Day 3 - Depression
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. -Romans 2:12
I still get lots of questions about depression. Causes, symptoms, treatment options, my views on medication, etc. And I have discussed depression on the blog over and over again. My views are not changed, but I will post a summary today of what I've already talked about.
Personally I'm tired of mental illness in general being classified as some nonspiritual illness. Particularly people who are clinically depressed can no more get themselves out of depression than diabetics can pray their sugar down while consuming entire cakes. It's ridiculous and it needs to stop in the Christian circle especially.
I will say that mental illness gets over diagnosed-a lot. Other disorders do too. Everyone who eats chili fries for lunch goes to their Dr. for an acid reflux medication prescription which is why those of us who actually have it have to fight with the insurance companies for months. A bad day here and there; several bad days here and there; tears of frustration or anger or sadness, situations that happen to and around us that make us less than happy does not equal a mental illness.
Emotions are what make us human! We wouldn't know joy if we never knew sorrow. We wouldn't recognize peace if we never felt uneasy. A disorder is classified as something that perpetually interrupts the normal functioning of a life. If you cannot function because of being depressed. If you can't get out of bed, if you have no motivation, if you have unexplained episodes of crying at least 5 times a week, if your sleep and or appetite are off-it might be time to get checked out for depression. That said, it could just as easily be an imbalance of hormones.
I've said before and I'll talk about it more later this month, I spent 3 years in a semi charismatic church in college. I didn't mind it at all. But I found the lines of people expecting immediate healing to be a little bizarre. I'm not saying God can't miraculously do whatever He wants to do, but I have seen that as more the exception than the rule. We grow in our faith by learning to depend on Him for the answers that we need. He has a purpose for anything we go through.
My take on medication? If you need it - get it. If at some point you don't need it anymore-get off of it.
My take on therapy? If you need it - get it. You might find paying to have a conversation where you can say whatever you want is the best thing that's ever happened to you :)
My take on depression? It certainly isn't a sin. It's a symptom. God intends for us to live free in Him and however He leads you to make that possible is a gift from His heart.