Thursday, February 27, 2020

Seeing Depression Positively

Depression is a common ailment and the Catholic Peace Weekly in its Word And Silence column, a  member of the press corp, gives us his thoughts on what depression has meant to him.

At some point, he got lost. Even his faith life went astray. He lived in the church. He was even blessed to have his workplace next to a church. One day in the church he broke down crying— wounded by reality and trembling with fear of the future. Friends, neighbors, and colleagues were far away.

One sunny day, he hid in a cave, like a wounded hedgehog. He felt cozy in the dark and wet place; remained there for a long time. After the wound healed, he did not find it easy to leave. Eyes used to darkness could not withstand the glare of the world.

His whole body hurt. They were not able to find a cause even after repeated examinations. He complained of pain and the doctor recommended consulting a psychiatrist. Never, he shook his head before an unacceptable diagnosis. He was living an upright life, saying his prayers, his soul cannot have been the problem. The university hospital doctor prescribed antidepressants. He put the medicine in the drawer and turned away from it for a long time. One day he met a dangerous temptation on a mountain climbing trip, hesitated for a while and returned home and swallowed a pill and continued for over a year.  

He avoided meeting others, afraid they would notice. He rejected sympathy and comfort; stopped at churches and monasteries earnestly hoping for salvation, but would not extend his hand asking for help.

He read a book on depression and was surprised by the numbers. It turned out that depression was a very common disease. Wounds and pains abounded in many hearts;  anxiety and despair pervaded the times. Every time he went around the corner, he pretended not to be bothered with depression. Panic disorder, OCD, paranoia, insomnia and the like were often the dark side of anxiety and depression. On the street, the young looked up to the sky, and the old turned around and swallowed their tears.

Melancholy like in a swamp pulls you down to the bottom. Lonely and unhappy. Anxious and shameful, he wanted to throw himself away. He doesn't like it. But there is no way out. These feelings spread like a virus and infect those nearby.

Where does depression come from? Is it the pressure and frustration of reality? Is it childhood memories? Is it a suppressed desire? Is it the struggle to protect oneself? There is a lot of research and prescriptions. Stories of one's experience and confessions are not uncommon. It's not easy to overcome the trial. Looking back, it was not overcome, it was a time to endure until the river of time washes it away.

The first step to healing is to accept the situation. You must acknowledge and affirm. It is important to understand that the heart can hurt as well as the body. He must admit that the very disease has come to him. It is helpful to know that it is unexpectedly common.

Next, find out the cause. We must travel long to find the source of sorrow, anxiety, and fear. Perhaps you have to face an inner wound. Perhaps you encounter an experience or shock that you don't even remember. You may cry after seeing the reality in the dark.

Depression can be medicine, not an illness. Wash away with tears the irresistible wounds so they don't destroy you. The person who has undergone the purification is different. He doesn't spend time with the superficialities in the world. One is able to read the sadness and pain on the neighbor's face. One is full of mercy and ready to forgive and love. Where is life without pain?  He finds himself repeating chant-like: "Happy those who mourn:  they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5: 5).

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