Are You Depressed?
I know first-hand the horrors of having to bury a son, and there is nothing okay or normal about it. It will change her life forever. It’s just wrong. And, unfortunately, I totally get that.
Michael was adopted. I love that he was adopted—I have adopted children, too. I remember reading once several years ago whenever people asked Marie which of her eight children were adopted and which were biological, her response was always, “I don’t remember.” That’s a mom who loves her kids and understands adoption. And I totally get that, too.
But the thing that hit me the hardest was that he committed suicide after (and because of) a long battle with depression. I hate depression. I suffered silently with depression for years.
Depression is dark and scary. Depression makes you feel like life is too hard and life is not worth it. Depression makes you believe you are a burden to the people who love you. Depression deceives you into thinking no one loves you. Depression is like battling an invisible enemy.
I.totally. get. that.too.
So did the Psalmist…
For my soul is full of trouble
and my life draws near the grave.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.
I let my depression go untreated for way too long—seven years to be exact. I suffered privately, afraid to tell anyone, even my husband and closest friends, how hopelessly overwhelmed I was. I hinted to certain people how I was feeling, but because I downplayed it, I just came off as a negative, ungrateful and high-maintenance whiner. And I started to believe that was the root of my problem. It was all my fault because I was negative and ungrateful and high-maintenance.
I wasted years suffering needlessly. I caused pain and confusion to many of my favorite people along the way. I lived far below my God-ordained potential because I was too busy dwelling in a pit.
I wonder how Michael’s life would be different had he called his doctor or his best friend or his mother instead of jumping off a building.
I know there are people reading this who suffer from depression—statistically, 14 million of us will experience a depressive episode this year. I sense that someone who is reading this actually prayed this morning about this very thing.
I urge you. No, I BEG you.
Do whatever it takes to get better. If you need meds, take them. If you need therapy, find a good counselor. If your meds aren’t working, tell your doctor so you can try something different. If your therapist is a quack, by all means, find a new one. If you need prayer, go to church and ask someone to pray. If people in your church brush you off like you are negative, ungrateful and high-maintenance then ask someone else to pray.
Or ask me…I will pray for you.
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Please, for the sake of all the people in your life who love and need you, but have no clue how to help you, do not let yourself get to a place of hopelessness. Depression is treatable. And God is bigger than your depression.
And I’m so thankful that I get that, too.
People need to hear this. Thank you for sharing so honestly and yes, I would appreciate your prayers.
Sandy, thank you for your openness and transparency. Since I've been moving this week, I've not listened to the news at all. So I didn't know about her son's suicide. How sad to read this and my heart goes out to Marie Osmond.
Depression is very real. As you know, I've had my share too. I do not believe it is weak to ask for help. Even Christians can become depressed so I urge people to seek help and if medication is needed …take it.
Love you friend,
Depression is very real! I am so sad for Marie! I cannot imagine how a mother would deal not only with the loss but a suicidal loss at that!
So glad you were able to get help and in turn help others! That brings so much glory to the Lord when we can minister straight from the understanding of the pain!
O girl … how timely. I have just come off of mediation for depression and the journey has been gruelsome – the withdrawal and depression that has accompanied this has, often times, been more than I could bear. Thank God for friends who will walk the journey with you.
I will take you up on the prayer, Sandy. Could I ask you to pray for me as I continue to walk through this 'dark night of my soul'?
great post, sandy. great. timely. i was pondering my battle with depression this morning. so glad i know all the things i need to do so cancer doesn't leave me dry, alone and depressed. i love you and i'd meet you at marie's right now if i could
It is so frustrating to have a friend who suffers from depression. I have a friend who suffers from depression, anxiety AND alcoholism. I recently expressed my concern to her and now she's not talking to me. NOW what do I do???
I got here from Sita's comment on FB.
Lovely post. I have a dear friend who is struggling with depression. Your post encouraged me to not give up on her.
Great post, Sandy.
I have to add my voice and say that
They are preventable! People need to know that, just like you've stressed in this post.
Thank you so much dear sister in Christ for sharing this much needed topic… I too suffer depression on and off over the years…My teenage grandson has thought about suicide and is in treatment now… It is so difficult.. You want to make it all better for them.. but we cannot. Thank you for telling people that it's okay to get help. It is not always spiritual… it can be chemical.
God bless you dear…
Sita and Dottie: I prayed for you several times today. Thank you for asking me. I will continue to pray–please keep me posted on how you are doing.
Terri: I'm not totally sure, but with your friend, I'm thinking your biggest problem may be the alcoholism. That brings a whole new dimension to the depression and anxiety. Your friend has a chemical dependency on top of a mental illness. If I were you, I'd call Alanon and see what they say to do. I think you did the right thing. But in the end, your friend needs to receive the love and support you are offering. You can't make her do it.
And to everyone else: Thank you for all your heart-felt comments. You all are wonderful.
I'm visiting from Sita's FB link, and all I can say is the timing is God. Only God.
It is good that you posted this. You never know who may be reading and it might be just what she needs to hear.
This is an answered prayer for me today. Thank you, and I would appreciate your prayers.
I pray that God continues to use you for his glory!!
God bless you