There was an article in local newspaper yesterday about Bruce Springsteen’s new memoir, “Born to Run.” The article discussed Springsteen’s life-long struggle with depression and the stigma associated with mental illness.
What struck me was his statement that “he was afraid he might reprise his father’s depression.” This is exactly the kind of trans-generational trauma we deal with in Family Constellations all the time.
We’ve seen in this systemic work that it’s not uncommon for children (out of a misguided love and loyalty to parents) to make an unconscious decision such as: “I will not be happier than you, I will suffer just as you have suffered.” In other cases, some children might inherit and carry somebody else’s feelings if those feelings were never openly expressed or acknowledged in the family. I don’t know the details of Bruce’s family history, but exploring it could help bring to light the reasons for his current condition.
It saddens me that Springsteen never tried to address his depression issues through Constellations (it appears that he took anti-depressants to manage it). Maybe if he did, he wouldn’t have had to suffer so much during his life. It also saddens me that so few people know about this work and don’t use it’s healing power. I think the world could be a better place if more people resolved their family traumas and tragedies to clear their own path.
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