I watched an online video of a woman expressing a struggle she'd been through with a reoccurring depression. She quoted this Scripture from Psalm 143:3-7 (MSG), saying that when she read it, it described perfectly how she'd been feeling for several months, even years. She said in her case, the "enemy" was depression:
She shared that when she came across this Scripture, she was able to view her life from the outside in. These words seem to be describing her situation! Her eyes became opened to the fact that God knew all about what she was going through all the time.
She mentioned she hadn't sought professional help for her depression because there was a "stigma" attached to admitting to being depressed. She also mentioned she'd read a lot of material that discouraged the use of pharmaceutical medication. So she put off seeking professional help for a very long time.
But all the natural cures she'd been chasing--St. John's Wort, 5-HTP, Omega 3, regular exercise, self-help books--didn't relieve the depression.
A TURNING POINT
Reading this Scripture was her turning point. She was able to separate who she was from the disease. She decided she could no longer fight the enemy (depression) in her own strength.
She approached her doctor once again. It took three appointments to get her courage up to get the point across that she was willing to try medication.
I want to share this story in case you find yourself in a similar situation. Here's a general summary of what occurred:
- In the past, she had told her doctor about depressed feelings, but because she had merely squeezed the subject into a general appointment, the doctor didn't take here seriously. So she continued to struggle with waves of depression until her next blood test appointment 3 or 6 months later.
- On her next visit, she asked the doctor if depression could be from hormonal changes due to peri-menopause. The doctor suggested that if she wanted to talk about depression that she would have to make a separate appointment than what she was there for. But she didn't make it.
Instead she went home and tried to brush it off again.
- Then another episode hit. This time, she reached for a Bible and read the above scripture. She related to the words in the Scripture--that her heart was heavy like lead and that she felt she was in a black hole. She prayed for wisdom.
- She made another appointment with her doctor specifically to discuss depression. Before arriving she'd practiced the words she wanted to say. She forced herself to say she was there because she was depressed. She said the big "D" word!
This time the doctor took her seriously, gave her the name of a therapist and started her on low doses of anti-depressant medication.
She cited six ingredients helped in her recovery:
Therapy - having someone on her side and testing her thinking
Medication - an antidepressant to balance her brain chemistry
Exercise - she joined a Tai Chi class
Relationships - she made new friends in her class which led to social outings
God's Word - she did more regular Bible study and took steps on what she learned
Fulfillment - she spent time on things that would bring her happiness such as volunteering and taking courses.
I share this with you, because there are so many depressed women wandering around that are like this woman. Climbing out of depression isn't easy. Each woman should pursue the best course of treatment for herself. It may require moving beyond the stigmas associated with depression and weighing the opinions others have about treatment.
Depression is a serious illness, can be debilitating and even life-threatening. A person with depression should not be looked down upon, and if you suffer with it, you aren't damaged or weak.
Keep looking for what it is you need! Be brave and tell your doctor. Sign up with a counsellor. Get exercise and choose a good diet.