The holidays can be the best of times and the worst of times for many people!
As the days get shorter and winter settles in, depression becomes a battle for many people. What happens when it becomes serious and someone needs help? Listen to and read Franklin’s story from our Passages stories of hope.
In the spring, I was very much involved with jogging, going to the “Y” four times a week, taking vitamins, really caring for myself. I became interested in the holistic health movement, and began looking at my life spiritually – devotional life and spiritual growth.
And then in May, I began feeling like myself. I’m a person who can get down – you can call it the blues. But I noticed I was down longer than just a day, and my wife said, “Yeah, it does seem like you’re down. Maybe you ought to go to the conference counselor and talk with him about it.” So, I went to see the doctor about how I was feeling, and he said, ” Well, what’s happened to you?” And I said, “Well, I was trying for a conference job nd lost out; my wife was trying for a good job and lost out.” And he said, “Well you’ve had a lot of loss in your life; loss is sometimes a cause of depression. You’re in the mild state of depression. I can give you an anti-depressant. This will tide you over and get you through it.”
Well, I continued to get worse and worse. I lost 30 pounds – I’m not a heavy person anyway. Suicide thoughts really began crowding in on my mind. I began to see no way out whatsoever. Christmas was miserable. Medications were switched. I moved from sleeping all the time to sleeping all the time to sleeping none of the time.
Several things have helped me since then. Number one is a counselor – and I really cannot say enough about the Christian experience of counseling. I read many books, received a lot of literature, read in history about persons who’ve suffered depression. I would say to anyone who is feeling down, out – a depressed person in the valley of the shadows, winter all the time and no Christmas, spring with no birds – that there is hope, and you can get well again. I think I know what it is to die and experience “Ye shall live again.”
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in his world, I put my hope.” Psalm 130:1,5
More of Franklin’s audio story …
When we are depressed and can no longer see objectively, it should be no more of a stigma to go to a counselor to get a diagnosis than it is to go to a mechanic to find out what is wrong with our car. If I’m depressed, I should first look for solutions myself. If they are too hard to find, or I feel like it’s not worth the effort, I should seek help. It’s as simple, and difficult, as that.
It also is comforting to know that we can take even our angriest, most despairing thoughts to God. The Psalmist certainly did. If we can be free to rant and rave at God and express what we didn’t think we dared express to God, we open ourselves to begin to receive God’s healing.
Read Psalm 30; a psalm of despair and trust in God. This reflection is from good friend of PMM Melodie M. Davis.
Here are some helpful links:
A word cloud demonstrates some common words associated with the phrase “mental health” The first time you ever heard the term “mental illness”, what did you think of? I can tell you what I thought of. I was in the beginning of high school the first time I recall hearing this term.
We pray for all those dealing with the blues and/or serious depression as we begin to transition from fall to winter and the holiday seasons are upon us again.