I've been hearing a lot about depression lately. I've been reading about it in blogs. I've been hearing about it at church and among friends. I've actually been hearing and reading a lot of stuff that I don't agree with.
When did the word depression start being defined as a disease and no longer an emotion???
Up until a few years ago, I thought clinical depression was a load of hooey. "Buck up," I thought.
And now, a confession: I have struggled with depression, in varying degrees, for the last six+ years, not knowing it until this last spring.
You know the saying, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes” (or something like that…)
Yep. I’ve definitely learned- Judge not lest the Lord seeth fit to make you wear the same pair of shoes.
Any of you who have known me longer than six years may be shocked. Lindsey. Winner of numerous happiest teammate/cast member/camper/etc. awards. Who was often complimented for a contagious smile. Lindsey and depression don’t go in the same sentence. I wish that were still so. But I’m closer to not having my name associated with depression than I’ve been in years. There is hope!
I’ve only come to realize in the last year that my struggles could be defined as depression. The thought crossed my mind many a time over the years, but I always thought, “Noooo. If people are taking medication for it depression must be much worse than what I’m experiencing.”
And then I ran across a couple of blog posts by a couple of women who are taking “happy pills.” The symptoms they shared seemed mild based on what I was experiencing. I was shocked.
So I researched symptoms of depression and matched every one. Then, after seeing the term “severe depression” all the time in my search, I looked up symptoms for that, too and was stunned to find that I had experienced every symptom except for suicidal thoughts…although I’m sure certain thoughts that have run through my head could be related to that.
Yes. I did self diagnose on this. But I'm confident that if I went to the doctor and told him half of what I've experienced I'd have the pills in my hand before I left his office. One, because I know it's depression and two, because I know doctors are over-medicating for depression; at least in this country.
This discovery and self diagnosis has had quite the good effect, though. It has facilitated more progress against it than I had been making flying blind.
Since the spring, I have gone back and forth about blogging about this. I've always concluded that my motives were prideful so I should just keep what I've experienced and what I've learned to myself. But I keep coming across things being shared about depression that I don't believe are true. There is some good stuff being shared. But most of what I read and hear isn't so great.
And so I kept coming back to whether or not I should toss my two cents out into the world. And today I got the impression that I should share. "But what about my pride issues?" "Well, be prayerful about what you share. But share. There's a lot you know that could help someone else." Oh.
I'm not sure how to go about this. There's too much to just lay out in one mammoth blog post. I don't want to commit myself to blogging regularly about it. And I worry that if I blog based on reactions from what I read and hear that things won't be shared in the right spirit...
All I know is that I'm writing this post and opening the door to write more. Perhaps the path will become clearer tomorrow, or next week. Or perhaps it will always remain fuzzy beyond each post I share.
So...I suppose you can ask questions if you're curious. That might help me know which direction to take this. Know that my answers will be either generalized or personal; I do not pretend to be an expert. I just know I have a fairly unique perspective to share.
I guess that's it for now. Consider the door open.