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Inspiration

Depression: A Guest Post by My Broken Palace

Here is the most recent guest article from My Broken Palace, a nonprofit organization that helps people in their time of brokenness. In case you’re unfamiliar with them, My Broken Palace is a charity dedicated to helping and healing those who are engaged in self-destructive behavior—that’s everything from untreated anxiety and depression all the way up the spectrum to cutting and suicidal thoughts/behavior. Their motto is “No one lonely, alone.” They host a free, anonymous social network where anyone can go and talk about their struggles without the fear of judgment. They’re super positive and uplifting. Depression and suicide are getting a ton of press recently due to Robin Williams’ tragic decision to end his life. We are not going to shy away from the issue—even though it’s a tough one.

 

Written by Jes Balascio of My Broken Palace

One of the hardest parts of recovery is admitting you have a problem, and many of us who struggle with depression know this very well. It’s really easy to write off our mood as a “bad day” or “the blues,” but sometimes those labels are just a smoke screen to mask a much bigger and more frightening disease.

Let me get a couple of things out of the way:

  1. Depression is a disease—it’s a chemical imbalance in your brain: low serotonin. It’s no different than your pancreas not producing enough insulin—that’s diabetes, and you’d get it treated. Depression is a treatable disease with a great deal of science behind it. If you’re depressed, then get the treatment you deserve. As with diabetes, there are behavior-modification and medical therapies used to treat depression.
  2. Depression is NOT your fault, and it’s not indicative of you lacking faith in God. Please see above; it’s a disease! Yes, all disease was brought on by sin in the Garden, but don’t ever let anyone tell you that your prayer life is lacking and that’s why you’re depressed. Yes, prayer is unfathomably helpful and a deep, abiding faith in Christ will help see you through, but this is a disease. It is not your fault that you feel crummy, and you need to talk to a medical professional.
  3. Depression has a bad rap in society because we always hear it as a contributing factor in horrific acts (people hurting others or themselves), but it’s very common, and the VAST majority of depressed people go through life without ever doing anything abnormal—certainly not harmful. Furthermore, there’s no shame in taking antidepressants.

For my part, I get up every morning, take my vitamins and antidepressant—both are designed to make me better, and that’s awesome.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that depression affects one in 10 Americans, with young adults (those under the age of 25) at the greatest risk of being affected.

Let’s take a minute and unpack the difference between a funk and a clinical, treatable depression. Generally, the rule is extremes, and you’ll see what I mean in a second. Here are a few things you should look for as distinguishing marks of a clinical (medical) depression:

  • Symptoms lasting more than just “a few days”
  • Mood: unpredictable anger, irritability or aggression
  • Appetite changes: eating far more or less than usual
  • Sleeping: not sleeping enough or sleeping too much
  • Emotions: pervasive (usually unfounded) guilt, worthlessness or wanting to “be gone”*
  • Lifestyle changes: lack of interest in things that once made you happy
  • Masking: using drugs or alcohol to be happy

*If you feel like hurting yourself, please call My Broken Palace right away; our phone number is (800) 394-4678. We have highly trained professionals available to talk 24 hours a day.

Should you find yourself feeling just awful one day, don’t rush to the assumption that you need medication or that you’re clinically depressed. We all have bad days, days where we just can’t seem to win or get ahead. That’s totally normal. One of the marks of depression is that it outlasts a “normal” mood.

If you think you’re depressed, then you should talk to a physician. Your general provider (GP) or pediatrician will be able to point you in the right direction. Whatever you do, please get help. Many mental health professionals will team medication with therapy.

If there’s a place for My Broken Palace in your healing, then we’ll be honored to contribute. We’re here for you 24/7; sometimes it feels so good to have someone to talk to who doesn’t know you personally. We’re 100 percent anonymous and absolutely free! To sign up, pop over to mybrokenpalace.com. You should also join our daily text of spiritual encouragement. Send “join hope” to 40650, and reply “yes” to opt in. Standard text message rates will apply.

 

Other related stories on Project Inspired:

“Self-Harm: A Guest Post by My Broken Palace”

“Suicide: A Guest Post by My Broken Palace”

Image: Lightstock | Mattea Photography

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10 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by E1000 on October 28, 2014 at 18:40

    I don’t think I’m clinically depressed. My sister is, so I know what it looks like. I just feel like every day is one of those “bad days” and it’s wearing on me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t like talking about it, and I have an independent streak that would turn me off from “getting help” if I really was depressed. I guess I also don’t feel like I should complain. When I read about depression or see my sister, I realize I’m comparatively ok. I feel like I just need a little break, but I can’t have one right now, and it seems like a selfish thing to want when everyone else is just as swamped as I am.

  2. chicken_chick

    Posted by chicken_chick on October 26, 2014 at 11:37

    About depression being a disease.. I get depressed sometimes, it can last for a month and I can lose 15 lbs, or my morning jog can make me feel better and I eat everything in the house. Maybe it’s just sadness for me, not depression, but the symptoms match up. I’ve never taken any kind of medication, but it comes and goes. Sometimes something as simple as my horse listening to me shakes it off. I don’t know.. I’m not suicidal, although some days I really wouldn’t mind skipping all the junk on earth to be with God.

    I also have anxiety problems. Now that I’ve never been able to shake.

  3. MissMeggles

    Posted by MissMeggles on October 22, 2014 at 18:10

    I teared up reading this. Two months ago, after being in therapy for a year, I went on antidepressants for my crippling social anxiety, and it has changed my life. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to live without anxiety, and I feel so motivated to help others in the same horrible position I was.

    Anyway, I didn’t realize I had been depressed until I wasn’t depressed anymore. I thought the constant feeling of worthlessness, irritability, hopelessness, and eventual self-loathing and self harm was normal–or, if not normal, not severe enough to warrant any attention.

    However, I say this. If you feel it, talk about it. Please. You deserve happiness. Even if you don’t believe it–you deserve life.

    And, through God’s grace to have given me such amazing support systems and treatments, I am living.

    All of my love and prayers,
    Meg xoxo

  4. Godismytruelovexx

    Posted by Godismytruelovexx on October 19, 2014 at 08:26

    Thank you so much for this article. For so long I have been blaming myself for feeling this way, and I can’t thank you enough for saying that it is something that I did not bring upon myself, and that it is my fault for having Depression. God bless you!

  5. abbeyg

    Posted by abbeyg on October 18, 2014 at 09:41

    I am in an impossible situation right now. I am almost 18. I’d rather not speak about the details of my situation for privacy reasons. Because of it I am struggling with depression and have no where to turn because everyone I knew turned their back on me when I needed them the most. I have given my life to God but am still in this situation right now. I am beyond emotionally exhausted. I have been in this mess for six years now. Even though I am hurting, I am not the one being hurt. I am hurting, numb and depressed because of the injustice put upon someone very dear to me who can’t defend herself. I continue to try to fight for her and protect her. This is the thing that has made me grow numb to the pain. I have the choice to not defend this person, but I love her too much to turn my back on her and still this suffering has never ended. I am knocked down daily for doing the right thing and just try to press on even though I hold all this pain inside. I am so afraid this is going to turn for the worst. We live in a very corrupt, dark world! but I know somehow this has drawn me closer to God despite the injustice in this situation. but I don’t know what else God wants from me and feel sometimes that he is angry at me and this is why I continue to feel anguish along this person that I love very much.

    • alyssa03

      Posted by alyssa03 on October 20, 2014 at 04:44

      I think we’re both on a same state. I pray that you’ll find your light in the midst of this darkness. We’re also here for you if you needed someone 🙂

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by JesusFreak3278 on October 19, 2014 at 16:10

      Abbey if you want to talk please send me a private message (just tell me how to check my messages because I don’t know lol). I will be praying for you and I’m always here to listen if you want to talk 🙂

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by saraileft on October 18, 2014 at 22:22

      Hey Abbey , I just want yo let you know that god is not angry with you . He is our loving father and he loves you and he understands your pain. Just be strong and trust in god . I’ll be praying for you

  6. alyssa03

    Posted by alyssa03 on October 16, 2014 at 21:49

    I know this kind of feeling. It’s like drowning and seeing everyone around you breathing, it’s really hard. Always wanted to be alone because it kinds of kills me whenever there’s someone around, the regret is there because you don’t want anyone to be affected but you affect them anyway, it’s gruesome. Depression is something that is needed to be focused on this days, teenagers are secretive and not showy, they wanted help but at the same time they’re afraid to be judged. Depression is also like a companion at first you’ll hate them but as the time goes by you’ll get use to it, you’ll get numb, you’re mind will be filled by darkness, you’re physically alive but inside your dead. Honestly I’ve been through this and I also came to the point where I begun to love the idea of darkness, it’s like a blanket which keeps you warm but at the same time chokes you but I’m glad that God saved me from this sea of darkness and lifts me up. He’s really my/our savior.