I was first diagnosed with depression in 1996 – I’ve had many ups and downs since then, been on numerous types of medication, some of which worked well, some of which didn’t work so well, and some of which gave me nightmares. I’ve finally found one that is working for me…
The low point came in 2007, when things got to the point where I was signed off work for 6 weeks.
Since then, I’ve been making a steady recovery, and now am mostly OK.
Of course, I’ve had my fair share of people who don’t understand depression, and say things like “Why are you being like this”? (I don’t know – I’m not familiar with the workings of the human body), or “Why can’t you just pull yourself together”? (Would you tell someone with a broken leg to put it back together and get on? No? Don’t do it to someone with a broken mind then).
The Time To Change campaign is working to end the stigma around mental health – some statistics:
- 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
- We probably all work with someone experiencing a mental health problem.
- 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination.
- Nearly three in four young people fear the reactions of friends when they talk about their mental health problems.
We’ve certainly come a long way from the days when people with mental illness were locked away, and treated like the outcasts of society, but there’s still a long way to go.
When I am going through a bad phase, I often find it difficult to pray. I find that using the words of some of my favourite worship songs can be helpful – I’ve blogged elsewhere about the verse “when satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within…..” I also find my own composition “And In That Place” comforting (well, if I can’t blow my own trumpet on my own blog, then where can I?!).
Please pray for sufferers of this “invisible illness” that they may find comfort, that they may be able to live with their condition, and that society may become more accepting.