Are you feeling depressed? Alone? Like nobody cares or understands? You’re not alone. I have a confession to make…I have wrestled with the torrent of depression. During those dark days, I felt so alone. Fortunately, now, I am on the other side. But, when I look back on the dark night of my soul, there are things that I wish people had said to me back then to offer me hope.
When my depression was the darkest, I felt alone, helpless, and hopeless. I thought no one else understood, and I felt ashamed. I was the doctor who had treated patients with depression for twenty years…somehow I thought I should have been able to prevent myself from slipping down that avalanche into the dark hellish pit.
Recently, I’ve encountered many people who are right where I was. God keeps bringing others across my path who are in that very same valley…in need of His help, hope, and healing. People who are ashamed to admit that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. People who are ashamed to admit that they struggle with depression. Ashamed to admit that their doctor has prescribed them medication to help them cope. And so they do just as I did: they walk around with a smile on their face and an “I’m fine” on their lips, even on Sunday morning as they walk into church.
That’s part of the reason I wrote my first book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” because what I want you to know is that nobody is immune to depression…not even the doctor with all the alphabet soup after her name and degrees on the wall, not even Christians are immune.
Nobody is immune. I’ve been there and I understand. I want to be a voice that says to you, “Me too” because in doing so, it gives others permission to speak up and share as well.
It creates a sense of community.
It tears down the stigma.
It normalizes what has been made to feel abnormal and it allows for healthy conversation.
In case you’re feeling all alone, in case you’re feeling like nobody cares, in case you’re feeling like nobody understands, I want you to know, you’re not alone. I do care. I do understand. And I do know that there is hope. That’s why I wrote Hope Prevails. And I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be in that pit of depression and I don’t wish it on anybody.
Nobody wants to be depressed, and it isn’t just a matter of pulling up your bootstraps or thinking positive thoughts to get out of it.
So if that’s you today, if you’re struggling just to put one foot in front of the other, I pray you’ll hold onto my hope even if yours is lacking. In my darkest days I had to hold onto others’ hope.
Today you might be having trouble getting out of bed, or fulfilling your usual commitments because it’s just too hard. Depression can make our normal tasks seem as hard as climbing a mountain. Wherever you are, you might feel all alone. I did. But sometimes our feelings lie. God is right there with you and He will see you through this. The truth is, He promises to never leave you and never forsake you. And He promises that He loves you with an unfailing love, and nothing changes that, not even your depression. Nothing can make Him love you less nor love you more.
So if that is you today, hold onto my hope because I have enough for both of us. There are brighter days ahead. How do I know? Because God promises in His word that “though weeping may last for a night, joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Oh dear friend, sometimes that dark night of the soul lasts a long time, but we can trust God to be true to His word.
I clung to every word in Jeremiah 29:11 like it was food to a starving soul during my journey out of depression’s valley. Maybe it will give you hope and encouragement as well: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a future and a hope.”
Are you wondering how you can know if someone is suffering from depression?
I’ve written resources that will help.
- How to know if you’re depressed: Common Symptoms
- Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Podcast: Am I Depressed?
- Podcast: How To Fight Depression
- Podcast: How To Help Someone with Depression
Is your child or teen suffering from depression? How do you know?
- Depression in Teens: Typical Symptoms
- Understanding Depression in Children and Teens
- Hope for helping with Teen and Childhood Depression
- Podcast: What does Depression in Children Look Like? How can Parents Help?
Hope for when you are feeling alone because of depression
- 15 Bible Verses When You Feel Alone
- You Are Not Alone…I Understand
- When It Feels Like You’re Walking Alone in the Dark
Helpful resources for helping a depressed loved one
- Free eBook: How to Help a Depressed Loved One
- What you need to know when you have a depressed loved one
- What not to say to a depressed loved one
- Suggestions about supportive things you can say to a depressed loved one
Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.