It’s a Long Road Out of Depression, There is a Road: By Lana Hobbs
HA note: Lana Hobbs blogs at Lana Hobbs the Brave. Lana describes herself as “an aspiring writer and a former religious fundamentalist” who currently identifies as “post-Christian.” She was homeschooled in junior high and highschool.
Achy back, achy bones, dizziness and blackouts, inability to focus, crying at school. My head, oh my poor head always hurting. Always tired, so tired.
Sick sick sick.
Going to the doctor: exercise more, eat healthy, we can give you antidepressants to help cope with school stress.
Antidepressants? You mean witchcraft? No thanks.
Blood tests, chest x-rays, nothing looks wrong.
Is it all in my head?
Go to church: pray more, trust more, confess your sins
At home: love us more, if you loved us you would be happier here. Why don’t you sing while you work?
Dizzy, sick, tired. Will I pass out?
Blacking out again.
Just not happy. Why not happy? Trying.
In bed, listening to music to fall asleep. Going to bed late. Scared at night, sensing demons around the room, why are they attacking me?
Pray more, think holier thoughts.
Evil girl, evil, evil girl.
At school: must get perfect grades. Crying over a bad paper, afraid of failing.
Everywhere I am failing.
Failing to keep healthy, failing to be happy, failing to handle stress gracefully. Fail fail fail. I should die, i should die and stop failing — suicidal.
This is what depression looks like for me.
I didn’t recognize it because I didn’t believe in depression. I thought all one needed for mental health was faith in God and I had that. And I tried to have it more and more. I prayed and felt guilty and despaired that if I couldn’t handle school stress, I would never be able to succeed as a missionary. I also had severe anxiety — my demonic attacks turned out to be anxiety attacks, and treatable by medication and therapy.
It was years before I finally got help. If you have unexplained sadness, exhaustion, and sickness, please get help. Medication isn’t really ‘witchcraft’ and therapy isn’t ungodly psychobabble. There is help and hope for a healthy mind.
It’s a long road out of severe depression, but there is a road out.
(For the whole story about my journey from being in denial about depression to taking meds and getting therapy, see my series, “from shame to seeking help.”)