I have a condition known generally as depression.
I have a disease specifically known as Clinical Depression.
To be even more specific, my brain doesn’t produce or process some chemical causing something something yadda yadda, blah blah blah.
I have to take pills. Over the years, decades actually, I’ve used different pills. Prozac, Wellbutrin, a few I can’t remember, one that made my heart rate spike dangerously, one that caused…. uh…. things…. to not function… the current one I’m on is Citalopram. An SSRI, whatever that means. All I really know is that it works.
Sort of works. Works better than everything else I’ve taken over the more than 30 years I’ve been dealing with depression.
If “normal” is the height of clouds, and “bad” is the ground, and “really bad” is the bottom of the Grand Canyon, then most days I’m just about the height of a big tree. Even on meds. If I’m off my meds, I’m in the Grand Canyon with a shovel digging deeper. Or, to be blunt, I’m jumping off the rim in an act of self-destruction. So very not good.
So I am good being in the treetops.
I’m not alone. Millions of others deal with this disease. Maybe you do too.
And there’s a lot of misunderstanding around it. People talk about being depressed because they’re sad, because a relative died or they didn’t do good on exams or something. But that’s a mood, not a medical condition. Even some doctors get it wrong and give out Prozac to people that don’t really need it long term.
And then there’s those that mean well but just don’t get it. They demonize medication and say you need to eat better or go outside more or exercise or a thousand other stupid recommendations. Because those things will help with the mood, but they don’t help with the disease.
And then there’s the church. Religion. Spirituality. Whatever. Your congregation or gathering.
They’re the worst in this department.
At best they claim it’s a belief problem. Just believe more. Believe Jesus can make you well. Repent of your unbelief and your depression will go away.
At worst they claim…. all sorts of things. I know someone who was kicked out of their church because of depression. I know someone else who was forced into an exorcism because they had “the demon of depression”. Both stories have very tragic endings.
But this post isn’t about me making a point or saying “look at me”, it’s about opening the door to discussion.
Do you or someone you know deal with depression? What are your thoughts on the public perception, especially the church?