the whole world is in uproar and discussion about Robin Williams, suicide and depression. From the naysayers who say, just get over it, to the people who suffer themselves and are angry at the ones who don’t get it.
I thought I would weigh in with my two-cents.
After two pregnancies in 2 years and having a horrible birth experience with my first, I can see I suffered postnatal depression after Elijah was born and then again when I was pregnant with Naomi. Its a real thing. Its not a slump you can pull yourself out of. I was in denial and didn’t see it as an issue, but it affected my whole life. I didn’t have the overwheming desire to down bottles of aspirin, but I did have the overwhelming feeling that I was drowning. The lack of desire to do things I actually enjoyed, and pushing people away, the desire to stay in bed all day and just forget about the world. Yes, I didn’t have it so bad that I would kill myself, but I definitely wished I could run away from my feelings… ever try escape your own mind… yeah not an option.
I have friends and family who really do suffer from depression, its a real problem, a real disease, and its not their fault. They can take medication and numb it, but they can’t get away from their own minds. I would probable have gotten worse, but I had an awesome support system, if not for my friends who checked on me while I was pregnant with Naomi, and my husband who was there to keep me grounded, I may have lost my mind. I also hear the argument, to just trust God, and give it to Him… which is so true, but its totally easier said that done. The best post on the Christian perspective on depression is by Ann Voskamp. As Christians, and humans, we need to rally around those with mental illness and depression, not shun and judge them. Help them trust God, help them see His love, when they feel like drowning. Funny story is that some of the friends who helped me most were atheists and Buddhists…
You can be different and you can struggle and you can wrestle and you can hurt and we will be here.Because a fallen world keeps falling apart and even though we the Body can’t make things turn out — we can turn up. Just keep turning up, showing up, looking up.”
If we only knew what fire every person is facing — there isn’t one person we wouldn’t help fight their fire with the heat of a greater love. (Ann Voskamp)
If you suffer from depression, seek help, and know that there is no shame in depression or other mental illnesses, just as there is no shame in cancer or heart problems. Christ died for us all, and He is there to carry us through everything, the church needs to step up and be His hands.