How often and how severely do you struggle with depression?

Some of the godliest people struggled with depression. Elijah was one of them.  Whether Jesus, as "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" was ever depressed may be a matter of semantics.

Depression can come from various sources, IMO.  Some people are genetically predisposed to operate in a mildly depressed state -- at least most of the time.  Others rarely struggle with depression.

Genetics, body chemistry, anger, frustration, disappointment, sad circumstances, pain, stress, weather, unhappiness, sunshine levels....a lot of possible issues.

I consider myself "occasionally depressed but it is relatively mild," although it has not always been easy.  But, like most pastors, I deal with people who struggle with more serious issues.

So how would you label your struggles with depression?  A non-issue?  An occasional problem  The norm.

Select the answer that most closely resembles your experience.  If you are both "mildly depressed as a normal setting" and are occasionally depressed, sometimes seriously," indicate the later.  The more severe of two choices would be appropriate.

If you have never taken medication for depression, you can label your experience "mild."

I am never depressed.
26% (6 votes)
I am rarely depressed.
30% (7 votes)
I am occasionally or frequently depressed but it is relatively mild.
13% (3 votes)
I am occasionally depressed, sometimes seriously.
13% (3 votes)
"Mildly depressed" is my normal setting.
4% (1 vote)
I am frequently seriously depressed; depression is a major issue for me.
4% (1 vote)
My problem with depression borders on extreme.
4% (1 vote)
I have had instances of severe depression, but not in recent times.
0% (0 votes)
I would be depressed seriously, but I take medicine that is effective in preventing this.
4% (1 vote)
I sometimes get depressed from health issues or prescribed medicine or medical treatments.
0% (0 votes)
Other
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 23
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There are 6 Comments

Bert Perry's picture

Here's the Mayo Clinic on what constitutes clinical depression.  Put mildly, we are not talking about temporary sadness, intense grief (e.g. at funeral of a child), but rather something long-term and debilitating, mentally and physically.  

Ed Vasicek's picture

I did not have "clinical depression" as a category, but severe or serious depression certainly includes clinical depression.  Clinical depression is more specific; I am letting poll participants determine whether they have have struggled with "severe/serious" depression.

I knew a man who told our Sunday School class, "I am never depressed.  I don't understand how so many people say they are depressed all the time."  I tried ot explain to him that not everyone has the same personality, and that some people go through more difficult situations than others.  (I probably should have spoken about how many people struggle during adolescence or women with PMS).  Anyhow, he had a stroke.  When I went to visit him, his words were, "O.K.  Now I'm depressed!"

 

 

 

"The Midrash Detective"

josh p's picture

I honestly don't remember any period of depression in my entire life until I went through a very difficult trial recently. One good thing that has come from it is that now I know what people are talking about. Prior to that I was like the person described above. My basic attitude was, "Get over yourself. It's not about you." In my own case I think that's still probably what I need to hear but at least I have a frame of reference for others.

Bert Perry's picture

As I'm sure you've figured out, I put my comment in in the case that someone was struggling with depression and the ambiguity inherent in the term.  Your points are well taken....

(hang in there, Josh....don't know what you're going through, but I'm in your corner)

Jim's picture

My depression story (or non-story)

I broke my neck and was completely paralyzed from the neck down (1987)

  • I was in intensive care for about a week (completely out of it except for very brief times awake)
  • Then I was in a  Neurotrauma unit for about a week to get weaning off morphine. Morphine is such a sweet feeling drug - it's hard to give it up
  • When I had to give up morphine (I'm ashamed to say this) I cried

9 weeks more of hospitalization - rehab.  At the beginning I was Mr Happy. By the end I was telling them that I would leave if I wanted to and they would tell me no not yet.

They shipped me to a psychiatrist who told me I was in denial. I gave her the gospel and wheeled out

Joeb's picture

Jim God bless you for your perseverance during physical suffering non of us can even really truly comprehend.  

I used to attend a church in  Souderton Pa where the Senior Pastor for years suffered in pain greatly from a back injury sustained at the church.  When he was a youth pastor of the church he and some of the teens on the local football team decided to pick up a VW bug from the back but then the youth pulled a joke by all letting go at once without telling the Youth Pastor.  It was a joke that went array and severely injured the Pastors back.  

So for 20 years he soldiered on and built a really thriving ministry.  Then one day got up into the pulpit at church and announced he was resigning due to the pain he fought all those years which was causing him  severe depression.  

I know how he feels and sometimes you just want to throw in the towel take lots of pain killers and give up.  Jim you have been a real inspiration to me to preserver with my Lord's help. Again God bless you Jim you have been a blessing to all of us.