I've begun reading Mary Beth Chapman's book, "Choosing to See," for the past week. In the book she describes what it was like for her family when they suffered tragedy. One of their sons accidentally hit and killed a young Chinese girl that the family adopted. The family's journey from grief to grace is incredible. But I wanted to read the book for another reason.
I was told that Mary Beth was very open and candid about how she suffers from depression. I admired her honesty as she describes how she was diagnosed and the care she received following her diagnosis. One particular paragraph really hit home for me:
It was a relief to know that what I suffered from had a name. I felt guilty and ashamed. Like everything was my fault. I had no logical reason to be depressed. I had a wonderful, loving husband and healthy, great kids. We were financially blessed. I wasn't living in poverty, persecution or pain. Why should I be depressed? (page 66)
What she wrote made so much sense because I feel the same way. Everything is really good in my life. Why do I feel so bad? Why can't I be happy? Why do I feel like a dark cloud has descended upon me, ruining my life? To me, this is one of the great mysteries with this disease.
This is also why depression is so frustrating for the loved ones of those who suffer. "Snap out of it," they say. "Just get busy and you'll feel better." "You've been on the medication for two weeks. Why aren't you better?"
I guarantee you - those who suffer from depression do want to snap out of it. They would like to get busy. They are just as anxious about getting good results from medication. But it isn't that easy. Patience and prayerful support from loved ones makes all the difference in the world for a depression sufferer.