Depression is a natural condition. It is a natural formation. Better yet, depression is a natural resource.

The list of implications of the cave metaphor can provide strategies to deal with depression.

Every cave is unique.

The forces in nature (erosion, stress, upheaval) that form caves have emotional equivalence.

Trying to figure out exactly how a cave was formed doesn’t change the cave.

The ENTRANCE to a cave also serves as the EXIT.

Caves are better for temporary shelter rather than long-term residence.

Caves can be fascinating, comforting and starkly beautiful but at the same time, very dangerous.

Going too deep and getting lost in a cave may require help in returning to the ENTRANCE/EXIT.

Caves are useful for storage. Unwanted, unneeded, painful and harmful memories can be consigned or stored in deep pits. Treasured memories and precious thoughts are best stored near the ENTRANCE/EXIT.

Attempting to fill in a cave creates a depression or hole somewhere else.

Remember the adage: In a cave or any dark place it is much better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.


This Metaphor was provided by a guest writer. Owen Kaminoff is a retired postal clerk in Pennsylvania. When I asked him about this metaphor he shared the following:

I’ve been interested in metaphors for about 25 years. After losing a girlfriend in 1991 due to a car accident, I became very depressed. At a very low point, I knew if I could come up with a metaphor for my deep depression, it would help. I kept grasping for a metaphor for this dark, empty nothingness. Then it came to me – a cave! As soon as I had the metaphor, I knew I would figure out how to make this metaphorical tool work. It took a little while to work out all the implications. It continually requires effort to not go too deep.
My advice to people is never venture too deep. You seldom like what you will find.


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