I have been praying about doing a post like this since before we left Kentucky. To be quite honest I really did not want to do it. However, I sense the Holy Spirit continuing to lead me to share about my battle with depression. We all have our breaking point and those of you who have read my review on the MP3 download Just Say No by Lorrie Flem have heard about the time in my life where I met and passed my breaking point. Every one of us responds or reacts differently to passing up our breaking point. In my case I became severely depressed, but I was so busy dealing with all the situations in the life of my family that I did not give myself time to see how terribly depressed I was. I was suicidal, but ironically I hospitalized and stopped others from committing suicide in my former career. I was not suicidal for a short period of time either. My suicidal condition started in March of 2003- November 2011. Two weeks before Thanksgiving I remember praying on a Sunday morning telling the Lord that if he did not break through this deep discouragement I was feeling that my life had no hope. That very morning a traveling evangelist spoke at our church about discouragement of all things. When you pray about something as desperately as I was and three hours later there is a sermon preached addressing that very thing you go forward to pray and that is what I did. November 2011 I stopped being suicidal. That was progress for me. However, the world was still a dark scary place and I was still severely depressed. It was also a catch 22 for me because counseling would not be the normal counseling experience for me. I was the therapist in the office for eight and a half years. Not to mention that I did seek out counseling a couple of times throughout those years and was told I possessed the skills I needed to work through my issues and was then turned away as a client-- by the way as a former professional therapist in the field that was highly unethical. So I did not know what to do. After much prayer, talking with my husband, and with my sister who works as a therapist in Kentucky, and deliberation I decided to be honest with my doctor. She prescribed me an anti-depressant medication. It has been just what I needed. I do have the skills to process and heal, but I apparently needed the additional help of more serotonin in my system. About a month after taking the medication I noticed that a cloud in my brain was gone. I smiled and I actually meant it. I laughed and it was not fake, but real. Now I am not out here to say that every person should take this type of medication. There are some who should not take the medication and just dealing with their issues is all they need. There are others like me who do need the medication. I do not know if I will be on it permanently or temporarily. What I do know is that depression stops life, it affects all those around you, and I hurts very much.
I wanted to share this because I have heard some ridiculous things come out of the mouths of Christians sometimes (who did not know they were talking to someone who was depressed). I would hear things like "A Christian has no business being depressed since the Bible says to be joyful always." or "It is a sin for a Christian to be depressed because they are not casting their burdens on the Lord." or "A Christian being depressed means that they are disobeying God by not being joyful always." These type of statements are quite frankly short sighted, judgemental, and not made in the spirit of grace. I have seen all the scriptures reference in by these statements and yes they are in the Bible, but what I have not seen is the Bible say-- A Christian will never be depressed while choosing joy (which is not a feeling by the way) nor does the Bible say that a Christian will never be depressed while casting their burdens on the Lord. The Lord is not judging the depressed person in fact it is quite the opposite-- the Lord hurts when we do. He knows our suffering and he deals with us gently instead of harshly. I want to share with you today that if you are in pain or depressed that God is waiting to meet you with grace and compassion. He wants you to pour your heart out and admit to your pain and struggle. It is only then that you can come to grips with it and heal from it. Isaiah 42:3 says, "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." Isaiah 49:16 "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." These are just a couple of verses that have brought me comfort and I wanted to share them with you. They are full of grace and love. I want to encourage you if you are depressed to admit it to yourself, the Lord, and then seek out the help of a competent Christian counselor or pastor who is gifted in the area of counseling. Then begin to work through the pain and grief in your life. I believe that if we will all begin to share our own pain and struggles that we will truly become stronger and all of us will grow as a result.
I have ended this post with a link to Web-MD where they list the symptoms of depression. If you suffer then get help, but I urge Christians to seek out Christian counseling.