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Depressed but Not Forsaken

You’re exhausted. The day has just started, and already you’re tired. Everything feels like a burden. Nothing really interests you or makes you happy. Sometimes you eat too much, sometimes too little. Prayer is hard. You really can’t focus on studying. Talking to the brethren is tough because you have nothing much to say. Nobody understands anyway . . . You’re depressed.

Depression is more than discouragement, sadness, or anger. It is a longer lasting condition of at least three weeks where these feelings just won’t seem to go away. Doctors theorize that your neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) are depleted. So, your thinking and feeling is slowed down. If you would like to take a test to determine if you might be clinically depressed, try going to  http://counsellingresource.com/lib/quizzes/depression-testing/  The site provides several, well-respected screening questionnaires which might give you some insight into your struggles.

Why does it start? We don’t know. Sometimes it results from an accumulation of hard experiences coupled with inadequate social support, some unhealthy thinking habits, a genetic predisposition, heightened stress, poor eating, not enough exercise, and insufficient sleep.  Sometimes it just seems to come out of the blue! But you are not alone with this problem. The Apostle Paul writes in 2Corinthians 1:8 and 9, “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction . . .that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life,  indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves.” (NAS) When a person feels overburdened, despairs of life, and feels death – that’s depression!

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3 comments to Depressed but Not Forsaken

  • Dundee

    Thank u so much 4 this article.My mother was diagnosed with this.She had very rough experiences in life & at the meetings of jw with various ones with bad motives.Then they would exclude her from every get tgether.Then would make fun of her to me.She fell & injured herself & her face temporarily till it healed.She been in a daze from lack of real witnesses around her that she collapsed this one day a year ago.No one cared for her.The elders were too busy.Their wives super stuck up bragging bout their excellant abilities to give parts on the program.Unfeeling.No emotions of love.All abandoned her except an Elder & his wife from my ecclesia i attend within the Bible Students world.They come over to encourage her thru loving sincere words,genuine ppl they are indeed.They bring gifts for mom.A little plaque to hang that says “Faith”,some homemade granola,expensive exotic jelly’s to eat,some videos on The Kingdom Blessing that await her,& many encouraging things to read.. cause in jw certain ones strategically would remind her bout her husband leaving her,or her baby dying,or that we didnt matter to Jehovah.They marked her from the service meeting local needs part & it was a set up from an elder that punched me on the service committee causing me pain at nite.I had my mom read this article & she lit up inside. THANK YOU FOR THIS ENCOURAGEMENT!

    • Jacqueline

      Dear Dundee and your mother, I can vouch for all that you have written on how the witnesses treat the depressed.
      I was interviewed by a district and circuit overseer for the first article that they wrote on the depressed in the seventies,
      My husband of thirty years suffered from Bi-polar and other disorders. He was pushed to stay on as an elder although it broke him having to defend the ones being mistreated in the meetings.
      This religion acts sort of like the animal kingdom: They are the only ones that turn on their sick.
      You please tell your mom hello for us all. I have been posting about depression on my facebook page all this month as it is “National Awareness Month for the depressed”. Lack of sunshine, early darkness and barometric pressure makes this time very bad for those that suffer from this malady.
      Let her know that God wakes her up every day so she does matter, many fell asleep last night. Help is on the way as on Dec.25th the Sun will start back this way.
      Take her out in a very warm car to see all the xmas lights that are up it might cheer her to see the happiness of the children young and old and they will include her in their joy this time of year. She may call me at any time to chat as I have experience in that field.
      You have a lot on your shoulder my brother, I wish we were near so we could lend a hand with your parents care. Tune in Chicago class by adobe connect sometimes on Sunday, it will refresh and also the conventions. Your ecclias can give you the web addresses. Take Care and may God keep and Bless you and your family. I nChristian fellowship, Jacqueline

  • Jacqueline

    Br. Peter thank you so much for posting this article. This is by way of reminder for many that suffer from depression at this time of the year especially.
    There are many that suffer from major depression all year long but winter (here in US now) is an especially critical time for us to show love for our friends and brothers. Just helping get a friend out of the house for a light lunch or sandwich goes a long way. I have found watching a movie that has gut splitting laughter raises the spirit and full light therapy helps also. When there is sun, just sitting in a car with the windows down letting the rays in will help or sitting on a bench. Light therapy works best withour a window in between.
    Sharing some of the hope DVD about Christ and the hope helps also as visual is best. We can do so much to help ourselves and loved ones to cope with this debilitating illness. Thanks again for the links I will be referring some of my clients.

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