DEPRESSION

Why I have something important to say. As do you.

(This was my very first post.  It’s important in the discussion that follows.)

Dear reader,

This is a “trial” post.  I have no clue what I’m doing but I need to see something on my page so I know what it looks like.  Hence, this post.

I can tell you this is going to be an unusual blog, a self-help (especially for those who experience bouts of depression) format, and at times, a DIY blog with pictures if I can figure out that part. For right now, let me just encourage you if you are feeling depressed.  I was there on and off for years.

I’ve learned a lot in my struggles and am antidepressant free for now. I will be sharing the daily strategies I use. Many have told me these tools have really helped.

I’m not a therapist but I’m not a novice either.  I have a degree in Psychology, two quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education (no, I’m not a minister) and worked a number of years as a hospital chaplain. I’ve taught many Bible classes and have been a speaker at conferences, retreats, and other venues. My faith is the most important part of my life but I choose not to try to convince anyone to believe as I do.

Some of the techniques I use are of a  spiritual nature but they can be adapted to your own personal beliefs. I only want to help. I know what it feels like to be really depressed and have no clue as to why. Please check in with me often.  I will try to post about three days a week.

Now back to figuring out this blog stuff.

You know what? Except for some syntax and grammar issues, I think that first post was a clear mission statement for why I started blogging and I still mean every word. It is still my mission statement.

For a while there, I got caught up the home decorating, the DIY’s, and trying to be like the “big girls of blogging”. And while I still might post now and then about those topics, it’s not the main focus for my blogging.

My main focus will always be writing about depression and anxiety and how they negatively impact lives.

Depression is such a miserable condition. I’m so glad it’s in my rearview mirror for now. Not that I don’t have some “down” days because that’s just life. But a few bad days, even a few bad weeks, is not depression.

Our culture suffers from “word creep”. Let me explain.

You’ve heard of mission “creep”?

It’s a military term meaning the military sends one hundred men, for example, into a country that needs help. But the mission “creeps” and soon there are hundreds of troops in the country.

Depression has always been diagnosed through the administration of a specific list of questions and a thorough medical exam. An ethical physician or a mental health professional still uses these same tools.

The definition of depression suffers “creep” as well when people diagnose themselves as depressed when they’re really only suffering the normal lows of life.

Words matter.

We now say a “woman’s right to choose”, rather than a “woman’s right to have an abortion”. We say, “driving under the influence” rather than driving while drunk. “Christian” just means we aren’t an atheist. When people say we should be tolerant, they really mean accepting.

rebecca platt

Words matter.

The more we water them down, the less any real meaning they have.

When I hear someone say they’re depressed, I listen carefully. It’s not hard for me to recognize depression as opposed to the transient “blues”. It’s not hard because I’ve been there. Plus, I know the list of symptoms. I know the length of time those symptoms have to be present for a diagnosis of depression.\

(And, no, I’m not the depression police.:) )

If you’ve ever suffered a true clinical depression, it’s almost insulting when someone casually talks about being depressed when they are only experiencing a fleeting period of “low” feelings.

As I think about this first post, I realize I’m even more determined to help those who suffer depression. I know firsthand how it’s such a “dark” place, how it seems like all joy in one’s life has been drained. And if I can even one person get out of the pit, I feel I will have succeeded.

That’s what keeps me going. And knowing that fame and fortune isn’t a goal for me, makes it so much easier.

Last week I linked to my very first “printable” and will soon post my first e-book. It’s all about pursuing our passion, finding out if there’s “something specific” God has called us to do. And then doing the hard work to get it accomplished. I can’t think of any person in the bible, what when God called them to do something, they didn’t have to do their part.

I listened to a Beth Moore podcast the other night, and it struck me how hard she has worked to get to where she is. I just about gave up on blogging and on the books many, many times. For one thing, I realized that nothing I write will be new material.

But then nothing I read in any other book is either. God has already said it all in His word.

I realized that the books I read are also the authors’ “take” on a familiar subject. So why would I read more than one book on a subject? Right? It’s because various authors approach a subject differently. It’s an author’s unique word choices, how they construct sentences, the examples they use that grab my attention and draw me in and give me a fresh perspective on a subject I’ve perhaps already read tons about.

If that is true of other authors, then it’s also true of what I am writing. When I understood that, I was able to get past the nagging feeling of being an imposter. (It is an actual psychological syndrome. Check it out.)

After the first short e-book, I have written a devotional book devoted specifically to helping people who suffer from depression. I’ve been working on that one for a number of years. Originally, it was going to be in a different format but then I decided a devotional suited the subject better.

All this, after not knowing how to even get pictures on my blog!

Whoa!

“God can do more than we can even imagine….” Ephesians 3:21

God bless you and have a wonderful day.

!

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