Depression is… and is not…

 

Depression Is:

  • Real – it has been scientifically and medically proven to exist – it even shows up on brain scans; it’s not just “all in your head.”
  • An illness – but it is invisible to onlookers.
  • The result of a fallen sinful world – this was not part of God’s original perfect design for humankind.
  • Exhausting – some days, it can take all of my energy just to get out of bed.
  • Endless – it feels hopeless, like it will never end.
  • Different from sadness – it’s deeper, darker, heavier, more debilitating.
  • Isolating – I want to be alone in my despair; it’s too hard to pretend to be okay around others.
  • Common – 1 in 3 people will experience at least one episode of depression in their lifetime.

Depression Is Not:

  • My fault – I didn’t do this to myself, and there is no one to blame.
  • A sin – it is not disobedience to God, nor is it punishment from Him.
  • Easy to overcome – healing can be a multi-faceted process, and sometimes a long one.
  • Simple – it’s complicated by circumstances, genetics, brain chemistry, and more.
  • Discriminatory — it can affect anyone, regardless of age, income, gender, or race.
  • The same for everyone – that’s part of what makes it so complicated to treat; though there are common symptoms, everyone responds differently to the disease and it’s “cure.”
  • A choice – anymore than I could choose to have diabetes or cancer.
  • A sign of weakness – in fact, the strongest folks may be those with depression who keep waking up each day.

Depression is a complicated illness, a mess of the wrong amounts or kinds of brain chemicals. It’s not something I can just “get over.” In fact, the longer I wait to get help, the longer my recovery will be.

If you or someone you know suffers from depression, don’t be afraid to seek help. Tell  your doctor or medical professional. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-talk).

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