Depression

Depression seems to be the big topic these days with the passing of Robin Williams. Why is it that comedians are often a depressed lot? I’m not a person given to depression. I tried it once for a few hours, and didn’t like it. So maybe there’s a connection here. I’m generally a very upbeat person, almost never depressed and guess what? I hate comedies. I eschew fantasy or unreality of any kind. Could it be that some people’s lives are so unbelievably torturous that they have to make lite of it to survive? Turn that one around. Perhaps fantasy and comedies foster depression. Maybe it’s because we know they’re unattainable …animals will never talk, warp speed is a lie, no amount of spinach will give you super human strength and time machines will not and cannot work …ever. Too much fantasy has to eventually lead to disillusion, disappointment then depression. Like it or not, the three D’s are bed partners. It’s no wonder there is so much depression in our society, we are obsessed with make believe.
I once had a friend who through some of life’s tough circumstances, had dealt with depression. I came along side of him and really said nothing or did anything out of the ordinary. I was just a listening ear with no agenda to fix him in any way. I think the most important ingredient was time, and lots of it. Well it seemed to work, at least temporarily. He still thanks me for that time we had.
My wife said that I shouldn’t write about depression because I’ve never been depressed and have no idea about how to help depressed people. I’ve never done drugs before but I know enough to stay away from the stuff. I see the results of addiction and know instinctively that it’s not at all healthy for you. Most marriage councilors have gone through a marriage breakup. The logic is that you need to have been there to council someone in their breakup. I totally disagree and see it as faulty logic. Would you trust a dentist that had rotten teeth? Would you take business advice from someone who’s never had a successful business? Why would you seek advice for a successful marriage from someone who was a failure in theirs? Why receive council about depression from a depressed person? Rather someone who has known victory over that area of their life, and doesn’t struggle with depression.
Depression is destructive. It is like cancer. The disease will destroy you from the inside out, eating away at everything healthy within you. We have a depressed customer who frequently comes into the store. Everything that comes out of his mouth is poisonous. His face is disfigured and tortured. His countenance reminds me of a cartoon where the rain cloud follows the guy around raining only on him. He’s so depressing to be around that I avoid him like the plague.
For an addict to get free of drugs, takes time, and a concerted effort to quit. It also helps to have friends to see you through the process. Going on methidone or other drugs that are to help ease you out of the addiction, just prolongs the inevitable. There is no easy way out.
I think it’s important that a depressed person take responsibility for their part in their demeanor. Rather than seeing themselves as victims of everything that they have no control over, do what they can do to have victory over their feelings. It’s not wrong to get depressed. Everyone gets depressed from time to time, but giving up, and giving in to depression needs to be viewed as the sin that it is. And we know that the answer to our sin is to repent of it.
Recently my wife was having a hard day. “I’m depressed” she said, going over in her mind all the negative things currently happening. About 7:00 pm she decided to go outside and weed the garden. An hour later she came inside and said she felt much better. I know this sounds trite, but there is a strong connection between physical work and mental well being. It’s a vicious circle when depression causes a person to stop working, and additional depression caused by not working, incapacitates them from ever going back to work.
I know this is not a definitive list, but I see 5 steps that can help with depression.
1./ Find a friend with a listening ear.
2./ See your capitulation to depression as a sin needing to be repented of.
3./ Make a concerted effort to get back to work. The harder and more physical the work is, the better.
4./ Recognize depression as a feeling, not a fact. Feelings are a good servant, but a poor master.
5./ Stop viewing life unrealistically with fantasies. Reality can be depressing, but at least it can be dealt with. Fantasies never come to pass, and we have no control over them.

One thought on “Depression

  1. I love the way you view life and have the ability to put it down on paper. Your comments make me chuckle, but there within are pearls of wisdom.
    I love reading these.

    Thank you.

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