Depression Has Won Another Fight

My heart is so very heavy right now. I just learned of the death of a dear friend.

It is sad to learn of anyone’s death, but to hear that depression is involved in that death makes it that much worse.  Why did it happen?  Was something missed?  Were there signs?  Could it have been prevented?  How did I not know?  How will the poor family get through it?  Those are all questions that we ask.  Sadly, many of those questions will never be answered.  

Clinical Depression — An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. Clinical depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with clinical depression cannot merely ‘pull themselves together’ and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with clinical depression. The signs and symptoms of clinical depression include loss of interest in activities that were once interesting or enjoyable, including sex; loss of appetite, with weight loss, or overeating, with weight gain; loss of emotional expression (flat affect); a persistently sad, anxious, or empty mood; feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness; social withdrawal; unusual fatigue, low energy level, a feeling of being slowed down; sleep disturbance and insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping; trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; unusual restlessness or irritability; persistent physical problems such as headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain that do not respond to treatment, and thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts. The principal types of depression are called major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (manic-depressive disease).

Clinical depression is such an awful, debilitating thing to deal with. Those who suffer need to know that you care.  Please, people, reach out to those you know to be depressed.  Be gentle in the way you reach out, though.  You don’t need to go into “save them” mode and tell them to just think positively and or turn it over to God. Those remarks do not help someone struggling with depression. Clinically depressed people already try their best to think positively and if they are believers, they have most definitely turned it over to God and He is working on them. The problem is that the depressed person is so mired down in self-hate and despair that they cannot see past that. They don’t need or want your “I know how to fix it” comments. Those types of comments just make them feel that much more broken. The absolute BEST thing to say is that you are there and that you love them. And then, let it be. Pray for them during your own prayer time, but please don’t push the sufferer.

 I am sure that some of you are now thinking that my remarks are pretty curt and “know it all”. Maybe so. But, that’s because I’m speaking as someone who struggles with major clinical depression on not just a daily basis, but on an hourly basis. I speak as someone who has fought to not end it all. So far, I have won that battle. I speak as someone who “turns it over to God” on a daily basis and I know that He is working on me, but I am still depressed.  I speak as someone who has others tell me constantly that I just need to think positively. I speak as someone who is told that I have much to be thankful for.  I speak as someone who has others tell me constantly that I am depressed because I just don’t trust God. I speak as someone who is torn down just a little bit more each time I’m told those things. I speak as someone who knows in her head that I am worthy, but who feels none of that in her heart. I speak as someone whose heart is now breaking because another friend has lost the battle — that battle that “looks so very inviting”, but is so dangerous, that battle that would end the personal suffering, but would cause so much suffering for so many others. I speak as a depressed soul who struggles each and every day to be here and who is terribly sad when someone loses the fight.

I pray constantly that others will learn to understand the hell that a clinically depressed person lives with each and every day. This lack of understanding causes such a stigma about mental health problems.  If we look at the many problems in today’s world, we can easily see that we need to do more concerning mental health.

It’s not that we’re just sad. It’s not that we just don’t want to go out and play today. It’s that we can’t. We struggle each and every day to just get out of the bed. We struggle to just go to the corner store. We struggle each and every time we are forced to communicate with others. And we struggle with ourselves constantly because we don’t want to be this way. We don’t want others to fix us. We just want others to love us and not judge us. We want to be just like you, but don’t know how. We just want to love ourselves. But, we don’t.

Pray for those who suffer.  Let them know that you love them.  Be there.  Just be there.  

I will miss you, my friend.  I’m sorry I was not there for you.

 

Author: alightatthetopofthehole

A mother, a grandmother, a retired teacher, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and a troubled soul. A woman working on understanding her depression and finally overcoming the feelings of inadequacy, emptiness, failure, and not being whole.

4 thoughts on “Depression Has Won Another Fight”

  1. I was there once, Betty, after my third son was born. It came out of nowhere and I was overwhelmed with symptoms.
    I thought it would soon pass and that it was just post baby blues as the doctors say. Well, the days went into weeks and months. I could not eat and woke early to the same dark cloud looming over my life. I had a husband, two young boys and a baby to care for and I could not care for myself.
    I thought of just running away or suicide because of the despair.
    I made an appointment to see my OB/GYN, he was so kind and gentle, and told me that he was not going to allow anything to happen to me. He gave me an antidepressant and told me it would take, sometimes, as much as two weeks to work. I thought, at last I have hope.
    Well, days went by and I felt the same terrible darkness surrounding me. I had been praying for relief, but I heard nothing from GOD, not that HE wasn’t there and listening, but I knew soon why.
    For fear of my life, I went to my pastor at that time who has long passed on to Heaven, and told him my plight. I told him I had been praying and was on medication, but nothing I did was giving me the relief I needed. He asked me if I had been saved, to which I answered yes, I knew that for sure and he asked if he could pray for me and then he wanted me to pray for myself.
    The most miraculous thing happened to me that day, immediately the dark clouds were gone and my heart was renewed. Praise GOD for HIS gift of healing.
    Never since have I been in that dark place, that dark, deep hole I couldn’t get out of.
    I have told about that trial many times as a testimony of how great GOD has been to me and pray that it will help others somehow.
    I love you, Betty, I’m so sorry for the death of your friend. May GOD grant you the peace and comfort and healing you need.
    Your friend

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Ms. Betty. I’m so sorry for your loss. Life is just so very hard. Guess you saw my “Ambien post” as Roseanne would call it the other night. I thought about removing it, but then decided to hell with it, some people need to get their heads out of their asses and actually see what’s happening to their family and friends.
    Sending you my love & you’re always in my prayers.
    Never stop posting, you lighten my heart. Now I guess I need to check on my brother, I think his head is stuck 😉

    Like

    1. Yes, sweetie, I saw your post and was saddened. I hate to think that you struggle and that others don’t understand. But, unfortunately, for now, that’s our lives. So many people — out there — have no clue as to the pain and hurt and sorrow and struggles that are part of us. I pray that one day they will see it and understand. Until then, just do your best, keep trying, and keep praying that one day they will understand. And know that you mean an awful lot to me. After all, you were one of my first “babies”, my first students when I began my teaching career and I love that I am still a small part of your life. I’m here for you if you need me. Love you!

      Like

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