When I first realized I had become depressed, I was in college. I had fallen ill the first week of second semester freshman year.During that time, I isolated myself from people, started gaming when I was awake, and was sleeping if I wasn’t gaming. I hadn’t realized how deep in the rabbit hole I fell until my vocal lessons teacher put the effort into getting ahold of me, and making sure I was okay. I didn’t understand what depression was because we never covered what mental illnesses are or their symptoms.
Once I’d returned home, mom and dad made sure that I started visiting a counselor. That was a life-changing experience for me. By that time, I had never opened up to anyone about how I felt inside. Truth be told I barely knew how I felt. The Christian counselor I went to helped me delve deeper into what was going on within myself. I was fortunate to have good comforters in my life during that time. The friends of Job who came to his side only tried to tear him down. In Job 16: 1-5, Job tells Bildad, Zophar, and Eliphaz that they’ve not helped comfort him in a time of pain. In fact, he goes as far as to tell them if they were in his shoes, he would be there for them, aiding them through their times of trouble. Job 16:6 (NASB): “If I speak, my pain is not lessened, and if I hold back, what has left me?” This verse shows one of the troubles of being depressed because simply just talking doesn’t help one work through depression.
Not letting any of the pain and darkness out creates more problems though.
Helping someone open up about their depression is a delicate task that requires sincerity, personal attention, and rebuilding the foundation of faith. If I hadn’t received help from a Christian counselor, it may have been years before I actually opened up to anyone.
Christian counselors aren’t the only outlet to getting through depression though. I believe it takes the effort of family and friends working with the depressed person as well, without pushing too hard. Depression isn’t the same for every person in the same way that no two people are the same. Also worth noting, if the depressed person isn’t willing to open up, or doesn’t feel ready, give them time. Depression doesn’t just spontaneously happen, it builds up over time, and it can take just as much time, if not more, to heal from it.
My challenge for everyone today is to think about the people close to you, and ask them how their life is really going. Don’t just ask them how they are, or what is up. Dig in deep, and build your relationship with a person in your life you may not express enough appreciation of having in your life.
My song suggestion for today is “Let it All Out” by Relient K. I suggest taking time to read the lyrics, and just absorb the story of breaking to be rebuilt.