I have really been struggling with depression lately. I have never been able to "get it". Meaning, I am not able to understand how or why people get depressed. I am even more confused as to why I am getting depressed.
I am not taking any sort of superiority train of thought here. On many levels depression is a selfish thing. The mind gets locked on to me/myself/I, all of the things that are not right in my life. Why am I not able to _____? Etc. The causes can be multifaceted. For some it may be poor mental choices, another things one dwells on, in others it is a side effect of medication or injury. Some can be chemical, that is imbalances within the construct of the body's systems. All of them are treatable, and none of them should be ignored.
To tell oneself to just "shake it off", or to advise someone who is experiencing it to just "get over it" is unhelpful at best, and devastating at its worst. Depression is something that is like a whirlpool. The process is slow and almost imperceptible in the beginning, but as it progresses it picks up speed and gets tighter and tighter as it pulls you down. The longer one does nothing about the predicament the harder it takes hold and the harder it is to escape... especially without outside assistance.photo © 2009 David O'Hare | more info (via: Wylio)
I grew up, for the most part, with a single mother who was rarely at home. This left me and my brother alone most of the time to fend for ourselves. As a young man I steeled myself to the task. It was what it was and I didn’t really know any better. I did the best I could to do the chores around the house, fed me and my brother (and he pitched in some too, it was not all me). I remember learning to do laundry and make mac & cheese, etc. When my beloved went back out into the outside workforce (as opposed to being a stay at home wife and mother), and she was not always home, I began to have an overwhelming sense of abandonment. I felt like I was losing her and there was nothing I could do about it.
The fact was, there was nothing my beloved was doing intentionally to make me feel this way. As a matter of fact, she bent over backwards to assure me, to comfort me, to let me know that she was indeed my beloved. For her, this job was in many ways a "life saver" for her too. It has renewed her sense of purpose now that our three darlings are older. It has been one of the better things to come along for her.
What was hard was I know all this... and yet I could not change the way my own body reacted. I would pray (and still do), and I would "preach" to myself these facts, but I just couldn't shake the bodily reactions and mental thought pathways. I knew i was not thinking clearly, and my attempts to talk with my beloved were causing her distress. One of our long time friends reached out to me... but for a variety of reasons I did not feel that was a good idea. I finally reached out to a Christian man whom I respected, and who was also a licensed therapist. While he felt it better to not counsel me himself, he did get me with another man of God who was very helpful. For me, my dose of Strattera has not only has helped me with my ADD, but it has helped with my rounds of depression.
I can tell I am still struggling with the "cycles" now and again, but just like me working out my own sanctification, I am working to stay "on top of" my own depression.