Recently I was going through some old copies of my Guideposts, readying them for recycle to the hospital waiting rooms. I found an article, Living With Depression (The Healer), in the January 2010 issue. I know I had read the article when I had received the magazine, but it didn't impact me like it did in re-reading it this time.
The opening paragraph of the article, written by Therese Borchard of Annapolis, MD is this:
"I was trying to pray when it happened. Desperately. Dark feelings I'd been holding back for days like some terrible tide, feelings of worthlessness and exhaustion, overcame me. I forced myself to keep reading the Psalm I had in front of me, but all I really wanted to do was give up. Just close my eyes and never open them again. Anything to make this unnameable despair, this sadness beyond sadness I couldn't seem to shake, go away."
In so few words, this lady has been able to capture the utmost feeling of living with clinical depression. At the time, she was kneeling in her walk-in closet to hide from her children. She didn't want to upset the children and didn't want to alert her husband that she was again, having all the negativity and darkness take her over.
Friends, I can do all manner of research and come up with clinical explanations and descriptions of depression. But this hit home with me and nothing has explained the situation, the darkness, the isolation as well as this. I, too, suffer from depression. There are many who don't see it in me. There are those who do and don't understand. Whether you believe in the clinical diagnosis of depression or not, it exists for those of us who suffer with it.
This particular lady got help she needed from staff at John Hopkins and is now leading a life where she has more control over her situation. In addition to the clinical depression, she found that she also suffered with bipolar disorder, explaining why she had such varied changes in her moods. She says in the article, "I learned that depression is no one's fault. It's not a personal or spiritual shortcoming."
Fortunately for this particular victim, she has a wonderful support system in her husband and her children. They have seen what the depression and bipolar disorder can do to her and believe.