Depressing Protectors

Depression can come from either an IFS protector or exile. Let’s look at depressing protectors here.

Protectors That Block Hope

One common cause of depression is having a protector that doesn’t want you to feel hopeful. Such a protector doesn’t actually feel hopeless. It makes you feel hopeless in order to keep you from feeling hopeful and then suffering the disappointment of not getting what you were hoping for. Therefore, it is more accurate to call it a Depressing Protector rather than a Depressed Protector. It is afraid of your feeling devastated if you are disappointed. It believes that if you are hopeful and your hopes don’t work out, or if you fail at what you are trying to accomplish, you will be devastated. It isn’t just worried about your being disappointed; it is afraid you will be devastated in such a severe way that you couldn’t handle it.

Protectors That Depress Your Energy

A Depressing Protector may squash your energy so that you can’t feel the underlying pain or trauma of your exiles. This protector believes that you can’t tolerate this pain. It is stuck at a point in your childhood when you didn’t have the internal or external support to handle such pain. So it keeps your energy low to prevent this pain from coming to the surface.

Inner Critic Parts

Inner Critic Parts, which are protectors, can also create or add to your depression by attacking you so harshly and mercilessly that you feel bad about yourself. These Inner Critic attacks trigger exiles who already feel inadequate or worthless, and the attacks make the exiles feel even worse, which contributes to depression.

This is an excerpt from my book, Self-Therapy, Vol. 3

The Psychology of Depression

Image of a person with a Depressed PatternThere are many different underlying psychological causes of depression. This short article covers the most common one of them.

You may have a protector that is afraid of allowing you to feel hopeful. If you have such a protector, it doesn’t actually feel hopeless. It makes you feel hopeless so you won’t be hopeful and then suffer the disappointment of not succeeding at whatever you are hoping for.

Your Hopeless Protector is afraid of your feeling devastated if you are disappointed. It believes that you couldn’t handle that. This probably goes back to times in childhood when you were hopeful and then your hope wasn’t realized and you were devastated.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your hopelessness is realistic or that the protector feels hopeless. It is purposely trying to make you feel hopeless to protect you from disappointment. However, even though it is causing your depression, its heart is in the right place. So you can get to know it and connect with it.

Of course, the pain this protector causes you by blocking hope and creating hopelessness is far greater that the actual disappointment you might feel as an adult if your hopes failed to materialize.

But your Hopeless Protector doesn’t realize that.

Webinar: Overcoming Depression Using IFS and Self-Therapy Journey

Please join us for this free webinar: Overcoming Depression Using IFS and Self-Therapy Journey

August 13
4:30 – 6:00PM Pacific | 7:30 – 9:00 PM Eastern

  • Are you hopeless and full of despair?
  • Are you low in energy and listless?
  • Do you feel bad about yourself and worthless?
  • Do you feel stuck in your life?
  • Is it hard to face each day?

Image of a person with a Depressed PatternThese feelings and beliefs aren’t true. You aren’t worthless and your life isn’t hopeless. These beliefs are promoted by parts of you that are trying to keep you from feeling childhood pain or taking current life risks which they think are dangerous.

Using IFS and Self-Therapy Journey, you can get to know these parts, heal the exiles they are protecting, and transform them.

In this webinar, I will discuss the nature of depression and how to work with it using IFS and Self-Therapy Journey. You will learn how to develop aliveness and realistic hope.

Click here to register for free.

Feel free to register even if you can’t make that time. A replay of the webinar will be available afterwards.