Under-diagnosed and not treated at all
The depression statistics I have for 2017 shows the seriousness of the illness. Depression is underdiagnosed. Often times, the mental illness is not treated at all. There are over 300 million depressed people in the world. The number of people with common mental disorders globally like depression is rising.
Alternative to depression
I believe that in many ways, we have so much more to learn about depression. Depression just happens to be the number one cause of death by a mental illness. In this post, I want to offer you an alternative to depression and give you hope. Now, I am not saying you will be free and clear of your depression. You will be better able to cope.
When I have been in the valley of bipolar depression and surrounded on all sides by hills of anxiety and fear, I become practically paralyzed. I do not know what to do or to say to free myself from this bondage. My default is to stare out the window for an indefinite amount of time, lose all sense of time and reality, unaware of the things around me.
The valleys are as deep as they are wide and the hills are as tall as they are long. In the valley of depression, under the shadow of the hills of anxiety and fear, I must look for help, in order to survive. I must remember that the God of the universe is my help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). I tell you today, I can call out to Him and He will help me. Honestly, He will not leave me alone in the valley of depression.
I have learned many lessons through my experiences with bipolar depression. One lesson is that my faith in God goes a long way in getting me through the valleys and seeing past the mountains. In Matthew 17:20, we read Jesus saying to his disciples “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
I know I could do that, if I just had enough faith that God will move the mountain. However, that is okay. He knows and understands. So, I lean on my Savior. I lean on Jesus like I do for every other thing in my life. Paying the bills. Finding a job. A sick child. An overworked father. The threat to turn off the heat.
The weight and power of depression
When bipolar depression hits me like a ton of bricks and it feels like I am moving through mud, it is difficult to do this thing called life on my own. It takes an enormous amount of faith on my part to be able to trust Him to carry me through every minute of every day. And not to take back the control.
There is no way without the help of the Almighty God that I can be a wife, go to work, take care of my dogs, let alone take care of myself. Some days I cannot even get out of bed or take a shower. Those things are sometimes my mountains that tower over me. Life gets that hard. However, over time I have grown in my faith in God and those mountains quake and move during those dark hours.
Our Savior says to tell that mountain “move” and it will move. When was the last time you mustered up a little bit of faith of your own? All you need is faith the size of a mustard seed and you can make your mountains move.
Realize this, you are not moving the mountain by yourself, God is moving the mountain. Just the same, you are not curing your depression, God is walking you through your mental illness. Having a mustard-size faith in God, the Maker of heaven and earth can cause your mountains to move and fall at your feet.
Call to action
Do you have depression? You may not believe in the God that I have been talking about. He actually may sound different than the One you have heard of. Find some quiet time and spend it talking, yes just talking, regular language. Listen with your heart. If you would like to share, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.