This morning I found the following references to various significations of the term "bear" in the context of what Peter Wilberg terms "the depressive process," from a PowerPoint presentation on the topic:
Whenever we talk of “bearing up” or of finding something “unbearable”, we bear witness to the double meaning borne by the word “bear” itself.
On the one hand it means to “carry” something. On the other, to give birth. These two senses come together when we speak of bearing a child - carrying it and giving it birth.
The modern medical approach to depression fails to distinguish between bearing and suffering. To bear something is not to passively suffer it. It is to bear with it in a way that allows it to ripen and bear fruit.
The depressive process can be understood as a form of spiritual pregnancy - one through which we allow new feelings and a new sense of self to ripen and mature within us.
Though pregnancy has “symptoms” and can lead to medical complications, it is not an illness. Neither is the depressive process - although, as in pregnancy, medical interference can create its own complications.
The pregnant mother may feel fatigued and weighed down but learns to alter her physical bearing to accommodate the child she bears. The depressive process may tire and weigh us down too, but it also helps us find a new inner bearing towards life.
By learning to value this inner bearing and finding ways to embody it in our everyday life and relationships we give it its own body - we give birth to it.
The depressive response is a response of forbearance - not fighting or fleeing the burdens we bear and brood on within ourselves, but giving our inner gestation process time to bear fruit.