We were all uniquely made in God’s image. Perfect in every way. Actually, God declared mankind as “very good”. But we broke ourselves by our disobedience to God. Now we live with sin, separated from a Holy God. The diseases mankind deals with now are the direct result of our brokenness. But how do we fix this brokenness? Well, we cannot but God can and He already did it. Check out this post I wrote about sin and the repentance of sin.
For this week’s blog, I wanted to share some ideas and thoughts about depression, some facts if you will.
Depression Can Have Physical Effects
Depression hurts not just mentally but also physically. This National Library of Medicine report speaks of a potential link between depression and physical symptoms. Some physical symptoms include :
- Becoming agitated easily and without a specific cause or reason
- Having the appearance of being tired all the time
- Drastic changes in weight (loss or gain)
- Erratic sleep patterns
People with Depression May Appear “Normal”
Depression typically has no outward symptoms, however, in severe depressive episodes, hiding the illness can become challenging. I had become so adept at hiding my true feelings. So much so that when I finally came out about my mental illness, I had a feeling some people around me did not believe — or maybe could not believe — that Jackie had depression. Sometimes called “smiling” depression, some people with depression are able to hide the symptoms. However, hiding the symptoms can be exhausting both mentally and physically.
Why do we hide our depression? For me it was the stigma associated with mental health illnesses.
Depression is Prevalent Throughout the World’s Population
From a study performed by the World Health Organization, approximately 280 million people worldwide have depression. And depression can lead to suicide in those with severe conditions. Over 700,000 people die each year by suicide.
Antidepressant Medication is Safe
As with any outside substance that we take into our bodies, there will always be side effects. Even some of the foods and liquids that we ingest can also be foreign to our body’s natural chemical makeup. Let me ask you this. Have you ever looked at the back of a Mountain Dew bottle? Better yet, do some research on brominated vegetable oil.
Antidepressants are safe. The side effects of any medication must always be weighed against its efficacy towards the disease being treated. Some side effects may be benign while others can cause more serious complications. However, if we only compare the side effects versus having to deal with the illness, we end up with a biased view.
Triggers for Depression Differ from Person to Person
Just as cancer reacts differently in each patient, so does depression. Moreover, here is a short list of some triggers which can cause a depressive episode for me.
- Crowded and inclosed places
- Loud and uncontrollable noises
- Rejection without cause
- Sudden fear of separation
Finally, these are just some facts about depression that are important to me. Depression is real but the illness affects sufferers differently. As I have written in the past, if you see someone struggling, reach out to them. Your kindness may make a difference in someone’s life.
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.
Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.