It’s been a while since I posted on mental health issues. I find that many people in my church and among my acquaintances, knowing of my experience with depression and of my having led a depression impact group for six and a half years, refer people who are needing help to me regularly. Yesterday I received a call from a person with a multitude of issues in life right now. There is not much that I can do, really, to address the specific problems any particular person faces, but I can listen and, as much as anything, that seems to be the greatest need most people have.
It’s a sad thing, but many people with depression find that they wear their family and friends completely out. Their struggle becomes a seemingly endless slog through misery and family and friends eventually simply tune them out, or worse, depart in exasperation when the depressed person is unable to muster up the will or energy to “just get over it”. They’ve heard it all for the umpteenth time and all of their advice and encouragement appears to have gone unheeded, so they simply quit.
The interesting thing is, though, that allowing people to verbally process their pain, however many times it takes, often eventually results in them getting to the place that they’re ready to change. And, it seems to me that depression often is the companion to resistance to change. We sense that something is coming or has, in fact, already come and we are unable or unwilling to accept the reality of the situation. Our anxiety and anger over it all, when internalized, becomes the depression that pretty soon appears to be the problem when it is actually the result of the deeper emotional and psychological problem.
Therese Borchard writes a weblog on depression at Beliefnetcalled “Beyond Blue”. ( See link on my list of links) . Her posts are helpful for anyone struggling with depression or who finds herself in the role of support to a family member or friend with depression.