Someone in your life right now is suffering from depression. They feel as though they are hopelessly alone, that there is no way out, that there is no end to the darkness that permeates them from all sides.
Symptoms of their mental state may not be outwardly visible. They may feel shamed by it. There may be no one in their life they feel they can trust with the words. With the admission that they’re not fine.
The year following my son’s birth was one of the darkest times of my life. Although I’d battled the illness in the past, it came to its peak during my postpartum days. By the grace of God, I came through that time stronger instead of obsolete.
But there are days when the enemy tries to sneak back into those places in my soul that cry out for different world. A less fallen world. A heavenly world. I’ve learned to identify some of the triggers but life isn’t always so predictable.
There are some myths surrounding depression that need to be stopped. My hope is that by spreading an awareness on this issue, not only will those who need help will seek the counsel they need, but also that there will be more understanding on an illness that is very real. So real it takes lives.
1. All people who are experiencing depression will appear melancholy. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Depressed people learn how to mask their symptoms. Often, they think that if they act the way they feel, they will be a burden to those around them. They are no different from everyone else in that they want to be liked.
2. Depression indicates a lack of faith. This is the myth that causes me the most pain. Has anyone ever read the Psalms of David? They are filled with moments when this man after God’s own heart cried out in despair. Saying a person suffering from depression lacks faith is no different than a Pharisee saying a person with leprosy is being punished by God. Does Christ have the power to heal? Absolutely. But our walk with Christ is filled not only with unspeakable joy but also unspeakable suffering, and if you haven’t experienced suffering, you may want to reexamine your walk. Every person’s struggle is unique, but we all struggle.
3. All cases of depression can be treated the same way. There are many times when God uses medication and modern science to heal his children. Other times, he heals through words and people, counseling and therapy. The possibilities are as endless as personalities. And yet, so often we are quick to say, “There’s a pill for that,” or “There’s an app for that,” or make a pat judgement call on something we know nothing about. Each person has to deal with their dark in their own way. When they find what works for them, they’ll know.
Friends, our Enemy who is in this world would like nothing more than for us to continue walking around with a veil over our eyes, thinking depression is no more than a delusion. That those who are depressed are simply looking at the glass half empty, and need to change their perspective because they really can just snap their fingers and make everything ok. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s time for us to wake up. People are dying. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please seek help. Do not wait.
And more than anything, know you are not alone. You are loved by a mighty God who does not wish for anyone to perish, but for all to come to Him and experience the love He freely gives.
American Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-TALK (8255)