“…A metal piece subjected to a lateral force first bends but maintains its flexibility, and returns to its previous form. If that force is increased one comes to its “yield point” a precise point in every case and the piece of metal remains permanently deformed. A quantitative increase has brought about a qualitative change. If the force continues to grow one reaches the “breaking point”: another precise point and the metal breaks. Here we have another qualitative change brought about by a quantitative change. We are referring here to “metal fatigue” when metal is subjected to small but constant pressure and suddenly breaks without warning in response to a not particularly sizeable pressure.

The same thing happens with human beings. The illustration points out some of the relationships and differences between the different types and levels of depression. Here as well, because the central factor that generates depression is anxiety , we encounter first the capacity of emotional response, then the capacity to rest in a balanced way (flexibility or fracture) and lastly the capacity to act (to live). The human mind is a unity of spirit and of body, even the strongest of minds, in the face of an continued or brutal attack of pain, can reach its breaking point. It first experiences a simple overload, it then passes from being flexible to being deformed, it becomes distorted, and finally it breaks.” Prof. Salvador Cervera – Enguix, Chair of Psychiatry, Univ., of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.


I found this particularly informative and right on target. In my own case I was continually beating myself up, shaming myself with thoughts that caused more pain, and finally with increased forceful negative cognitions, causing extreme anxiousness, I collapsed. I couldn’t force myself to get out of bed. The “brutal attack of pain” day after day, night after night, caused not only a paralysis of thought, but finally reduced all personal motivation to get back on my feet.

But I found a solution : I forced myself to get out of bed every morning and walk 5 miles in a shopping mall. In time the exercise created a flexibility in my spirit that gradually helped get beyond my “breaking point” which seemed right around the corner. Also, I thank my Higher Power and the Depressed Anonymous fellowship.

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