Re-Framing Sadness: Low Tide as Just Part of the Cycle

Over at PsychCentral.com, Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar has written a fantastic perspective on the value of negative emotions in our lives. Just as high tide and low tide render very different landscapes, happy times and sad times also let us explore different elements of ourselves. There are lessons to be learned from each, and neither is permanent. But when low tide starts sticking around for longer and longer, it could be a sign that depression is creeping in, commandeering the natural fluctuation of emotions. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your sadness or emptiness, and if that “natural fluctuation” rarely fluctuates, this is not normal. You do deserve help. Find a therapist or counselor who can help you journey back to a place of balance.

© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Star

    Star

    January 10th, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    You can’t appreciate the highs if you’ve never had any lows. It’s as simple as that. And life is never constantly up or constantly down. There are small and big fluctuations every day. It’s up to us to go with the flow, recognize when we need professional help and most of all to remember that nothing is forever.

  • VC

    VC

    January 11th, 2011 at 4:00 AM

    Sounds like a great way to assess the highs and lows of life and also to maybe identify the onset of depression!

  • Cam

    Cam

    January 11th, 2011 at 6:05 AM

    I think that we all know that there are things to be learned through the good times and the bad but it is often tough to recognize that all of the time. Who wants to process the things that they may be learning during times of sadness? Most of us are very busy feeling sad and quite frankly sorry for ourselves. I think that to take something away from those experiences it takes distance from the situation and a very strong person to recognize that there are some elements that can be processed and seen in a way that many of us could learn from.

  • ronnie

    ronnie

    January 11th, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    whenever we have a high tide in life we need to remember that things will not always be this rosy and whenever we have a low tide we need to remember that things will get better and will not always be this bad.

  • Gillian

    Gillian

    January 11th, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    What a sweet analogy Miss Gawne-Kelnar put forth there. She reminded me of a saying that has got me through many a tough time in my life: this too shall pass. We wouldn’t be the complex creatures we are if we didn’t have such a large emotional range. I wouldn’t change that for the world.

  • Mel

    Mel

    January 11th, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    My wife’s depressive episodes can last weeks. She’s often said what keeps her going is knowing the phase will end. She’s been here before, knows how it will go down and always comes out the other end. That self-talk’s what she holds on to.

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