Monday, March 7, 2011

Depression: The Secret Suffering

This is my weekend link up for The Red Dress Club. It's one of my favorites about depression.

Statistics show 1 in 8 women develop depression sometime in life for various reasons like stress, life experiences, hormones, and believe it or not there are women who actually have a real chemical imbalance because they have very little serotonin surging through the brain... like me.

Those of us who suffer from depression seem to carry with us a stigma that we are weak minded , that our faith is weak, that somehow, some where we have failed and we just “need to suck it up” and get right. It’s much like telling a person with high blood pressure that it’s his/her fault for having the illness.

I have adopted the belief that if I haven’t walked in someone’s shoes I try not to assume I know what they are going through. I just want the same consideration from others. Instead of assuming I have brought depression on by feeling 'sorry for myself' try to be understanding. Instead of telling us that depression is sin, try doing a little internet research and find out for yourself that depression happens to some because of a chemical imbalance. Saying this makes some of us feel embarrassed, ashamed or angry. Even if we do sometimes get depressed because of life experiences, hormones, stress, etc. try giving some love and just listen to how we feel without making us feel like we need to keep our suffering a secret. I dare to say if this hasn't happened to you it will one day.

Yes, there are many times counseling, medication, and exercise and help us move into a more enjoyable life but there are also times we need prayer and a shoulder to lean on instead of judgment.

Depression can improve or go away all together, thank you God, but in the event that it last longer than you think it should, be an encourager for your loved one or friend. Be willing to walk beside her until the dark cloud passes, urge her to get the help she needs instead of suggesting she put on a smile and be thankful for everything she’s got. If looking around at everything she had would cure her she would have done that by now. When someone is truly clinically depressed it doesn’t matter how wonderful life seems on the outside, there’s something on the inside that keeps holding her down. She can’t explain why she feels the way she feels, it’s just dark, gloom, nonfunctioning, barely existing, life.

God intends for me to serve Him and in a full state of depression I can’t do that in a way that is worthy of Him. However, if medication helps me function with a full life of peace and joy I’m thinking He’s okay with it. One day I look forward to going ahead in life without meds. but until then or "if" maybe it doesn't even happen I will live this life to the fullest. And I'll do it with a little help and understanding from my friends and family and a lot of love from my great big God.

It’s time for the secret of depression to come out of the closet. What do you think?