Ok. Here’s a question for y’all. In asking this, I’m well aware that some of you may very well be the object of my inquiry, but so be it. Hopefully you will have a good response. My wife and I were talking about depression and modern diagnosis of the condition. It seems that every time we watch T.V. we can hardly avoid a commercial asking if we have “these symptoms,” and if so, we should consider seeking medical help because we very well could be depressed; which can be none other than a chemical imbalance and we are in need of expensive medication. The medication, of course, is readily available by the pharmaceutical company that paid to air the commercial during prime time. Now on to the next part…
While in New Hampshire recently (see previous post) one of the other two graduates at J.D.’s ceremony spoke of being depressed. All three of the graduates were asked to prepare a 10-15 minute speech about what life at the Mansion had been like, and how God had worked in them the past year. Karl (the one to whom I’m referring) spoke about a life of drugs and depression. When he arrived at the Mansion (which by the way is not a rehab facility; they accept no one who does not come willingly, and while the “students” must stay at the mansion while in the program, they are free to leave at any time. Back to Karl…) he was on meds for depression. He spoke of being consistently tired during work, barn chores, prayer & share time, and study times. Most of the time, he had to be propped up or kept awake by his peers and mentors. He spoke of praying to God to help him with this, and after some time, decided that he needed to cease taking the meds and attempt to live “drug free” with the help of God. He then stated that after only a few days off of the anti-depressants, he felt more awake, full of vigor, and happier than he had in a long time. He’s been off them for months now, and has said that he was depressed, and still gets depressed because of a cycle of guilt and shame and unrepentance in his life. He said, “A lifestyle of sin, distrust, and shame; yeah, that’ll make you depressed. That’ll give you psychological issues. But the love of Jesus sets you free to hope and remember that you are loved despite your ugliness.”
So, the question goes…While I am aware that there are people who TRULY do have a chemical imbalance and are in need of medication, where does/should the line get drawn? I see and know more and more people who are suddenly being diagnosed as “depressed” and are on Zoloft or Prozac. In many cases, these are Christians. Before I get a comment on it, no, I’m not a cultitst that believes that Christians should avoid medication because “Jesus heals all things if we just have enough faith to claim the healing…” I just don’t think that it’s the fact that “medical science” can now help more people to be properly diagnosed and then medicate that. I see our society as a whole slipping down the tubes, and a big part of that is the refusal to accept consequences for our actions, and hence the over-medication of the general population. The worst part of it is that children are not left out. There are more kids on Prozac, Zoloft, and Ritalin now that there ever have been in the past. SO, what do you say people? I’m eager to hear your responses.
As I read through this, it really hit me that all that needs to be done is to get people to be honest with themselves. Hehe, all that needs to be done. Why are people so scared of themselves? (These type of questions I ask myself all the time too!) Though I have been through enough life cycles to know that life itself is never just about one aspect, honesty just seems to be one of the biggest ones. I once read somewhere, “If people were completely honest with themselves all the time, no one would ever be offended.”
American christians have “purified” Christianity. Sinners are no longer accepted! There is no room for mistake, because you need to spend that time bringing others to Christ.
I feel like I’m preaching to the choir, so to speak. But maybe we who know the Truth need more focus, in this culture anyway, on helping people realize first that it’s okay to not have everything under control. If we have everything figured out, then why on earth would we need a saviour?
America is sold on dodging all possible responsibilities and inconveniences. We no longer live in reality. A utopian society is available at every pharmacy. Where is the freedom in that?
I think people in our society today are terrorized by their feelings. There is the unwritten rule that you should follow your feelings regardless of the consequences, and I think people are often shocked to find out that following their feelings doesn’t produce the results they want.
Most westerners are also stuck in cycles of shame and blame, which leads to depression too. So, in many cases a relationship with Christ and His Church would be very helpful.
There are people, as you have said, that are truly chemically imbalanced and who benefit from medicines like Zoloft, Prozac, etc., but there are a number of mental health professionals who believe these drugs are over-prescribed sort of like antibiotics used to be. I am on Celexa myself, but I often wonder, especially lately, whether it’s doing me any good. And if so, is it really worth the price? Good discussion.
Do you think unhappiness is the same thing as depression? Do you think feeling “blue” is the same thing as the depression for which medication is a help? Have you decided for sure what you (and the two of you) want out of life right now and why? Do you think that there is such a thing as a spirit of discontent? Us bent ones get to wrestle with these questions together.
Depression can include more than just feeling unhappy. Nervousness, anxiety, irritability are symptoms as well. For me I can more or less tell when my brain just isn’t working right.