According to metaphysical or New Age philosophy every soul upon Earth planned what he or she was going to experience this lifetime. These involve every area of life. There is not one experience a person that was not planned in some way. This includes emotional and mental challenges such as depression. Why would anyone choose to go something as difficult as depression?
Reason for “Negative” Experiences
Everyone has a path or life purpose. Sometimes the individual knows exactly what it is. My dad, from the time he was three, played doctor. Although he detracted from medical school temporarily, after his fifth child was born he went back to complete the studies he needed to enter medical school. His purpose was to be a doctor. Being a doctor, artist, musician or a similar drive is understandable, but why would someone choose before incarnating to be depressed, anxious or ill?
My personal belief is that the issue, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, gives that particular soul the opportunity to explore ways of handling such things. For instance, some people in severe depression choose suicide. What if suicide is what a soul chose in another lifetime? Now, in this incarnation, the individual wants to explore another option. Does she have the strength to find another way to live? Perhaps the dark hole of his mood spurs a family member to do research to find a solution for all people.
The Dark Night of the Soul
The “dark night” is a spiritual term. The individual undergoing this is lost in a darkness so he or she does not know how survival is possible. His strength is tested as is her faith, her stamina, his commitment to spiritual growth. Many spiritual teachers believe this mood disorder can be relieved by going inside and connecting with All That Is, Higher Power or God. From a soul purpose level, what is seen as an emotional dysfunction is actually a vehicle to move beyond the limited ego to connect with the divine presence which created all.
It is impossible from the limitations of the human person to know what the ultimate purpose is of any experience undergone. This is where faith in something, someone larger than yourself comes in. Those who can not believe in a Source for all, find it difficult to conceive that suffering has any meaning at all. In fact, such a woeful experience may intensify the belief there is no such thing as a love beyond understanding which gives support through existence.
For some, the belief that what is happening has some purpose, even if they do not know what it is, is soothing. Others lose hope even to the point of taking their own life. It is my belief that after the physical body dies the individual will then discover the answer to life's questions. There is no judgment or punishment. There is only experience.