Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Depression

Source

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.


Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”  Stephen Fry

Up until recently I didn't really understand depression, I found it frustrating, why couldn't a person just "pull up their socks" and get on with living. It really can't be that bad - every problem can be solved. If I can do it, why can't they. 

Because they can't

It is that simple.

"Every thought is a battle, 
every breath is a war, 
and I don't think I'm winning anymore" 
(author unknown)

It is far more common that we would like to admit, something like one in four people have suffered from depression sometime in their life. In fact you probably know someone with depression or have suffered from it yourself. 

We offer sympathy and reach out to those with a chronic illness but we turn away when we see someone suffering from depression as its just too hard to help. It is emotionally draining, it hurts to watch a loved one suffering, its painful to hear they have self-harmed, its not like sitting with someone with cancer. Depression is an illness and we need to start acknowledging it. 

But like any illness, help is available to easy the pain. 

I had witness it in recent months and it has been incredibly tough. The depths of despair a person can find themselves in, the anguish and the total feeling of loneliness even though they are surrounded by love is hard to come to grips with. They can't just "pull up their socks", they are struggling to just stay alive.  I can now understand why a person in this place of hopelessness can contemplate ending their life. They feel totally alone and see no hope.  They don't want to die, they don't want to hurt anyone, they just want to end the pain - a pain that won't go away.  A pain that those who do not suffer will not truly understand. 

Depression is real, it is painful and those around us suffering need our help. 

For those reaching out to help - let them know you are there for them, you will fight this battle with them, you are their life boat, let them know they are in your prays daily. Help them by easing their load - I often do the grocery shopping (make sure the person is eating a healthy diet), make sure the bills are paid, go out to lunch and have a laugh (it really is the best medicine), help with transportation to appointments (I am getting quite good at sitting in waiting rooms reading whilst I wait).  Be willing to be flexible with your time. 

The important thing is to not sit back and do nothing. Take depression seriously, no one is immune from depression, however God is our hope in the midst of depression.  We need to cast our eyes upon Him and He will give us strength.   Whilst this sounds so easy, those in the middle of an episode are so blinded by their feelings of despair that they struggle to grasp hold of God's Word. It is where you, as the carer, need to guide them back and pray so vehemently that they can.

For all those struggling today - look up, God is holding out His hand to you. 

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
Isaiah 41:10

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15 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Thanks for such inspiring words, Jo!
      I made a mistake with first comment...

      I do hope you are having a great day.
      Blessings :-)

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    2. I have had a lovely day, thankyou:)) We also received some very welcome rain which will make all the differences to the garden after such a dry summer.

      May the rest of your week by blessed:)

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  2. Hi Jo, this is a beautiful post and so true and compassionate. Going through depression is one of the most painful things we can endure, but also loving someone who has depression can be confusing and frightening at times.

    I have found the important thing is to be a gentle voice of hope. People are not depressed because they are weak, it is often because they have endured much more than we can ever imagine.

    So showing that we have deep respect for them can be very comforting, especially for men. Depression is an illness not a character flaw. Thank you for your beautiful post today. Delisa

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    1. The one thing I have discovered that being a carer for someone depression is not just painful, it the feeling of panic thinking the worst was something I didn't expect. It was something I had to learn to manage and I still find myself panicking from time to time and have to stop myself.

      Yes, the gentle voice is so important - and finding the right time to talk about certain things so not to causes a episode.

      Thanks so much for dropping by - this is a topic close to my heart and I am still learning.

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  3. A thoughtful post. It is important to remember our compassion. We are in a spiritual war, which often involves our physical bodies; it is important to remember that encouragement and prayer is part of our ability to help each other over come. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Without pray I wouldn't have got through the last few months and it really does make all the differences - that is something I know 100% now.

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  4. Dear Jo, We really do grow even in this hard times of helping and encouraging those who suffer depression.
    It is a very disturbing condition for those who have it and for those who watch someone suffering from it.
    We must pray and wait and try to help them to hold on!
    Tomorrow or maybe a season later.
    I am sorry for the struggle, but I a sure you are a life line to them. Blessings to YOU, Roxy

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    1. Thankyou for stopping by, your words are always encouraging:))

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  5. A wonderful and much needed post. I have struggled with depression, usually due to SAD disorder in January and February. This year has been rough, but through acknowledgement and family and friends, I have been feeling a million times better. Thank God. Now, just to move on and forgive myself for the complete lack of accomplishment the past 6 weeks.

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    1. I am so glad you are feeling much better and pleased to hear you have people around you to support you during the rough periods.

      :))))

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  6. I am in that low point, and I am so tired of my mother-in-law asking my husband when I am going to straighten up...I can't...and noone understands that unless they have been where I am right now. Lovely post.

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    1. Thankyou - After watching someone going through depression I can now understand that one can not "straighten up" and get on with it. Who would tell someone with cancer to do this. May God be of comfort to you.

      Blessings.

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  7. Depression has stolen the joy of life for me during many periods of my life. Saturation in God's word and friends who don't give up on me have been a great help to me.

    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. I'm so sad to hear Laura but pleased that you have God to lean upon (and what a relief that is) and friends who have been with you during the difficult periods in your life. I can't imagine how tough depression is, but witnessing it as a carer has certainly taught me many things.

      Have a lovely week ahead.

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