There was a time when I was in the midst of major depression that I believed that surviving that deep darkness was the hardest thing I would ever do. And it was a great struggle. It was especially difficult to comprehend when people would say things like, “If you didn’t want to be depressed you wouldn’t be.” Or they would say, “Just snap out of it and be happy.” As if being depressed was a conscious choice when I knew that it was not.
In retrospect I can see that to some extent my depression was the result of conscious choices, but I had no idea those choices would lead me to the pit of darkness and despair. Once there, I still could not see that it had been my choices that brought me there and I was not able without the help of God to see my way out.
Yes, I once thought the pit of depression was the worst place I could ever be. But I have recently come to realize that there is another place that is, if not worse, at least as bad as being depressed. That place is standing beside a family member or loved one who is caught in the stranglehold of this terrible condition of the mind and soul, and not being able to help.
There is more than one person in my life right now who is struggling as I once did to be free of the darkness of depression. I long to simply reach in and pull them out, but I can’t. Having seen things from the other side, I do at least know what NOT to say, but I don’t always know what to say or do. I understand their pain and their struggle, and it hurts to see them in that place of despair and hopelessness that I once traveled.
Why do I share this observation? Because I want you who are suffering from depression to understand that your loved ones mean well and want what is best for you. Seeing you in pain and hopelessness is difficult for them, too.
The problem is they simply do not know what to do. We who are on the outside can pray and offer encouragement, but only God can truly rescue you from the pit and pull you from the depths of despair. Only our Savior Jesus offers the hope of Light eternal that will shine into the darkness and show you the way out.
I can tell you about how He shone His Light into my darkness and revealed the choices that led me there, but my experience and my choices may not be the same as yours. Only God sees into the heart of a person to know what healing they require. It is only the hope that Jesus brings that makes seeing the pain of a loved one struggling with depression bearable.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9:2 (NIV).
Find Linda’s Home Page : http://lindakruschke.wordpress.com/
- 9 Best Ways to Support Someone with Depression (psychcentral.com)
- Dysthymic Disorder and Depression (socialsecurityhome.com)
- Treatment Advice For Dealing With Depression In Your Everyday Life (e-prescribe.biz)