Thursday, February 4, 2010

Depression & the One You Love

If there's anything worse than experiencing the agony of depression, it's watching helplessly as someone you love is suffering with this illness. It's common for the onlooker to feel incredible levels of frustration at not being able to "fix" the problem. Or to think that the sufferer should be able to just "snap out of it."

The helplessness that both parties experience can lead to unimaginable anger on both sides, which does not lend itself toward hope or healing.

Reassuring support, not condemnation, is what is needed. A key step is to surround yourselves with a team of trustworthy people - health professionals, family, friends, and pastoral support. Please don't travel through this dark place on your own. Rid yourself of the shame or guilt or fear that keeps you from reaching out for supportive companions.

Cheri Fuller writes about the journey she and her husband took together through his depression. Her tips on recognizing the signs of depression, offering acceptance and love, encouraging exercise, and the importance of caring for the caregiver are helpful. She also makes an important point in recognizing that anger is often a component of depression in men.

Christ walks with you through the valley of illness. He will never leave. He will never forsake.

There is hope. There is healing. There is life after depression.

Depression Help Center

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