Truths About Depression: Stuff You Don’t Want to Hear
Perspective is grand.
What’s been great about writing this Write 31 Day series about depression and anxiety is that I’m not currently depressed.
Not being depressed right now, but looking back over the last 20 years of my adult lifetime and the seasons of my life where I had depression, has given me perspective.
There is a lot written currently to bring awareness and understanding to mental illness, and this is very good.
Please understand that what I’m about to say is not meant in any way to downplay the very real struggles of those with significant (and there is no insignificant — it’s all real) mental illness.
What I’m about to say is going to cost me followers. I’m sure it will tick off people in the blog-o-sphere. But I do not feel called to make people like me.
I feel called to share my truth, and this is my truth.
When I started writing this blog series this summer, I researched. (Did you know an October series starts in June? Blogs are a lot of work.)
What I pulled up was some of the most damn depressing stuff I’ve ever seen. Try it yourself. Go to Google, type in “depression quotes” and go to “images.” Gray. Bleak. Bleck.
This depressing junk is seriously popular. I’m not talking true information. These are quotes and personal sharing.
The top Pinterest pins are these listed below, pinned, read and shared thousands and thousands of times. (With pictures all in blacks and grays, of course.) I won’t even go into the stuff that glorifies cutting.
Here’s What’s Popular About Depression
Here are some of the most popular “encouraging” quotes about depression:
monster don’t sleep under your bed they sleep inside your head.
And then suddenly I became sad for no reason at all.
She was drowning but nobody saw her struggle.
It’s scary what a smile can hide.
I hate this feeling. Like I’m here, but I’m not. Like someone cares, But they don’t. Like I belong somewhere else, anywhere but here.
Look, I understand that it’s helpful to know there are others who are going through a similar experience, especially when you are feeling incredibly lonely.
Now that I’m 20 years on this side of depression, I see patterns. I know certain things to be true. They may not be true for you (and I am not a doctor or a therapist, and I don’t claim to be an expert), but I have a gut feeling they are true for most people.
Truths about Depression: Stuff You Don’t Want to Hear
The times I was depressed, all of these things were true for me:
- Yes, there were physical causes, and yes, medication helped. (Including the times I had postpartum depression.) HOWEVER; EVERY SINGLE TIME:
- I had past emotional crap I needed to deal with.
- I had distorted thinking patterns that needed to be corrected. (Therapy helped with this.)
- I was not taking care of myself physically in some ways (often many ways).
- I was doing too much and overextended.
- I was wallowing in self-pity and playing the victim.
- I was angry about stuff.
What Is Most Needed When You Are Depressed
Depression is huge sink hole. The more you are depressed, the more it becomes tempting to get swallowed in the pit. While I’m all for reaching out to others who understand, you have got to step away from that dark stuff.
You must cut that crap out!
Whatsoever things are pure, dear friends. When we are wallowing in the muck, our enemy is happy. He’s just doing a little happy dance when we are huddled in our tiny houses of self-doubt and lying underneath our bedspreads of poor-me.
Do not allow him such a victory as this.
I am not saying it’s easy. Oh gosh no. I’m not saying you are going to go from terribly depressed to happy-happy-joy-joy. Or that you even should.
What I’m saying is take that tiny step toward the good. Take one teeny small step today. Turn off the depressing TV shows. Turn away from the Facebook and Pinterest feeds of depressing sad yuck.
Turn toward the light of God’s refreshing, honest goodness. Feel how wonderful it is, and remember how God desires it for you.
To get you started, here is one of my favorite verses. Click on photo to download and print.
This post is part of my #write31days series about depression.
The Hope Toolbox
We are each creating a personal Hope List of ways to get through the bad days. What resources are on your list? Download the My Hope Toolbox printable kit or use your own journal.
Today’s Bible Verse:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Are there ways you are not being honest with yourself about how you wallow in your depression, sadness, or anxiety? How can you turn to God’s light and goodness in a small, new way today? How can you take a step to turn away from darkness in your life?
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Sara Borgstede is a triathlete, speaker, and writer. She has been maintaining a 100 lb weight loss for 10 years. She is mom to 5 kids through birth and special needs adoption, and she and her husband Mike, who is a pastor, were foster parents to 35 children. Sara takes a lot of power naps. Find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
The Hope Toolbox: Practical Help for Depression and Anxiety
New posts every day in October.
Originally published at www.saraborgstede.com on October 6, 2015.