Most people realize how prevalent depression is. Myself, I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of people I know who struggle with it to some degree. These same people have been treated with therapy and medications with varying degrees of success. Some like myself have, through medication and other treatment, come to cope well. Others have not found any effective treatment. It makes me thankful that I am one of the “lucky ones” who seem to respond to medicine.
Recently, I have been thinking more about what it would be like to not have medications that help. My brain was a very dark, stormy, and volatile place before I sought treatment. There were long periods of time when I would live without experiencing feelings of hope, joy or peace. The reason that I finally sought help is because my mind was gravitating towards thoughts of suicide and I was scared. It was a long road out of that pit but I am in a good place now.
What would it be like if medication hadn’t been effective? I know people who have tried every conceivable avenue to find their way out of depression to no avail. I don’t think that I could do it. If I hadn’t found treatment which worked for me, I don’t know if I would have the courage to keep on living. And that is what I recently realized. How profoundly courageous it can be to simply keep living. Suicide is an easy way out. Consider how much bravery it takes to continue living from day to day without the benefit of feeling happiness or hope. And for those who are Christians, what immense faith it takes to continue pursuing their faith despite what must feel like a greatly unmet need.
I want to take this moment to say to those I know who suffer from depression, as well as to those I don’t know, that you are amazing. You may not be able to fully embrace these facts, I know it is hard to acknowledge anything positive when your mind is in a dark place, but hear what I have to say. You are strong. You are courageous. You are a warrior. Your battle may not be against flesh and blood, but you fight on none-the-less. I love you for living on.