Friday, May 23, 2014

My depression story 1997














Depression is not a subject which is usually talked about by evangelical Christians.  But if you counsel those who are born again who have a mental illness, they will tell you what their symptoms are and how they affect their mood, thinking, and behavior. Now I have read some great descriptions of depression and the best ones come from those who have experienced mental illness.

I bought a book once by Kathy Conkrite, the daughter of the legendary newscaster, Walter Cronkite. It included descriptions of her depression and of many famous people who suffered from it. I could only read so much of it because I would start having Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms, which are a result of the trauma that I have because of my own horrible, episodic depression. People have asked me many times (including psychiatrists); How does it feel when you are depressed?

It (depression) is hard to describe after you are feeling better. The problem is that when you are in the clutches of a depressive episode, you are too depressed to take the time to write about it. The best descriptions that I can come up with are, "it is unbearable anguish, unrelenting sorrow, it is a living Hell."  I hope you don't think I am being profane. I use to joke about Hell when someone would tell me that I should go there. My answer was, "I got kicked out for selling ice cream cones." This is not original to me but I was not converted and I knew very little on the subject. I no longer joke about Hell. When I say that depression is a living Hell; I am not talking about eternal Hell but I am saying that as far as I know it is the worse you can emote on this planet earth.

It is of no real comparison as to what the infinite God/man, Jesus Christ experienced; when He hung on the cross and became sin for us. Because of this His face was marred more than anyone else. This is not talking about his bloody face, though that was part of it, but rather a result of the infinite wrath of God, which He had suffered on the cross. Every time I have a severe depressive episode, I think; "when I get out of this; I am going to warn people about Hell."  Of course Hell is not  a politically correct subject these days.  Someday all those who in are Hell will be cast into the lake of fire.
Whether you are depressed  or not, today; Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!  Receive Him as your Savior and Lord! He gave Himself for you to redeem you from your sins. 


Below is a brief diary of my decompensation into the dark dungeons of depression. I had recently been diagnosed by my psychiatrist as having, bipolar 2 disorder because my depression  episodes come on quite suddenly and they are  very severe in nature. Here is a brief excerpt from my diary.


May 11, 1997,
 I spoke in a little country church today. I wondered, do I have post-traumatic stress disorder because of what I had gone through having a pastorate in Kansas?
Also, I am having, everything is temporary obsessions and doing routine things seem so hard today, I am feeling emotionally drained; I did not know that this was the beginning of a new severe depressive episode.

May 12, 1997 - I called the doctor and asked him to put me on Buspar to augment my Zoloft.  This was hard for me to request because I become passive while in a depressive episode. He said he will call it in and I hope this augmentation will work quickly.

May 13, 1997- I am quite depressed today, it is very difficult to concentrate; I have moment by moment sorrow. My mind feels dead, but I was able to get my work done and even teach a Dialectical Behavior Therapy group this afternoon. I was able to relate to many of the woman who have Borderline Personality Disorder and many of them also are depressed.

May 14, 1997 - I started work at about 8:00 am today. It seems that none of my fellow case managers have noticed that I am in a depressive episode. Maybe they do but don't know how to approach me. From about 10-12:00 noon, I was in agony and intense sadness. There was panic and my stomach hurt, my appetite was gone. I finally told the staff psychiatrist that I could no longer work and had to go home.

Immediately separation anxiety overwhelmed me and I want to be with my wife. I called her and she asked me, "Is it alright for me to go to a bible study with the ladies this afternoon or do you want me to stay here with you?  I try to be brave but after I hang up, I think, "I have to go home." I sob uncontrollably as I drive home, wiping away tears to be able to see. My youngest son greets me at the door and as soon as I see him, I burst into tears.  He is stunned after seeing me sob and calls for Robyn. I pray to God, "Father please don't let me commit suicide."  Deeper and Deeper I descend into a Hell on earth. My thought in the middle of the most intense suffering, "How will people be able to stand Hell--- the real Hell?"

Sometime later I asked my psychiatrist if I can have E.C.T. (Electro-Convulsive-Therapy). He agrees, but it still takes me about five days to get my first treatment. Eventually E.C.T. treated my depression and now that my symptoms have been mitigated, I am constantly reminded of the fact that so many will experience so much worse in Hell. They will live for an eternity separated from God, in an even worse form of torment than biological depression, because they refuse to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.