WHY AM I DEPRESSED & WHAT AM I REALLY AFRAID OF?
I'm learning that Depression is a very real and serious issue among all age groups as we have seen a high rate of suicide particularly in Hollywood and among teens. Many who have a hard time managing their depression often end up with difficulties in their personal and even professional lives. Fear goes hand in hand with depression with extreme cases ending in suicide and even posing a danger to other people. I have had struggles with mild depression in the past ( in my late teens and early 20s to be exact) and even though I was participating in life, it was with little pleasure and/or excitement. I was depressed about my life, circumstances and just the way things were going for me in general and I think it began shortly after my parents separated. I would very often compare myself to my friends and just disliked the way I stacked up to them, I isolated myself and really battled some internal demons but thankfully, I was lucky enough to come out of that dark phase and make it on the other side okay. As I grew older, it was fear that began to take hold of me; I feared everything from flying, to child birth to failure. I avoided any and every chance to fly somewhere if I could, I had serious relationships but was secretly nursing fears of giving birth if ever one of those relationships ended up in marriage and as far as my fear of failure, I still struggle with that from time to time.
Fear does not allow for full participation in life and I read somewhere that "not facing fear is a great cause of depression". We become so afraid that we begin to feel less and less competent in our abilities and positive about our lives and goals. It does not help that social media today more or less intimidates people with visuals and images that make us feel "less than" if our lives are not as exciting or popping as those we see on instagram, facebook, snapchat etc and again we are sucked into comparisons that lead many into depression. If you are 30 something and feeling embarrassed to be battling fear and depression, don't be; it is a reality that many of us face as a result of different things but ask yourself - why am I depressed and what am I really afraid of? Are you fearful that you may never measure up to your friends or peers? or that you will never find love and have family of your own? Does your depression stem from feeling like because you have already failed at something therefore concluded that you are a failure? You have to make a conscious, determined effort to dare yourself to come out of that negative head space. I know that you may feel solace in your isolation because you are shielded from hurt and disappointment but in doing so, you are also preventing yourself from making those connections with the people who could offer you the help, support, comfort and encouragement you need. Even if that which you ultimately fear happens, you have people around you who care and are truly concerned about your well being.
Recognize that you can overcome depression but you will need help and if you never try, you won't ever succeed. Lean on the people who know you the best and that you can trust for support and encouragement. Reach out to them in the most comfortable way for you when you need to talk about what you are going through. Ask questions but be realistic about the fact that people will not do everything for you; the bulk of the work is yours to do but you must be willing and push yourself to do it. Being negative or worrying does not solve anything, if anything it only magnifies a problem and makes it bigger than it really is; life is too short to live it any other way but happy. If you are struggling with deep and severe depression, please ask for help and accept it when offered. Suicide is never the answer and I understand how enticing the idea of it may seem when you are in that dark place but you can overcome it and there are people/experts ready to help you achieve that success.
I pray that the peace of God will soothe your pain and that the devil will never succeed in making the thought of taking your own life be an attractive choice. You may feel like you are alone and that nobody understands what you are going through but I promise you that you are not alone and there are more people rooting for your healing than there aren't. Keep fighting for your God given right to live and never give up on yourself.
Unfortunately, I will be out of town this weekend and will be unable to put up my usual Saturday post but will certainly be back in time for Tuesday's post. Thank you for your continued support and if you would like to share any experience you have had with depression and/or fear, I would love to hear. We are here to support each-other.