Depression: a discussion of Jung's ideas

The Journal of Analytical Psychology
W Steinberg


Depression is differentiated into normal and pathological. Pathological depression is further divided into simple and melancholic. The characteristics of each disordered form are described. Jung's ideas on depression are described in terms of this theoretical standpoint. The concepts used by Jung to explain depression are derived from his libido theory. Through introversion unconscious contents necessary to compensate a one-sided attitude of the ego are made conscious. Introversion depletes the ego of its energy. Depression is the depleted ego's experience of itself. Jung's theory is useful to explain normal depression associated to the process of transformation. It has also been extended to explain disorders of depression via the concept of involuntary or forced introversion in the service of compensation. His therapeutic approach consisted of rectifying the imbalance of psychic energy by helping the ego to integrate unconscious contents. The subsequent accrual of psychic energy redresses the problem of the ego's depletion and depression eases. In the discussion, Jung's contributions to the understanding of depression are recognised, especially his insight into the relationship between normal depression and the process of tran...Continue Reading

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