Depression Should be Taken Seriously

By on October 24, 2014
sad woman sitting on traintracks

By Deborah H. Bateman

For those of you who have never suffered with depression, you are blessed. For those of us who have suffered with depression, we can tell you that depression is real. I am writing this article in light of the recent events and loss of actor and comedian, Robin Williams, in hopes of shedding some light on this horrible disease and helping those who have never suffered from depression to understand more about those who do.

I personally have suffered with depression at different times in my life, sometimes worse than others. I have taken medication in the past for depression, but don’t currently have to take medication. For those who do have to take medication and find it helps that is great. I realize that there are some who will have to be on medication for the rest of their lives. If that is what it takes to get you through this life then it is a good thing that we have doctors, psychologist, counselors and medication that can help. Over the years I have learned to use other coping skills to help me when I go through these times of deep despair.

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There have been times in my life and circumstances in my life that have thrown me into some pretty deep bouts with depression. In one instance I was so depressed that I couldn’t even pray as I normally would. I would recite the “Serenity Prayer” every day on the way to work to help me cope with the situation and get through the day. It was hard for me to even go to work, but I had to at the time. Prayer is one thing that helps me deal with the tough circumstances that life often deals us. I know that God is always there to listen to me and to hear my prayers.

I went through really bad bouts of depression and grief when I lost both of my parents. When I lost my dad, I was six months pregnant with my youngest daughter. He died of cancer. He died at the end of January and my baby was due in March. At first I went through a time of being grateful that he wasn’t suffering anymore which helped me get through the first few weeks. Then, on Valentine’s Day, I don’t know what happened, it may have been the smell of the flowers that were being delivered in the office, but I lost it. I broke down uncontrollably at work. My friends thought I was in labor, but I wasn’t. I missed my dad so much and by this time, I just wanted to see him. It took me a year or longer to come out of the depression and grief that I was feeling.

When I lost my mom I went through a really hard time of depression and grief for over a year as well. Maybe some of this was the grieving process, but often life events can trigger depression. I can remember times when I would sit and cry. There were times when I would curl up in the bathtub and cry like a baby. I missed my mama and I wanted to see her so bad. She not only was my mother, but she was my best friend. One prayer that helped me during this time of grief and despair was “Psalm 23.”

Another time in my life that threw me for a loop was when I lost my job after over twenty years of service with a major corporation. I felt I had lost my identity. I talk about this a little in my book “Finding Our Identity in Christ.” I went through times where I didn’t even want to live any more. I contemplated ending it all.

This time I tried taking medication, but it made the situation worse. I got where I could hardly get out of bed and when I did get up it seemed like the bed was calling me back to it. I also had thoughts running through my head of ways to end this misery that I was in. I finally got to the point when these thoughts would come that I would say out loud; “No, go away, leave me alone” and eventually the thoughts got fewer and fewer and went away. Thank God that He helped me get through this very dark time in my life.

There have been other times in my life when the circumstances were overwhelming. I have learned over the years to turn to the Lord and cast all my cares on Him. There are still days when I feel low and sad for some reason or another, but using some of these things help me to get through them.

I have also had family members who have suffered with depression and even lost a family member who let the cares of this life overwhelm her to the point they said she took her own life. That is very hard on the family. I’m glad that God got me through that time in my life. I didn’t want to put my family, friends, my husband, my children or grandchildren through something like that.

So many people get hurt in these kinds of situations. Those who are left behind ask if there was something they could have done to prevent this from happening. They wonder if there was something you could have done to help the person. There are a million questions that go through your head and the biggest one is “Why?”

Another way I have learned to cope is to study the Bible every day and to quote my favorite Scriptures out loud. This helps build my spirit up and helps me know that I have someone to turn to when this life gets to be more than I can handle.

We have to learn to control our thoughts. The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If thoughts are running through your head, compare them to this Scripture and if it doesn’t measure up, cast them away.

Another thing that helps me when my spirits are down is to listen to Christian music. Praise and worship helps lift my spirits and draws me closer to the Lord as well.

I hope this article has helped some of you who may not have suffered from depression to understand better some of your loved ones who do. I hope it may help some of you who do suffer from depression to find some ways to help you cope with life. I wouldn’t want any family to ever have to go through the tragedy and sadness that comes along with a family member committing suicide because they couldn’t cope with whatever was going on in their lives. It is really hard and it hurts. May God bless you all as we learn to cope with this disease. Hopefully we can help those who do suffer from depression and prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future. I encourage you not to let the dark cloud of despair hang over your head!

 

Deborah H. Bateman is the Author of The Book of Ruth-A Story of Love and Redemption. She is the founder of Christian Daily Resources, a Christian Online Ministry, dedicated to “Sharing God’s Word”. Deborah loves studying the Bible and sharing it with others. Connect with Deborah at her author site http://www.deborahhbateman.com  or on Facebook on her author page at http://www.facebook.com/DeborahHBateman.

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4 Comments

  1. Deborah H. Bateman

    October 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Carol,
    Thanks for sharing this post. I hope that it will help someone who reads it.
    Blessings,
    Deborah H. Bateman

  2. Patty

    December 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Deborah,
    I understand your struggle with depression. Thank you for being a voice for those who feel they have no voice in the darkness.
    I, too, battled depression, but was instantly delivered from the darkness. Now I stand in battle against the lies and schemes of the enemy who tries to destroy his victims with this terrible illness. I appreciate your efforts to help readers know and understand that there is a better way. However, I must speak up about a couple of things in your article. You may have meant them differently then I interpreted them. For this reason, I pray my thoughts are received with grace, but I want to make sure your readers understand what you are trying to tell them.
    First, depression is normal when grieving. It is part of a process, and as we seek the Lord and counseling, if needed, although the loss remains, if we allow ourselves to go through the process, with God’s help, we will come through the pain to a point of healing and acceptance.
    Secondly, we cannot simply “cope” with depression. I understand your heart in guiding readers to the word of God, and certainly, proclaiming His truth out loud over the lies will make a difference. As will playing Christian music, as you suggested. However, we cannot control our thoughts, for this reason we must RENEW our minds with the word, so that Christ may take every thought captive. Jesus is not there to help us merely get through the day, or someone we call upon when we can’t handle life on our own. He is with us as our Healer, our Warrior, and our Savior—He is there to deliver us. When we are dealing with situational depression, we don’t “cope” with it; we abolish it in the name of Jesus and by the authority given to us in His word. Tell that mountain to MOVE!
    Clinical depression is different than situational depression, and may require medication. However, in all cases of depression, whether clinical or situational, God must be consulted first for His guidance in the best way to overcome the depression. God may use doctors, medication or counselors, but ultimately He and He alone is our deliverance, our hope, and our healer. I refuse to believe that depression is a disease that we simply need to learn to “deal” with. Jesus came to give us live in abundance. He came to set the captives free and release the prisoners from darkness—to take their spirit of despair and give them a garment of praise. Amen!
    Again, I am glad you are speaking up against depression—it is a devastating illness. I hope my comments clarify some things, because this is a battle that “in Christ” can be won. The victory is ours in Him who loves us.
    Blessings, Patty

    • Deborah H. Bateman

      December 5, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Patty,
      Thanks for your input on the article. We all deal with depression in different ways and everybody has to find what works for them. My goal in sharing some things that worked for me was the hope of helping someone else who may be going through a time of depression in their life.
      Blessings,
      Deborah

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Depression Should be Taken Seriously