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Making Sense of Depression

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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:20 am

Making Sense of Depression

Postby bham » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:47 am


I've been struggling with depression for the past three months. I've never suffered with any mental health conditions before and have always considered myself to live a healthy lifestyle. I have a good job, no childhood trauma, a loving partner, exercise fairly regularly and no bad habits in terms of drink or drugs.

I came down with COVID-19 symptoms at the end of March and I can see this as a very definite turning point. I can pinpoint to the day when my anxiety and then depression set in. As far as I'm aware there was no gradual build-up, no exceptional stress at work. I know that lockdown has probably prevented me from accessing some support that would help me cope but I don't think that it alone is to blame.

I know that I will probably never know what has caused my depression but it is very much here and full of challenging logic and contradictions. As a very logical and practical person, this is what gets to me the most. I look back pre-depression and know that I was doing the same things as now, I was aware that life was limited and there were unanswerable questions, but I was content, I could see a future and could enjoy myself. Now I am purely existing - I want to live but to do so feels like I have to go back to some form of ignorance. I feel like I have died but am still alive - it fills me with dread to think that this is my life now.

My mood shifts monumentally through the day and week by week. Mornings are awful, by the evening I am usually content to exist. The point in the day when I feel the shift gradually becomes earlier until I have a run of a few days of 'normality'. I'm so grateful for this respite but it is making it hard when people, including me, see that I am 'better' and then are disheartened when it gets bad again.

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Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:57 pm

Re: Making Sense of Depression

Postby ericph » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:58 pm

Hi bham; two stories.

A remarkable seventy year old woman I’ve known for years was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. When she saw the consultant she said, I haven’t got time to die, I have far too much to do, so tell me the worst possible scenario.

Years later she jokes, I think the consultant was too scared to talk about death, and he just talked about treatment. She is now eighty and still voluntarily works incredibly hard supporting disabled people.

In 2011 I had tests done for cancer, about a month later the doctor phoned and said he urgently wanted to see me, it was non – Hodgkin Lymphoma. This was a name I recognised, our friend had this cancer, and died a few months later.

Being told I had been given a possible death sentence was out of my hands, there was nothing I could do about it. But I still had choices, I could dictate how the cancer was going to affect my mind and my ability to cope with the news.

A few minutes after putting the phone down; I prayed for the wisdom, strength and peace to do God’s will, whether the cancer was a death sentence, or just an inconvenience. I can only say that from the moment of making this prayer, I have experienced a profound sense of peace, and the thought of cancer has never troubled me for a moment.

Cancer could be a truly worrying process, you wait a month or two for tests, you wait for the results, and you wait for more tests. I have never once prayed for healing, at the age of 62, the prayer for healing seemed too complicated, it might or might not be my time to go. Recognising this profound sense of peace comes from God, gives me reason to be thankful.

Again doing voluntary work has been a huge form of strength, when you help others you also help yourself. I am now 71 and will be going out with Street Pastors this Saturday night when the pubs open. The pubs are closing at midnight, so we might only be out until 1 - 2 am. We have all the risk assessments in place for Covid.

Here is a simple; profound and powerful prayer that is used by Alcoholics Anonymous. Most of them probably have no faith in God.

Lord grant me the peace and serenity to live with the things I cannot change.
Grant me the courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.

You can't change your past, and you cant change having COVID-19 symptoms. The first line of the prayer asks for peace to live with this knowledge.

The only thing in your power to change is your own mind, and how you get on with life knowing what you know.

The third line of the prayer is the most important, give me the wisdom to know the difference. If I want the past news of Covid to change, this will lead to depression because it is not in my control to do. Only change the things that are in your power to change and you can find peace.

Take care,

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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:30 pm

Re: Making Sense of Depression

Postby prycejosh1987 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:31 pm

Depression can do that, it can make you seem that you have no solution and things will get worse but things can get better if you take action and find a suitable coping method.

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