There can be serious misconceptions held by the person whose “feelings” are the core “symptom”. So when someone describes themselves as sad, glad, mad, or bad, what the actual objective state of the psyche is may be infected with how our culture has taught us to see ourselves.
Modern folk have – to speak kindly of the effects of scientific materialism (only matter, no spirit) – psychological unhealthy stories.
Resolving that complex knot of thought, which views the brain as the vehicle of agency for example, is not easy. Having personal empirical knowledge of our own psyche is essential, but the materialistic tales have to be metabolized as it were. Our culture needs to digest scientific materialism, and wonder at the wisdom of aboriginal peoples, and their healer/shamans who know the spirit is involved, and … and what?
We have to up our game in terms of allowable metaphors for our inner life. Art actually is best at this, bridging as it does the assumed chasm between science and religion. The task is not about returning to old myths, but about finding the new explanatory myths, belonging to the age of scientific materialism and technology.
Having worked for over 18 years in the trenches of mental health, and having many inner states, including “depression”, to wrestle with, I ended up writing …. a lot.
Lets just say that the battle of little red riding-hood, with respect to wolves and grandmothers and deceptions can all be applied to aspects of psychological growth and trials. I’ve also found reading “the Sibling Society” and “Iron John”, by the poet Robert Bly helpful.
then there is this: “The Slow Regard of Silent Things”, a serious wonder by a great writer of so-called “fantasy” fiction. Amazon carries it in paperback, hardcover, kindle, and audio.
Here are some links to too much to read, but just in case …