Lessons in Love: Depression

So, I know this can be a touchy subject for a lot of people, but it’s been on my mind for a very long time, and I just feel like venting about my view or opinion of it. I could be totally wrong, and I’d be willing to admit it if I had information to say otherwise, but I’ve never been given other information that shows my opinion to be wrong.

I do not believe in depression. Ok, let me explain. I do not believe in it unless there is medical testing to show that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain/body that would cause someone to be unable to control their thoughts/emotions, thus identifying them as “depressed.” 

I have known (or currently know) several people who have told me they are depressed. Not just the sad feeling, but they have actually been to a therapist or doctor and been diagnosed as depressed. Not a single one of them actually had any medical testing done to show they have a chemical imbalance. Almost every single one of them was simply asked questions about their life, their feelings, etc. Shortly after they were told what medication would be best and given a prescription. They were to follow up with their doctor or therapist in a certain number of days or weeks to see how they’re doing on the new prescription. 

I do NOT at all understand that. You ask me on a crappy day how things are and how I’m feeling, you might just hear me say some really crappy things about my current outlook on life or my opinion of how things are. If I really sit to consider how I’m ‘feeling’, I would probably very quickly understand how great I have it, and how it could be so much worse. There is always someone worse off. 

Why aren’t they doing that with people that feel like there’s no way out or feel like everyone would be better off if that person was dead? Why don’t we SHOW those people how it could be worse? Why don’t we explain to them to just get over themselves and move on?? Maybe it’s the way I was raised, but I actually feel BAD when I sit and wallow in my pity. I KNOW there are people out there with absolutely nothing – no home, no family, no job, no anything. I have SEEN people in worse situations. I have HEARD about those in third world countries that can’t get out of their war-torn countries or poverty-stricken villages. THOSE people would have every right to be depressed. BUT, that’s not what we hear about. I don’t ever recall hearing that tons and tons of people in poverty-stricken Uganda are committing suicide because they are depressed. I mean, maybe they are….but nobody’s reporting on that to my knowledge. Nobody’s over there saying look at the staggering number of people causing themselves harm or death because of their situation. No, people are over talking about how they are struggling to provide. PROVIDE. They haven’t given up. They are still working at it. Still trying to give their kids and families everything they can. They still work hard to find work and make the smallest amount of money. 

It really frustrates me that in America, people are always talking about the number of depressed people here. It is so ridiculous!!! You want a reason to be sad about life? Go overseas and spend some time with those that actually have it rough. Live in a hut. Drink water from the dirty river. Dig a hole to use the bathroom. Struggle to hide your children from the crazy kidnappers that want to rape or sell your kids for money. SERIOUSLY!

Ok, so being jobless could be pretty sad. Losing your home is probably pretty traumatic. BUT, we have more resources out there for help than practically any other country, yet we still have such a huge number of “depressed” people. 

To be completely honest, those people that I’ve known to be diagnosed as depressed have none of the issues that might cause someone to be depressed. Ok, temporary joblessness. But that’s the only one. They’ve never lost a home, never lost their spouse or child, never really struggled. There was always someone there to help or at least OFFER help. 

Why can’t we, as a society, just get over ourselves? We have it so nice. We have community. We have family. We have government or non-profit organizations that WANT to help. Why do we have to just feel sorry for ourselves and need some medication? Why do we need some unnatural chemically-laced pill to feel “good” about our situations? Does it HELP the situation? No. Does it correct everything? No. It just makes us feel better about it. Is it going to get us a job? A home? No and no. 

I think what we need is a good dose of reality…..other people’s reality. We don’t know what we have….so all we focus on is what we DON’T have. 

I would be so curious to know the number of depression-related deaths from Bible times compared to the number of depression-related deaths now. Really. People without technology and without all our conveniences had to work for everything. You don’t hear all these stories about people feeling sorry for themselves and just giving up. No, people understood to get things you had to work and work HARD. You weren’t owed anything. You were not entitled to certain rights or things. You worked for everything – even a simple meal. And everyone was fine with that, it seemed. Now, we have all these shortcuts and conveniences and we have forgotten how to WORK for what we want. Instead, we just assume we deserve it and we cry about it when we don’t get it. 

I apologize if this angers anyone. I am just so fed up about hearing about how teens today feel like there’s no way out. Like death is the only answer. And why do they think this? Because we have taught them that they deserve all this stuff and when they don’t get it, it’s ok to feel sorry for themselves, instead of seeking out someone who has even less and helping them. That’s what we need – to give of ourselves. If we took the time to help out those who truly have less, I think we’d spend a lot less time whining about we don’t have. 

Of course, I don’t have any Biblical references for my opinion on this. I just don’t see how God could be okay with us finding help in medications for a problem that seems to be heart related. If we understood we have a God who cares, a church family that cares, other Christians that care….think how much better off we’d be. If we focused on Christ and His sacrifice (now HE would have a reason to be depressed…..giving His life for a bunch of people that didn’t deserve it!), I think we’d spend less time being “depressed.” If we focused on living out the Great Commission or helping those that truly are poor or without, we would understand how blessed we are and how much better we “feel” when we do something for someone else and not expect everything to be done for us.

I am NOT AT ALL saying that I live out everything I’m saying here. Not at all. I often find myself feeling sorry for me and all that I think I need. I do find, shortly after, that I have everything need and MORE. There are people who really don’t have basic things, but I’m crying that I can’t put my girls in ballet and gymnastics and private school. Pathetic! I have running water (and it’s CLEAN), a home (and it’s heated!), a family (that loves me!), and food (that I didn’t have to go out and hunt for!). Everything else is a luxury.

(please feel free to post any commments or opinions – even if you don’t agree with me. i always like to hear what others have to say, and maybe you have something for me to consider. i could be completely wrong here. i would really like to know if i am wrong. really.)

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