a bit more.Remember, you can move toward a positive seven. This can help you take the pressure off and nurture yourself more. You’re also likely to struggle with anger more during a season of depression. Work with your counselor to find healthy ways to cope with this anger.
You need to be able to ask for help in this season. This is a season where you need to scale back and focus on caring for yourself. But it’s important for you to not isolate yourself too much right now. Find a good balance between being around others with a clear expectation that they are there to support you.
Dance, walking, and time in nature can be particularly good for you right now. You also need to set strong boundaries and expectations with the people in your life- these have often not been set. Be assertive with what you need. Talk to your counselor for tips on how to do this. Remember that you can tap into the strong side of a Four which will help you find creative ways to express and process your emotions.
This is the season for you to step back from working, performing, and achieving. It will be hard to do. It’s also critically important. What can you delegate to someone else? What can you press pause on for now? Working with your counselor on feelings of failure and inadequacy will be helpful right now.
Give yourself permission and time to explore something new just for the fun of it. No need to share about it on social media or tell others about it. Explore something new to nurture yourself and your heart. Tap into the ability to pull from the healthy side of a Nine and let yourself relax!
You likely know depression better than any other number. When folks think “Enneagram and depression,” they think of fours. You get a bit of a bad rap in this way. Most fours cry easily. If you find yourself unable to cry or unable to access your emotions, this is a sign something is off. Find a trusted friend for this season in which you can confide.Give yourself as much time and space and you’d like to create! Don’t forget you can tap into the healthy side of a Two which may help shift your center of focus to others. This can be a powerful tool in overcoming this season. Make sure to communicate your needs clearly with others and focus on nurturing yourself right now. Get outside and move your body!
Don’t let yourself fall into the research trap. Let your knowledge about depression and the treatment come from your counselor. You need to get out of your own head at once. You need a counselor to help with that. Resist the urge to spend hours going down the rabbit hole, you’ll make it worse.
Tap into your friends right now. Let them support you and care for you. Give yourself a chance to read fun and uplifting books, watch silly things, and pause on more focused in-depth work right now. Remember you can tap into a healthy Seven which will allow you a chance to have more fun.
Now is the season to trust someone. Bring in a counselor and let yourself trust them. Reach out to friends whom you know you can trust and let them support you. Give yourself permission to put some decisions on pause or let them go altogether in this season. Try to stop constantly scanning the horizon for danger and focus on gratitude and what is good in your life right now.
You don’t need to prepare for every emergency or danger in this time, nurture yourself. Remember you can tap into the healthy side of a Nine which will let you be a lot more relaxed and less fearful. This is the season to take up relaxation practices like mediation and breathwork. Get plenty of movement and fresh air too.
When you hit a season of depression, you often hit it hard. This is a time to get professional help and support. You may be prone to doing something rash during this time to try to pump up your adrenaline. Give yourself time and space to slow down and unwind differently right now.
Focus on caring for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. You can tap into the positive side of a Five to get more in touch with your emotions and be more introspective. Focus on stress management techniques right now and nurturing yourself as much as you can.
You value being independent. Now is the time to let others in. You need to cut back on the to-do list and let things go as much as you are able. Don’t exhaust yourself. Work with a counselor to figure out what you can let go of and to learn how to relax a bit more.
Remember you can tap into the healthy side of a Two. This will help you tap into more vulnerability. You may also find more trust in the fact that you are loveable. This is a season where anger may flare up. Work on anger management techniques.
You easily become too critical of yourself which can turn into a downward spiral when combined with depression. Work with a counselor on your negative self-talk and feelings. Being truly in touch with your feelings can also feel foreign to you and is something good to work through with a counselor.
You can tap into the healthy side of a Three which will help you build your self-confidence and take better control of your own life. These are both important things for you to do right now. Nature is your great healer. Get outdoors as much as you can- maybe even a nature-based vacation? Ask for help as you need it and be assertive when asking others to support you.
Christian Counseling for Depression
If you’d like additional support for depression beyond the information provided in this article, feel free to contact me or one of the other counselors listed in the online counselor directory. We would be happy to help!
“Smiling Girl”, Courtesy of Noemi Macavei-Katocz, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Smiling Man”, Courtesy of Logan Weaver, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Neutral Woman”, Courtesy of Joel Mott, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Frown”, Courtesy of Drew Hays, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact one of our counselors for further information.