Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Winnning over Depression Part 1. Medication

I have had fights with depression since I was a kid. Sometimes I won, sometimes depression won - but I'm winning the war. I thought that when I became a Christian, I would have no more fights with depression - wrong! I have had some very intense bouts of depression since becoming a Christian. Most of them have happened since I have been in ministry. I felt that as a pastor I should not be suffering with depression. Surely a pastor would have it all together. That's just the kind of idea that will kill you and the kind of idea that malevolent spirits would want you and me entertaining in our heads. I'm convinced that my depression is partly genetic and partly circumstantial. This doesn't mean that I am consigned to depression. There are a number of things that I do that keep me winning the war. I'd like to share them with you over the next few blogs. Let's make a start.
  • I take medication when I need to. My local GP surgery released a paper saying, "Antidepressant is such an unfortunate term. 'Neurotransmitter supplement' would be a better term". They are not addictive. They are not uppers or downers. They are simply a means of boosting the chemical that your body uses to conduct messages through your nerve cells. When you are depressed, the level of the neurotransmitters in your body drops and that is what makes you feel low, unmotivated, have memory loss, struggle to concentrate and so on. That's why telling a depressed person to just pull themselves together is like telling someone with a broken leg to just get up and run the 100 metres.
If you are not depressed, taking an anti-depressant will do nothing for you.
If you are struggling with depression I suggest you go and see your GP. They are generally good people to talk to as they are outside your normal circle of relationships and it can be helpful to talk to a neutral person. They will decide whether you need medication or not.
Before I end this blog let me give you some symptoms of depression so that you can decide whether you might be struggling with it or not. Please don't be like me and limp on through life, irritable, tired, guilty, yet too proud to face the fact that you might have depression. Having depression is not a weakness, it's a reality - like someone with diabetes or high blood pressure. Go for help. Talk to someone. Don't let you and your loved ones be robbed of the quality of life you could enjoy. As far as the symptoms go, to be considered depressed you will have had these for at least two weeks consistently.
1.     Feelings of hopelessness and/or high anxiety.
2.     Over-analysis of problems with great angst and negativity.
3.     Sleeping difficulties.
4.     Eating and appetite problems.
5.     Decreased sexual drive.
6.     Withdrawal from others.
7.     Loss of self-esteem.
8.     A desire to avoid all problems/demands.
9.     A deep sense of guilt.
10.   Over-dependency on others.
11.   Crying and tearfulness.
12.   Fatigue.
13.   Preoccupation with body function.
14.   Suicidal thoughts.
15.   Self-neglect.


  1. Thanks for this blog Sean - I share your state of depression too and place it at the foot of His cross on a daily basis - He is my refuge.

  2. Thank you Sean...I will pass this on.