Monday, February 14, 2011

A young man's letter to his parents about his depression

Dear Dad and Mom,

I decided to write you a letter to you know what is going on with me. For lack of a better term, I suppose it could be called an “emotional audit.” It is very difficult for me to express how I am feeling because everything I say sounds very cliche and melodramatic. At the risk of being melodramatic, however, I will describe exactly what has been going on with me in the hopes that something I say will trigger something within your brain to figure out the best course of action to take to help me.

I have felt very forlorn for a long time. Ever since I can remember I have had a sort of heaviness that has permeated my consciousness. The only way I discovered this was through conversations with numerous individuals who talked about themselves in such a way that I found very odd.

First, many friends have discussed an innate fear of death that I seem to lack. I do not find death glorious or romantic, but rather a well-needed and well-deserved rest from the suffering of this present world. To say that my quest for happiness (or wellness maybe) and my zeal for life is a battle is vastly understating the truth. Every day for at least the past 4 months (and on and off for many years), I have rolled out of bed and willed myself and prayed myself through the motions. I have always believed in Darwin’s model of only the strong surviving, which is surprising considering he had panic disorder (actually maybe he thought that because he survived panic attacks, he could conqueror anything.

Getting back on topic, death has always seemed so far away out of my grasp. Many times I have almost attempted to put myself into its way to be consumed by it, but I was never fortunate enough to die a martyr’s death. To me, being a martyr is not one who dies for what he believes in, but rather someone who continues to live despite life’s grisly grip on them. I feel as if I need a vacation from myself, much like a nap, but not. If it were possible to die for six months and then return, I believe I would like that very much.

The biggest obstacle I have found in my twenty-two years is the fact I have to be alone with my thoughts. Maybe I don’t want a vacation from life, but most certainly from the horrid thoughts that plague me so many times. If I stay busy enough, I can push the thoughts out of my head, and feebly attempt to ignore the sensation of gripping pain. I am afraid of virtually no one. The only thing I fear is alone time with me. Thinking has become such a painful process that I many times almost have a panic attack just thinking about when I will be alone next to face the truth-every day drags on and the only thought I have is that of my family and my Lord. I could not disgrace either of them with suicide, but OH how I long to be rid of this horrible “thing” that is weighing down on me.

 I feel relief primarily in two different ways. One way is when I am doing vigorous exercise (not right away, but after maybe 25 minutes of pushing hard). Another way is when I either intake a significant amount of caffeine or alcohol. Caffeine eventually makes me crash and I am more depressed after, and alcohol does the same, and also is a sin to consume to intoxication. I have not drunk recently, but it is always a temptation because it seems to help for a while. However, the next day I would not just have a “hangover,” but rather an intense, sharp pang of guilt coupled with an overwhelming sadness that could bring me to tears, or even worse-no tears.

I really think that crying would be quite a catharsis for me, but ever since I have been on Paxil;
I have not been able to cry (I have no idea if that’s connected to anything, but it is something I have indeed noticed).

I am not trying to be morbid or bring down your new years, but I figured I would at least mention some of these things to you. I really would like to have ECT if it were possible, but I understand that that is probably not an option for many reasons. Please pray for me so I can stay strong through this, and MOST of ALL, please do not treat me any different than you have. You have both been fine, but I do not need someone asking me every 3 minutes if I am depressed. The answer will unequivocally be YES.

Thank s for reading this, I appreciate it

Love you both, and talk to you soon.

If  you would like to take a look at one of our most exciting editions please go to the link below.  This Biblical-based support group material includes a Leader’s Guide and Student Guide/workbook. These guides will help create cohesion and mutual support among those who are born again and affected by these horrible diseases of body, mind and mood.  depression, bipolar, panic and obsessive compulsive disorders are some of the most painful of all disorders in this cursed world.  Many mentally ill Christians have experienced what we call “shaming” from their own brothers and sisters in Christ causing further and unnecessary suffering. The church of Jesus Christ not only misunderstands the mentally ill, she also provides no ministry for them. Steve Bloem, Co Founder of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries