Regardless of how many tragedies occur in this country due to mental health issues, for many Americans there is still a stigma attached to those who suffer. Few are willing to openly address the issue. Tragedies such as Adam Lanza’s mass murder of over twenty innocent elementary school children in Newtown, Ct. stirred nation-wide outrage to curtail the purchase and ownership of weapons by ordinary citizens yet cleverly skirted the more relevant issue of mental health.
Perhaps the recent suicide of one of the most beloved and brilliant comedians in Hollywood, Robin Williams, will spark a more comprehensive dialogue. While gifted in making others laugh with his unpredictable and outrageous antics, Mr. Williams himself battled depression for many years. Contrary to some beliefs, depression is not as simple as feeling down or sad. Depression is an intense feeling of apathy and lethargy, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Activities that were once pleasurable lose their appeal coupled with a loss of interest in life. There is no more shame in suffering from depression than having cancer or MS. Depression is a psychological as well as physical condition and if left untreated can lead to suicide.
Since my teenage years, I have struggled with bouts of undiagnosed depression including postpartum. Although debilitating at times, I always found my way back to wholeness. The most severe episode occurred twenty years ago when I unexpectedly found myself estranged from three of my adult children. The pain was more excruciating than I was equipped to deal with. I prayed daily for the welcome relief (I thought) that only death could provide. To each petition, God replied, “Not yet.” But He did not take away my pain. “I don’t need your help,” I threatened. “I can do this with or without you.” He did not reply. Instead, He sent a vision: I looked so peaceful lying in my coffin, finally free of pain. However when I glanced up, I realized that the pain I could no longer bear was now visited upon my mother. The grief that painted her face as she stared at the lifeless body of her second born was worse than anything I had endured thus far. My deep love for her prevented me from inflicting that kind of agony on one so undeserving. I smugly informed my Creator that although He had won this battle, ultimately I would win the war. “I will not end my life as long as my mother is alive,” I promised the One who made me. “But the day she dies, I will bury her, return home and immediately join her in the afterlife.” It was the only viable solution to end my ordeal. Thankfully, over the next three years, Father made clear to me the reasons for my current situation, opened my heart so that I was able to fully embrace Divine Love, and directed me on the path He chose for me. The dark veil lifted and once again I could see the Light of the Son.
All healing comes from God: physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. While there are many treatments available to those who are struggling, it is critical to include God in the process.
Depression is temporary. Suicide is permanent. There is no need to feel shame or guilt; there is no weakness in being despondent. Remember, where there is life there is hope. Reach out. You are valuable to the world and most importantly to God.
“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord: Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah
For Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Depression, visit my blog @ www.Anger911.net Aug. 20, 2014 issue
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