This year I am watching spring happen in the state of Oregon. I am seeing shades of spring green that I do not remember experiencing before. The lovely varieties of jonquils, daffodils, rhododendron, magnolia, and coastal flowers seem eclipsed in this very simple experience of intense greenness.
What is it about green, especially after a very long winter, that excites and energizes? It may be that spring green suggests something new is happening. It is about possibility.
One of the losses experienced in times of depression is the ability to imagine that things could ever be better. The grey sameness of days and circumstances freeze the ability to see possibilities in relationships, health, finances, work, and life in general. During a season of depression, the mind quits imagining and turns to rumination and emptiness.
Neuroscience explains this phenomenon in terms of neurotransmission in the brain. The firing of neurons, the responsiveness of receptor sites, and the chemicals that help this exchange of information are targeted for optimization. SSRI’s and now the emerging possibilities of vaccination against depression promise new hope for bringing spring to minds locked in winter. These discoveries are happening because of scientific minds looking for possibilities.
Once the chemistry part of depression is addressed, talk therapy can begin to offer changes in thinking patterns that can affect our emotional states and enhance energy for living. Seeing someone slowly awakening from depression is the greenest of greens.