Monthly Archives: June 2013

Surviving Depression: Factors of Prevention

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Prevention of Depression

FACTORS OF PREVENTION: When working to prevent depression, it becomes necessary to decide on a game plan before depression hits. Using the Clarity God brings through depression to guide me, I can use the time between bouts to prepare. This eliminates the element of surprise and builds strength and endurance!

Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

If I put this verse into practice every day in my life, especially between bouts of depression, and become transformed by the renewing of my mind, victory is right around the corner! If I don’t, then I am well on my way when those first thoughts come to going into stage two. I need to be able to see my depression for what it is in the moment. Part of the key to seeing it in the moment is to see it now, before i get there, so that I can anticipate, prepare, and prevent it from going further! This is the way to stay off the merry-goround.

Walk with God (Matthew 11: 28-30 Learn of me…you will find rest for your souls.) Notice he didn’t say sit down and get out of the work and I will take over for you. He said take MY YOKE UPON YOU. Come and do what I am doing. Quit the job you are trying to do alone and come work on my project. I will bare the burden you walk beside me and I will impart my strength to you. What is the best way to learn from a master? Work right beside him. He will teach you all he does to get the work done. You are working on the same project (on different levels of course) but you are doing the same things and you are gaining from his expertise. The more you become like him the better you will be at the job at hand. If we are frustrated and weak and failing at our jobs, maybe we are working in the wrong place and for the wrong boss. Jesus says his yoke is easy and his burden is light. You are basically just allowing him to guide and control your life and he does the work in and through you. It is his work, his burden, his yoke.

Learn from each episode: So many times in my life i have experienced vivid clarity through my depression. Either during or after, though most times after. Those clear things are most often what i hold on to for the duration of my episode or what I meditate on after that help prevent another episode later. Whether it be a new trigger, or behavior that becomes clear to me, or a life line, or just truth (desperately) spoken in love from my husband, they are lessons learned that are so helpful!

Hang on to truth! I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father except through me.

I remember one particular time when I was going through the “regurgitation” stage and all I could say through my sobbing was, “I am not worth it! I am not worth your love, I am not worth the time and effort it is going to take you to love me through this”. My husband just kept saying over and over “I love you! You gotta know i love you right? I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! In that moment God was showing the beautiful truth of his love for me through the love of my husband. Even though, in that moment, I was too messed up to believe him, when I got to the next stage, and ever since I keep playing his voice saying those words over and over in my head because I know that whether i feel worthy or not, the truth is He loves me! When God shows me truth I hold on to it! I file it away for when the next stage comes and I am able to accept it, because my life depends on it! What are the ways God shows you his love for you in the midst of your depression? What are the ways his truth is manifested to you? Write them down, hold on to them, even if you can’t process them right then, keep them in your heart, because at some point they are going to sink in, you will believe them, and it can bring peace and victory over depression! That is the beauty of truth, you don’t have to believe it or feel it for it to be true, and that is just one lesson I learned from my depression.

Apply the lessons you learn The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” The Lord gave me this verse from Zephaniah 3:17 one day in the form of a card from a friend. The concept of God delighting in me under normal circumstances is awesome enough, but the thought of him taking delight in me during my depression is positively mind-blowing! God will, with out a doubt, give us great insight through our depression and can use it to show us things we might not otherwise have seen! When he does, we need to apply it to our lives and allow it to change us! God is faithful and the lessons we learn and apply will bring us victory over our depression! Applying the lessons I have learned about my depression and through my depression have reduced the severity of the episodes as well as the frequency! It is a testimony to the power of God that i am a different and better person because of it all! It taught me everything i have written here and brings me to the next part that has been so incredibly helpful in my life! The part about the triggers!

Recognize triggers: I have learned through much analyzation, that there are definite triggers to my episodes. They are not causes, but they are definite zones that Satan has used in the past to start me on the wrong mental path. I have learned that these things are not tied to my depression like Satan would have me believe. For years I thought these things were components. That made my depression look much larger than it was! Yours might be different than mine, but again, if knowing mine help you to identify yours it can only help. My triggers are situations that i find myself in, usually from no fault of my own, that can lead me into depression. Here are mine:

Being trapped in large crowds in small noisy places. I don’t deal well in these situations. However, I did not know this little fact about myself for a very long time. I didn’t get the fact that my anxiety during those kinds of situations is only linked to the situations them selves. I just thought it was part of an episode of depression. WRONG!

The fear and inadequacy i feel in them, can trigger thoughts of how I am helpless in other areas of my life and boom! I am going down the wrong path again!

The night it all became clear to me was a balmy night in September when we took our youth group to a theme park where several Christian music bands were playing throughout the park. It was loud, and very crowded, and the stress of trying to be responsible for ten teenagers was intense. I freaked out. I was hyperventilating and I was not ok. My friend Claudina let me in on a very relieving secret: the chaperones’ lounge! I went in and was able to calm down. For the first time ever I realized that events like those trigger my depression if I let them, but they are not tied to it. It was the beginning of my “trigger” search, and the end of Satan’s combination plot in my life!

Long periods of stress. Being in a stressful situation for a long period of time can lead me to be depressed. More specifically the stress can wear me down so that when the depression comes I can’t fend it off as well. In these times, it isn’t the stressful situation that i feel depressed about, it is my lack of being able to deal with things while being under stress that gets me down.

Sudden life changes or additions. Babies, jobs, trips, needs, sickness, anything new that i didn’t have ample time to prepare for. It’s like getting knocked down and disoriented and getting back up might end up requiring you to deal with a bout of depression on your way up.

Staying in new places. Now I know that one sounds like fun and it usually is. You get to see and hear new things and get some excitement away from the monotony of life. However, for me, as much as I love to experience new places, it can trigger depression in me. See that is why this kind of depression is different. It isn’t that the place I am staying is depressing or horrible, it is that I feel disoriented and inadequate and dealing with the things that come up in new places. That is why I say it is a trigger not a cause. Now, this particular trigger I have figured out and now it doesn’t have power over me.

Here is what I have learned from this trigger: I see my new place as my home-base. I try to make sure when I travel I take as much as I can to be ready for anything. A friend of mine told me before I left on a trip “ah see this time will be different, you are taking your whole world with you” (ie my whole family, my car, and my new ipad that allowed me to stay connected to my entire world back home) and it was! I also try to make sure that as soon as I get to where I am staying I organize my room and my stuff and set up stations, so that at any given time I know where things are, so that i can be ready for whatever activities we are going to do quickly. I know now that staying in new places can trigger my depression so I can mentally beef up before traveling, that and being prepared as much as possible has virtually eliminated this trigger in my life! Now that is not to say that I don’t do a lot of praying and resting in the Lord, because I do, and I really believe that taking these steps was his provision for my life in this particular trigger!

Cling to tried and true methods of coping and escape: Take all that you have learned and put it into practice. Decide before you are depressed to take the steps needed to prevent, survive, and escape. Analyze the situations before during and after your depression and see what you can deduce. It has helped me immensely! Also, when you see something that someone else has done for you during your depression that helped or meant a lot to you, tell them! Talk to them about how they influenced you so they know to do it again!

Live moment to moment, taking care of each problem that comes up in stride. Make a list. I divide all the things on my mind into two categories. Things I can do something about and things I can’t. Then I let go of the things I can’t do anything about and start putting one foot in front of the others and working through the list of things I can.

Get help medically if you need it. Don’t be afraid to seek medical care. God gives doctors wisdom and sometimes he chooses to work through them. The main thing to remember is, though, that God does not want us to replace him with medication or doctors. If he chooses to use them in your life it will be as another factor of healing, justone of the things on the list that combine to bring us peace. Medication is not for every one and is not a fix-all. My sister put it to me this way: Circumstantial depression is a spiritual problem that comes when we stop trusting God and depend on our circumstances to get us out of depression or blame them for getting us into depression in the first place. Physical depression is a Physical problem in our bodies that requires medical attention. Chronic depression can be a strictly spiritual problem, one that happens when we get into the habit of looking to anything other than Christ for our happiness, security, and peace. It can also be a physical problem, when a glitch in our brains, or a chemical imbalance causes us to struggle with depression. Either way, both the spiritual problem and the physical problem need healing through whatever medium God chooses to use in our lives, and always requires a combination of spiritual and physical healing.

Coming Soon…To the Loved Ones…how to help your loved one, and your self, through their depression.

Surviving Depression: Factors of Progression

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FACTORS OF PROGRESSION (what traps us in the stages of depression?):

Compartmentalizing, procrastination, Denial: One, of the factors of progression, I think, is pushing everything to the back burner. We have so much going on in our lives and so we push our feelings aside, hoping to bring them back and deal with them when things calm down. Bad idea. They don’t stop building just because we have refused to work through them, they are getting bigger and stronger. When, and if, things calm down, they will be a bigger force to reckon with and our energy level may not be sufficient. We need to deal with our feelings as they come, in a Godly and Biblical way, and trust God that the cost to our lives will be just another part of his plan. This way, our depression will be nipped in the bud and we will tackle it before it gets too overwhelming and we are not so tired from the battle.

Unbelief: Not believing the truth of Gods word, not believing your loved ones when they try to encourage you. This can happen with your spouse. You desperately need him or her to build you up, to help you fight the lies, to make you feel loved and appreciated, to make you feel that they still respect you and they don’t think less of you for what you are going through, when they do, you don’t believe anything they say anyway.

Not seeking help when we need it is one of the most dangerous factors of progression. Our pride tells us we can go it alone, that we need no one. Our emotions judge every one available to help as being incapable or indifferent. Therefore the valuable insight from the people God has put in our lives for guidance, wisdom, truth,love and help, is overlooked, thus it’s benefits denied. We plunge further and further down into depression and things go from bad to worse.

What to do

There is so much that God has given us as tools to fight through our depression. Sometimes fighting is manifested in quiet progress and faith. Sometimes it looks more like physical fighting, but the point is that God doesn’t just let us sit in our depression. If we trust him there are lots of things we can do as well as an amazing plethora of things He will do in us and through us!

James 1:1-5 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

PRAY: Prayer is not only the first step in dealing with depression, it is also the most important. Even if we are not specifically asking God to help us get out of depression, we can just tell him how we feel. He can be the guilt free objective party that I mentioned earlier. When we look at everything in our lives, we can feel totally inadequate. We feel like we are not enough. We feel like we can’t do anything all the way or right. When we are saying “I am not_____, I am not _____, God is saying “I AM”. It was in answer to Moses feelings of inadequacy that God said “I am that I am”. He was saying you don’t have to be enough, you don’t even have to prove where you are coming from. You tell them “I Am that I am sent me” and that will be enough. If we trust him, God will go with us and before us working in hearts to empower us and to make us “enough” in the eyes of those in our lives. Because what they are seeing is Him instead of us. You see, even if you look at someone and see weakness, if you can see God at work in their weakness, then you don’t have to worry about it anymore. You can clearly see, then that God is using those weaknesses for his glory and the good of his people. Our loved ones will see God at work and have confidence in his work in our life. Also, as I mentioned before, disobedience and lack of trust in our Savior can be a factor of progression in our depression. A lot of times, knowing this and acting on it are two very different things. Many times, obeying and trusting seem like quick fixes that we may not be interested in at the low times. However, though we need to be told the truth about these things by the people we are accountable to, we need to go to God and confide in him. Sometimes, he shows us himself and points out our weaknesses to us in a way that is effective and all of the sudden we find our selves basking in the glory of God and out of depression. God isn’t always interested in getting us out right away. He is more interested in using our depression to reveal himself to us and to reveal our true hearts to us. This will eventually lead to our escape.

One of the most comforting things to me is that fact that God can use my depression. It isn’t something he just takes me through. There is a reason, there is a purpose, and my going through this can help others! There is peace in the midst of the storm. Or to put it another way, the storm is bringing something to my life that will help others! I don’t always have to wait for the storm to pass before it can do any good. My kids and hopefully others are watching during and learning valuable things to apply to their lives!

Here is something God showed me in the middle of an episode that has stuck with me. The only way my kids will see the reality of God’s glory and power in my life is not to never see me struggle. It is to see God at work In and Through my struggle. That is what i have to portray to them. Seeing the reality of that glory and power is the only thing that will motivate them to turn to HIm when they struggle and to trust Him enough to rest in the fact that they don’t have to wait till the struggle is over for the glory of God to be visible. Sometimes seeing his glory During is more effective and long lasting and sometimes it is actually the key to complete victory in the future!”

SHARE: Take the plunge, and talk to someone. If you look around and seek the Lord, you will soon be able to see that he puts and abundance of people in your path who will be happy to listen, pray, share their own experience. He may even use your situation to bring encouragement to them. I have also seen in my life, that God oftentimes shields me from negative influence while showering me with the positive when I am struggling. So if I reach out to those who God brings to me, he will make sure that what i hear is what I need to hear. Even though in the moment I may not be able to process it all.

LISTEN: View everyone that God brings to you to offer encouragement or advice as a direct agent of God. He is speaking through them. Listen to them, take what they say to heart and apply it (only after comparing it to the truth of scripture, of course). Different perspectives offered can overwhelm you, just know that they are options not necessarily solutions. View them as instruments God is allowing you to be exposed to. Don’t pick and choose so much as listen to each one and allow God to direct you in how to apply each one and how they work in harmony together.

Listen to music. Seek out music that is comforting, kick you in the butt convicting, fun, and mind changing. If a song you hear speaks to your soul, get it and add it to your “depression” playlist. Sometimes songs can get lost in the sea of our lives and when weare going through something we can’t remember the info we need to find them again. If you have a playlist, then those songs can be a collection of comfort, always at your finger tips. It can be a factor in pulling you out, giving you something to hold on to, or just a momentary (or however long the playlist lasts) distraction. No matter how you look at it, that can only be a good thing right? Here is a verse my dad sent me that illustrates the power of and the need for music! I Samuel 16:16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well. Interesting he says “harmful spirit from God” . Whether you know it or not, whether you believe it or not, God allows us to go through depression for reasons, and yet he is interested in getting us out of depression as well. There have been many many instances when a song has come on the radio in my darkest times that has completely changed my mind and given me a step up. The first step of many to lead me out of depression!

RELEASE: Allowing Guilt to rule your decisions is wrong. Release your control to God. Know that there is only guilt in not seeking him, and not accepting the help he offers. Hold on to the fact that not seeking is sin. (whatsoever is not of faith is sin) Release your pride. Don’t let Satan convince you that you can handle it alone or scare you into thinking there is no one who will understand or every one will judge you. The Fear of Man is a sin. Fear only the Lord and trust him. He will choose the appropriate resources to provide for your needs.

Coming Soon…Factors of Prevention!

Remebering Aniya

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Psalms 139:16 NKJV

16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How do you deal with the death of a child? Especially when that child is only seven weeks old?  What do you tell a mother who chose to have her baby instead of choosing abortion, about the fact that her only child died in her arms anyway?  How do you reconcile the work of satan and the fact that God is always in control? I used to think that these things went beyond all reason, and that we, as people of faith in the Almighty Creator of the Universe were sort of doomed to being reduced to the admission that in circumstances such as these, we had no answers beyond the typical:We don’t always know why, and all we know is that God is in control.  However, this week as my husband and I faced the most difficult and heartbreaking time of our ministry, God mercifully revealed himself and his heart to me on the subject.  I’d like to share it with you.
AJ began coming to our church about four years ago.  He was part of the out reach program at our church.  Very quickly he formed a close bond with us, even began calling me Mom.  We poured the gospel into him, we tried our best to be there for him when he got into trouble, he became like family to us.  When he started bringing his girlfriend to church with him we cautioned him like we would our own about sex before marriage, and about being a man of God and doing what God wanted him do do.  We got to know his girlfriend Clinda and we saw God work in their lives.  In the summer of last year, AJ and clinda told us they were expecting a baby.  They were scared and hungry for advice on what to do.  We did our best to speak truth to them and we encouraged them of God’s provision for their child and that abortion was not what God wanted them to do.  We told them we would be there no matter what and help in any way we could.
Clinda ultimately chose to have her baby, and asked me to be in the delivery room with her.  We went to her baby shower, we watched Clinda grow and saw the sonogram photos and prayed that God would bring clinda and AJ to himself and that as we were speaking truth into their lives that he would give us words and wisdom.  We also prayed that their baby would be healthy and that he would protect it.  We believe that children are a gift from God regardless of how they are conceived and that they are precious in his sight.  We loved Aniya Harmony from the moment we found out about her.
I was there when she was born.  One of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen! She had the softest hair and she smiled in her sleep all the time.  I wasn’t prepared for the feelings of responsibility I felt over her, even though I knew she wasn’t mine I loved her like she was.  I was there the first time she came to church and I held her the entire time just soaking in the joy of her.  Every time I saw her I wanted to take her home with me.
One morning I got a call from Clinda.  She was in the hospital with Aniya.  She was sick and had a high fever.  They didn’t know what was wrong with her and she asked if I would come.  I held her for four hours straight in that hospital room all the whole time Clinda and I hung out and talked.  I told her about how God had a purpose for Aniya and a plan for her life, and that if she trusted and obeyed him God would show himself to her in a mighty way and lead and guide them.  After four days in the hospital, Aniya was released to go home. We breathed a sigh of thankful relief and looked forward to the future with Aniya.  I got to hold her the following Sunday all through church.  It was awesome!  She was so cute and the little noises she made melted my heart as did the huge smile on her face as she lay sleeping in my arms.
That was the last time I held Aniya Harmony Avriett.  Three weeks later John called me sobbing.  Clinda had called him on his way to work hysterical and a nurse got on the phone and told him to come right away.  All he knew was Aniya wasn’t breathing.  I called Claudina and she came and picked up my kids and I left to join him.  The whole way to the hospital I cried out to God for wisdom and words and protection.  I prayed desperately that he would be with Clinda and Aj and John.  I prayed that he would give the doctors wisdom and that Aniya would be ok.  She wasn’t.
When I arrived at the hospital, John told me that he had held Clinda’s hand while they worked on trying to revive Aniya and he was there when they pronounced her dead.  Clinda looked at me and fell into my arms and cried my name over and over.  All I could do was sob with her, hold her and pray that God would show me what to do.  Looking into her eyes desperate for us to comfort her, to tell her why, it was absolutely heartbreaking.
I left the hospital begging God to show me what to do.  “God, all the things I told her about your plan and your purpose, what now? I am going to look like a liar God! Why did you save her from abortion if she was just going to die anyway?”
I know that my questions to God were ugly.  But here is the thing, they were questions to my God.  Questions only he can answer and only if he chooses.  Bottom line? Would he choose to answer them, and could I surrender, and accept those answers?  I spent the next 24 hours searching the word of God, praying and seeking counsel and while I still don’t understand why this happened, I have learned a lot about God’s purpose for Aniya’s life.  It doesn’t matter why. What matters is what do do now with what I have learned.
As Psalm 139 says, God planned every day of Aniya’s life before she was even formed in her mother’s womb.  He didn’t just “know” how long she would be here with us, he planned for every day.  From beginning to end her life was a gift.  Too often, when faced with tragedy, we take it for granted that Satan is attacking.  For me, focusing on Satan’s role, sends me  hiding in confusion.  Satan had no power over when Aniya would be brought to life, and he had no power over her life’s end.  That was God’s department.  Seeing that brings beauty.  Her life wasn’t cut short, it was exactly as long as it was supposed to be.  She fulfilled her purpose in life, she just did it faster than we did.  Satan didn’t steal Aniya’s purpose.  We were privileged to get to be the ones to be a part of her life and get to love her and take care of her while she was here.  We share in her purpose.  She isn’t dead, she just isn’t here with us.  She is alive with God and he is the one who is taking care of her.  We miss her and we want to be with her and it is so hard, but God has sent his comforter to us- the Holy Spirit.  It is through Jesus Christ death on the cross and his conquering death that we experience the Holy Spirit.  Aniya is alive in Heaven because death has been conquered.  The grave has no hold on us who believe! That was part of God’s provision for us!  We can see Aniya again someday in Heaven because God chose to make a way for us!
So, here is what Aniya life revealed to me.  Here is the purpose she fulfilled in my life.  Aniya’s life showed me that the fullness of his love can be exploded on us after being wrapped in a little 7 lb 12 oz body.  His ability to create something so perfect and beautiful and give so much joy in such a short amount of time.  The love for our children is instantaneous.  My love for Aniya was no different.  God’s love for me in that he allowed me to be a part of Aniya’s life is special.  I was part of the chosen few!
Aniya’s life shows that God’s plan and purpose is just as big and important regardless of how much time it takes to fulfill.  And that his power is revealed in that Satan cannot take life from us unless our life is done.  Aniya showed me Satan’s lack of power next to the all powerful Author of Life!
Aniya’s life reminds me that death has been conquered and Jesus reigns in his people.  That he has the power to comfort us and that the truth of who he is is not diminished in hard times, but actually magnified!
God is bringing comfort to my heart through this time.  John is preaching the funeral on saturday–his first funeral.  I know God is going to give him the strength and words he needs.  Just putting into practice some of the power and provision he taught us through Aniya!
The Lord gives and the Lord taketh away! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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Aside

The stages of Depression

We hear all the time people talking about the stages of grief, but I have never heard

anyone explain the stages of depression to me until I identified them in my own life.

Maybe they are not the same for everyone, however, I want to share mine with you. If

you can’t identify with them, perhaps it will open your eyes to the stages of your own

depression. As an illustration, I would like to use the aforementioned merry-go-round.

The kind I played on as a child in school.

Mild irritation: brought on by frustration, confusion or thoughts of inadequacy. This is the beginning of the thought process, and allowing our selves to entertain these thoughts is dangerous. At this stage I am choosing to step onto the merry-go-round (though it actually feels more like being put on against my will). Satan his more than happy to give me that first push.

Irrational anger: extreme responses to every day situations. With out even realizing the source this stage hits me. All of the sudden, because I am already listening to the lies, it is very hard to concentrate on every day tasks. It puts me under stress. In that stress, if something goes wrong, it is magnified to the extreme and I respond irrationally and most often in violent anger. The merry-go-round is spinning faster and faster and I feel out of control. Every time I try to get my footing I miss the handle and get hurt again. I know there are people trying to rescue me but it is going too fast for them. They end up getting hurt too. It is a difficult thing. I know it is happening, but I am powerless to do anything about it. However, one thing I have realized is this: If Satan can overcome me at this stage then it is as if he took over the fort and gained all the resources the “good guys” had for the fight. I see my irrational behavior as justified (because, after all, I am going through a hard time and I don’t need that extra stress) instead of seeing it as handing myself over to the enemy and loading my weapon up before I give it to him to shoot me with. Because when I respond in anger and intense irrational behavior, the subsequent guilt and anguish I feel afterward is earned. I am giving Satan ammunition. The hardest part about depression is the guilt it brings about things you think you shouldn’t be feeling. If I do something that earns that guilt on top of the guilt that is already there for no reason it is ten times harder.

Silent struggle: everything I can think to say seems irrelevant or stupid, so I just suffer in silence. Especially if during the irrational anger stage I spoke and acted in a way that is embarrassing to me or hurtful to others. I adopt the “sit down and shut up” method, and let the merry-go-round spin for a while as I sit there, attempting to understand, and agonizing over how to proceed. This stage can also be categorized as humiliation. The suffering I am enduring is compounded by my reluctance to speak it. After all, “what I am feeling is stupid and uncalled for and i can’t form words properly anyways so I will just keep everyone from knowing what is going on so I don’t have to worry about rejection or someone shutting me down for voicing what i am feeling.” At this point I am avoiding the inevitable and the possibility of more “legitimate” hurt.

Regurgitation: the “letting it all out” stage that comes from being so upset and fed up that it just comes out, rational or not, loud or not. I have gotten off the merry-go-round and now I am puking my guts out. This is the most intense stage. Desperate searching and grasping: Reaching out for anything and anyone that can help me! I am overwhelmed to the point of desperation. I am stumbling around attempting to make my way to anything that isn’t spinning. The pain and rejection I feared for the other stages now seems worth it to me. No matter what it costs I have to get some help!

Slight happiness: I am not out of depression yet but I have accepted a little bit of hope. Realizing that there is truth to be had, and being able to distinguish it from the lies. The feelings are still there, but their power is being loosed. Its the beginning of recovery.The moments of clarity start to manifest themselves here. The merry-go-round is still spinning but I am not on it any more, though it’s effects are still very much upon me.

Meditation: on all the things that are coming together to rescue me! As everything seems to calm down (the nausea and dizziness is gone) I cling to the anchors that I have been led to. I look over, the merry-go-round is still spinning albeit more slowly, and I still fear it. I begin to go through all the things that happened and wonder how i ever chose to step on.

Free, rational, “normal” behavior: resulting from clear thoughts. The bought is over! I can see clearly and think clearly! I can take on every day things and I am ready to be with my family again! The merry-go-round is still and has no power over me now. I am looking forward to the next phase of my life. The pieces are more organized now and I can begin to put them all back together.

Coming soon….The Factors of Progression…

Surviving Depression: The stages of Depression

Surviving Depression 1

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The Components of Depression

The first step is to define the kind of depression I am talking about. To someone who has

never experienced this kind of depression, the definition of depression is something that

happens when a terrible event occurs in life that takes over. It has a definite cause, and

therefore is flexible with time and allowed space to heal. It is easy to identify with. To

the rest of us who deal with this disease it is a phantom coming out of nowhere and

dragging us down the dark path of the unknown. It is above all a PHYSICAL ailment. It

happens when certain chemicals are not aligned properly, or when hormones are raging.

The devil likes to run with it combining the physical with the spiritual, and adding the

emotional and mental torment for a concoction that is sometimes deadly. Very rarely

does it have to do with outside influence or an event in our lives. What’s more we know

that it is happening in spite of them. In fact, I have found in my life, that I actually

handle tragedies better, because to me it is almost a relief to have a tangible reason to feel

sad. It is the times when I look at my life and can determine no reason for my feelings of

grief and woe that are the hardest.

I am the kind of person, under normal circumstances, that likes to be very organized. To

the point that sometimes, being disorganized frequently, can frustrate me and push me to

the edge. If I am not careful I find my security in the predictable and neatly organized.

So, when God began to reveal to me a definite pattern to my depression, it was a great

comfort to me! And so part of this pattern I would like to share with you is the

Components of Depression. To be more clear, the symptoms occurring internally that

make this kind of depression hard to verbalize.

GUILT: The most difficult component for me is Guilt. Guilt is what paralyzes me,

trapping me in depression. Guilt over the thoughts and feelings I am experiencing. Guilt

over allowing myself to express those thoughts and feelings to a loved one. Guilt over

sharing my depression with an objective party because I feel doing so would some how

cheat my loved ones. Guilt also contaminates and fuels the other components of

depression.

FEAR: I wrestle with fear in many ways during an episode of depression. I may fear the

present, past, or future. Sometimes I fear that the past has screwed up my present so

much that the future is hopeless, or non-existent. I fear being hurt or hurting others.

Rejection is another feared experience. The fear of being misunderstood can rob me of

the help I so desperately need. The fear of alienating my family, that they are not going

to love me or want to be with me anymore. The fear that no matter what I try, there is

nothing I can do to stop the inevitable: I will loose everything anyway–one way or

another.

CONFUSION: Depression causes, and can stem from, confusion. There can be

confusion over thoughts and feelings. (i.e. What feelings should be acted upon and

which problems need to be laid to rest because they are bound to the depression itself?)

Every thing is magnified ten fold during a period of depression. Sometimes it is heard to

7

distinguish between real problems and over-sensitivity. Confusion makes me feel

unintelligent, worthless, and incapable, bringing me into or further into depression.

PAIN: Pain is manifested prominently during depression. There is genuine physical

pain. (Head aches, body aches etc.) Emotional pain is also associated with depression.

Mental anguish rears its’ ugly head as well. Pain affects almost every part of our being

during depression and is one of the components that make depression so real to us.

DEPLETION OF ENERGY: Depression drains an amazing amount of energy from us.

This can happen when other components combine causing us to be too tired to cope.

Though the physical pain of depression certainly takes its toll on us, one of the things, I

think, that is the most powerful in taking our energy is the mental anguish. Thoughts

chasing themselves around in your head till you can’t stop them and just don’t feel like

fighting it anymore. Loss of energy is one of the things that make depression so

dangerous. It gives way to the feeling of loosing control.

Indifference: Sometimes, especially during a particularly long period of depression,

we may loose interest in things that usually bring us joy. Things like hobbies, or even our

families. Parts of our personality that normally brings stability can be affected. For

example, a person who is usually very goal oriented and loves organization and hates

being late, as a result of being depressed, can begin to be lazy, disorganized and obstinate,

not caring about or being late on purpose. Depression can rob you of the joy and

atisfaction you get out of life and cause you, and your loved ones, feel like you are a

different person.

Isolation: Depression can cause me to feel lonely when I am surrounded by people

who love me and want to help me. It can tempt me to push people away and isolate

myself from my life and loved ones. It is a trick of Satan. If he can isolate me, then the

only influence I am getting is from him. He is the father of lies, seeking who he can

destroy. If you are isolated than you are powerless. It is just you and him.

Surviving Depression Preface

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This is for all of you out there (at least I hope you are out there, sometimes I think I am

the only one) who suffer from depression. A depression that hits you like a Mac truck

every time regardless of how many periods you have gone through in your life. A

depression so crippling that it can haunt you for days, weeks, months, or even years. A

depression that seemingly has no reason, no cause, and definitely, no conceivable

solution.

I have suffered from this all my life. It runs in my family. I know what it feels like to be

totally alone in the middle of a room. I know what it feels like to feel so small I think no

one would notice if I just disappeared all together. I know all to well the frustration of

trying to explain the terrible disease to someone I love that has never experienced its

paralyzing fear. Trying to sort out the confusing reality of something I can’t change, but

would give anything to destroy.

I seriously wonder if I am going insane. Maybe it would be better if I did—easier

somehow. But then to give into it would mean loosing everything I hold dear. The worst

I think is worrying that if I share my nightmare that my friends and loved ones will think

that I am already insane.

It’s a circle that seemingly never ends. It is a marry-go-round that has to be stopped if the

hope of ever being all right is to be kept alive. Yet I know somewhere in my tortured

mind that it will stop–because this isn’t the first time it has happened.

How do I explain to my loved ones that this isn’t their fault? It isn’t something they have

done to make me feel this way—even if I am overly sensitive about all that they are

doing. I want them to know that I don’t mean to push them away, and in fact that is my

greatest fear. My soul is crying out for them to understand me, to build me up, and to

make me believe that everything I am being told about myself (in my mind) is a lie. I

desperately need them to take me seriously, and not in any way patronize. But how can I,

when my thoughts won’t stop chasing themselves around my head? How do I help them

cope with my craziness when it takes everything I have to get out of bed? How do I make

them understand with out making them feel helpless and confused, and worst of all, hurt?

I need to know that they will be there when I come out of this, and won’t think less of me

for having been at the bottom.

I feel fragile, exhausted, and even angry. Why can’t I get myself together? Why would

anyone love someone who is like this? Questions run through my mind like “what would

happen if I turned the wheel right now and headed into oncoming traffic?” Followed by

thoughts like “no I can’t do that because I might not die I might just end up paralyzed.”

Yes, these are terrible things to think and say, but nonetheless true.

What is that insatiable desire to please people? What causes that performance based

acceptance factor? Why do I feel like if I miss a day of cleaning that I am a failure as a

wife? Why do I take it so personally when things aren’t perfect? Truly, I do share in the

responsibility, but where is the line? Depression descends on me to crush my spirit, to

make me feel worthless. What can I do to fight these satanic lies?

I wish there was some magical cure for depression, something we could just twitch our

nose at and all would be put to rights. Unfortunately, there isn’t. However, the intention

of this book is to enlighten the reader. To help you identify this kind of depression, to

learn to deal with it and to help others deal with it. There is hope!