Depression

The World Health Organization estimates that about 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression; in the United States alone there are 14.8 million people who are afflicted with this illness. When one lives in a fallen world is it any wonder that so many people suffer from this disorder? Day after day the news keeps us apprised of all that plagues are world–shootings, stabbings, suicide, rape, and death.

There are a great many reasons why one my become depressed: chemical imbalance; genetics; medications; medical problems; past physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; or family history. Many don’t understand depression, it’s not something you can just will away or just, get over it–I wish it were that easy.

Our brains are no different than another any other part of our body–heart, liver, lungs, etc.–and just like any other part of our body the brain may become ill. So why is there such a stigma attached to mental illness? I don’t know, perhaps a lack of knowledge.

There are times when everyone faces a bought with melancholy–sadness, forlornness, or woefulness. Depression goes why beyond melancholyit’s just plain hard!

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Depression can make dragging yourself out of bed in the morning near impossible…it can make you wish you could hang a sign over your head that reads “NO TRESPASSING”…and it can make you want to sleep the day away… and the next and the next. It can suck the life right out of you–making you feel barren and stark, battered and beaten, weathered and worn, drained and defeated.

We worry, what will people think, if we dare whisper its name…depression? If we do muster the courage to tell someone that we are experiencing depression we act as if it’s no more serious than a common cold—give it a few days and it will go away–ONLY IT WON’T!

Oh we want to be thankful, content in every circumstance as Paul tell us to be. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11.  But we are not, not when we are wearing the mantle of despair–it weighs heavy and blurs our perspective.

We feel like God has abandoned us on the doorsteps of life. We ask, “Where are you God?” We hear no answer–or at least we think we don’t. It has shown up on my doorstep (uninvited) let itself in, overstayed its welcome, and slipped out the backdoor only to sneak back in through an open window–on far to many occasions.  Always hovering like a thick dark fog. At times waning to a mist, but always present…waiting to pounce.  Always stealing that which does not belong to it–Life.  Snaking in and out, striking at will–its venom harming not only us, but our families as well.

I’m not a theologian or a medical doctor, therefore, what I write about depression come’s solely from my experience. I have battled depression on and off since I was in my early twenties. At times I was acutely aware of its presence, other times not. Over the years I’ve been on medication to manage the depression and life continued to roll on. However, even with the medication, I was always chronically tired and fatigued. I had come to believe that physical exhaustion was my normal and something I just had to live with.

In the fall of 2012, high levels of stress and constant business brought my depression to an all time high–burning the candle at both ends for far too long had finally caught up with me. My fast paced, over extended lifestyle only intensified my depression. God had been whispering to me for over two years to cut back on my volunteer work outside the home–I refused to obey. I had an idol and it was called “people pleasing” I feared man more than God. I feared what people would say or think if I cut back on my serving. That fall God, He’d had enough of my disobedience and depression was the device He used to break the chains of idolatry. He turned up the heat on my exhaustion until I surrendered my will to His. I gave up all my outside volunteer work, I paid a visit to my physician (she was able to tweak my medication), I and my family pulled back for a time of renewal, and I learned that God was the only one I needed to please–obey.

I believe God allowed the depression to persist and increase to get my attention, to show me who I needed to obey.  Although it was one of the most difficult periods of my life, I am thankful for the instrument of depression that the Lord used to get my attention.  Obeying God and changing my medication resulted in my feeling better than I’d felt in years. In the last two years I’ve grown closer to God and I’m experiencing peace, joy, and renewed energy.  The Lord loves us too much to allow us to remain in our sinful nature.

If anyone reading this blog is experiencing the kind of depression that I described above, I want to encourage you to pay a visit to your doctor. Sometimes we grew so used to feeling bad that we don’t remember what it feels like to be well.  Listen to the Lord’s voice and obey His Words. Get as much sunlight and physical exercise as you can–please seek help.

Count Blessings, Kasey

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17 thoughts on “Depression

  1. Thank you for sharing. Depression runs in my family, so I’ve dealt with it off and on since I was a teenager. I spent last year in what I now recognize as a deep depression. Another thing to remember is that most people won’t understand what you are feeling. I had one well-meaning friend say, “You need to see a doctor and get on some medication so you will stop being so sad all the time.” Perhaps what I needed more than that was someone to say, “It’s ok to feel how you feel. Let’s pray together.”

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    • Sweet friend, Suffering with depression is no easy battle–unless your experienced it, it’s not easy to understand. Those around us grow weary of our always being down–they don’t understand its not the common cold and it won’t be gone in a week or two. I think they want us to get better, move on, get back to status quo. Depression hurts all parties involved. I’m sorry you’ve had to endure this illness, but God can use all things for good. Blessings and grace to you, hugs too, Kasey

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  2. “Sometimes we grow so used to feeling bad that we don’t remember what it’s like to feel well.” So true. Kasey, thanks for being transparent about your own struggles to encourage us in ours. Appreciate you and appreciate you linking up for TestimonyTueday!

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    • Holly, Thanks for hosting Testimony Tuesday, I love hooking up and sharing posts. I wrote this post in hopes of helping someone else who might be struggling with this illness. So many times people are afraid to let people know that they are battling this disease, fearful of what others will think or say. I hope it also helps those who do not suffer with depression better understand what people who do are going through.Blessing and grace, Kasey

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  3. Recently I am always wallowing and crying. I am so sad. I dont like what is happening to me or my life and I want to improve it but I dont have ways and means and this frustrate me and I .. i am just out of option now. #WW

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    • Sweet Merlinda, I’m not a physician, therefore, I’m only offering my personal thoughts. I would encourage you to see your doctor–family physician. They are the best qualified to determine why you are feeling this way. Sometimes medication can have you feeling much better in only a week or two. Sunlight and exercise can be helpful with depression. I’m sorry you are struggling and feeling so badly. I will pray for you, please keep me posted on how your doing. Hugs, joy, and grace to you, Kasey

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    • Trudy, God is good! Once I gave up the strings of people pleasing and was able to get my medication regulated I’ve been good. I still struggle a little with fatigue…but otherwise I’ve been really good. I hope you will have a joy-filled Easter as well! Thanks for your kind words. Grace and peace to you, Kasey

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  4. Thank you for sharing your heart here, Kasey… talking about a subject that most try to ignore or brush off. It is so funny that how we are wired (people pleasing, achieving etc) can be our downfall. Those things become an idol. (Random side note: Have you heard of the new book called “Love Idol” by Jennifer Dukes Lee? It just hit shelves a couple weeks ago and it is incredible, especially in the area of pleasing people and whatnot.)

    Sorry for the side note… but thanks for sharing your truth here and over at #EverydayJesus. So glad that you do!

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    • Sweet friend, I wrote this post in hopes of encouraging someone who may be suffering from depression–so many times people are afraid to tell someone that they are suffering for fear what others will say or think. I just received “Love Idol” in the mail but I haven’t had time to read it yet. Thanks for always sharing your thoughts of encouragement. Have a blessed Easter. Grace and peace, Kasey

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  5. Thank you for being transparent about your own struggles, Kasey. I’ve struggled with depression most of my life and while I’ve never found medication to help me, I do believe it is important to seek a doctor and treatment. I am working on laying down those Love Idols which have led to depression and spending more time in God’s Word to allow His truth to fill me and overflow. Blessings to you. Thank you for sharing with Three Word Wednesday.

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    • Beth, Depression can stop us in our tracks. I’m glad you are laying down the things that help to fuel depression. Have a blessed week. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts–I always enjoy reading them. Grace and peace to you, Kasey

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    • Teresa, Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave an encouragement. I hope my post will help someone who might be suffering with depression get help and know that they are not alone. Have a blessed weekend. Grace and peace to you, Kasey

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  6. Kasey, thank you for sharing so openly about your struggle with depression. I too, struggle with depression, and have for about 2 years now. I’ve had those seasons of not being able to get out of bed, and wouldn’t have had my husband persisted and got up along with me. I’ve watched life pass me by, all the while sucking life out of me. Depression is beyond hard, and sometimes beyond discussing, because sadly enough, in the Christian community people often look down on depression and act as if it’s a cop out or something you can just snap out of…..but you can’t. Thankfully, God has used these seasons of depression to draw me closer to Him and to show me his faithfulness. So thankful that God brought you to a place of freedom! God bless, and have a great week!

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    • Sweet Patty, Depression is a life sucking illness, however I believe it is no different than any other illness that our bodies fall prey to. No one would tell a diabetic to stop taking insulin or a person with a heart condition to stop taking their heart medication. Please don’t let others make you feel bad about suffering with this illness–if they’ve never experienced depression they can’t truly understand what another person is going through. I hope you will find relief from this debilitating illness. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they have blessed me. Grace and God’s peace to you, Kasey

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  7. Pingback: Suffering - Essential Thing Devotions

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