Thanks to @michelleweber at WordPress for putting me on to this fantastic website where bloggers who write about mental health can be found in one place!
How wonderful to be able to write, and at the same time connect with like-minded folks who want to reduce the stigma of mental illness – I’m thrilled to find such a site!
Depression and me:
My journey into mental illness – depression specifically – started 7 years ago. It began as a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder, but when it didn’t resolve itself in a “timely” manner, it became Major Depressive Disorder, with some anxiety on the side.
Since the MDD diagnosis, I have ventured in and out of the valley of depression at least 6 times, perhaps more. The thing about depression is – the more episodes you have, the more episodes you will have. All through those years, I asked God to someday use this in my life for His glory. And He has – I’ve facilitated a depression support group at our church, I’ve told my story to the ladies at Women’s Bible Study on several occasions, and I’ve shared one-on-one about the struggle and victories in the battle against this illness. And now I’m blogging about it!
So after 7 years, I sometimes walk, sometimes stagger down the road to mental health, with MDD currently in remission. But it never goes away completely. It taunts me when events in my life are a mess. It threatens to take over my thoughts, to remind me of all of its promises – you are helpless, you are worthless, no one understands, stay by yourself, hide under the covers… all the lies that depression whispers in my ear.
My goal right now, as depression threatens to re-enter my currently chaotic life, is to recognize it if it comes and practice the techniques I’ve learned to keep it manageable until it passes. I need to remember that it does pass, ’cause it sure feels interminable in the midst of the darkness that surrounds me. I want to lean on Jesus, who has been with me every step of this journey, and on the promises that He will never leave me. I know I’m vulnerable – I’m headed towards another major adjustment in my life – moving across country – and I am trying so hard to not be afraid of what might happen.
This is why I blog. In the Old Testament of the Bible, I can see several examples of lovers of God who struggled with depression. In the New Testament, I read that Jesus knew grief when He walked on this earth. He understands the fear that we as humans face. He knows sadness. He died on the cross for our sins and for our sufferings, including depression. Even Christ followers can suffer from mental illness. And I believe that the more we talk about it, in the Christian community and at large, the more we can help each other to wellness.
“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
Adjustment disorder I can relate to. I just told my secret.
But look at you working hard to help others and raise awareness, tackling the stigma. Good on you.
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