Tuesday, November 19, 2013

God, Depression, and Me

#365days #365daysof31
The depression has returned. Silent and stalking, it crept up on me even though I was keeping an eye out, in spite of already seeing a therapist each week. Its weight pressed down and down upon me, until, eleven months after my son’s birth, I desperately booked myself an appointment with my OB/GYN to beg for anti-depressants.
She prescribed them. I drove straight from her office to the pharmacy to pick them up. My therapist later endorsed my being medicated for depression and anxiety. And – I didn’t swallow a single pill for another month.

I don’t know many people who are eager to take medication, especially for those “invisible” psychological needs. And in the church there is often a peculiar bias against mental unhealth, an implicit or explicit message of “If you had enough faith, depression would not be an issue.”

But it is an issue. A very real issue. And sometimes, those of us who suffer from this or similar issues need a little help (or a lot of it).  And help can look like taking medication for a time, or maybe forever . . . .

I'm so thrilled to be writing  over at Thorns and Gold today, starting a conversation about anti-depressants, mental health, and faith.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

1 comment:

  1. I related to so much of this, Beth. The hesitation to even start taking meds, even though you have the prescription sitting there, filled. The question of who you really are- the unmedicated version or the medicated version? The question of who you're meant to be and if the medicine is helping or hindering that? The one stark difference for me, though, is that suffering turns me away from my faith. In all of my bouts of depression I have turned inwards and doubted God, church, faith, beliefs, goodness, humanity, worth, and meaning. Depression makes my world a cruel place, where I feel we are alone and nothing makes sense, we're just evil societies of ants on a planet with no real purpose. It's a very dark time and always terrifies me, which creates more depression and anxiety- viscous cycle. Only when I'm level headed, healthy, optimistic, and sane do I really embrace my faith and feel like life has purpose, the world is beautiful, and that people have the ability to show kindness.


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King