Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Depression, Part 1

I tend to be pretty transparent. I don't like pretending. I figure if we're all in this world together, and if we can be of any help to each other, than the best way is to be open and honest with each other, "bearing one another's burdens." (Galatians 6:2) So, if that makes you feel uncomfortable, you probably should skip this post.

I suffer with depression, just like other people suffer with asthma or diabetes. If that caused a reaction in you, I understand. When my meds are working well, even I can't understand the twisted way in which I once thought. Although there is research being done to try to match a person's blood type to a specific anti-depressant, currently the only real way to find one what works is to try them. I've tried a lot of them, which is not a fun roller coaster. What works for my depression makes me very sleepy. I have to live with the sleepiness and lack of productivity; it's a trade-off.

I have been struggling lately. I'm hoping it's due to the dreary winter weather, but have a suspicion that it's more than that. I did a Google search on "homeschooling depression" to see if I could find help from others in my situation. The first one I found was an article by Teri Maxwell about her past struggle with depression. And while I appreciate her willingness to share publicly, it aggravates me that people share their struggle once they're "over" it. I think that pushes the stigma of mental illness further underground: It's embarrasing and something we don't talk about until we've conquered it.

So, I looked further and came upon this quote:

"Many of us homeschooling moms deal with depression that can, at times, be debilitating. We don't have to live with it! If you're living with depression, look into what may be going causing it, and take steps to remedy it. . . Above all, ask your Heavenly Father for help. He knows what makes you tick, and He knows all the circumstances of your life. He's so ready to help; all you need to do is ask Him for it. Why suffer with it any longer?"

That infuriates me. Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe we need a different name for the times when a person experiences circumstantial depression as opposed to the person who suffers with a chemically-altered brain function. But when I read things like the above, I just want to scream and cry for all the other people in my position who feel so condemned by such statements. I don't have to live with it? I don't have to suffer any longer? If I really seek God, He will pull me out of it? That just perpetuates the idea that it's a shameful situation rather than a true medical condition. Why hasn't God healed me then? I've asked that over and over and over.

Thank God for His Holy Scriptures, the Living Word. It is truly amazing that in that one book we can find the answers to every life circumstance. Only God could put together something that perfect! What I've been encouraged by is Paul's experience with the "thorn in the flesh" that is never named. He asked God to remove it, but God choose, in His sovereignty, to allow it to remain. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so
that Christ's power may rest on me.

I have clung to those words in recent days. His grace is enough. I may never be free of this disease. His power is made perfect in my weakness. His power is perfected in my depression. How? I don't fully know, other than it draws me to Him; I cannot boast in my own strength; I am continually humbled. For whatever reason, God has chosen to give me this thorn in my flesh. So I will continue to bear it to the best of my ability.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear you suffer from depression. I think it is brave to share, I know other people who suffer from depression and most of them are very embarrassed about it.


Latte Cannon said...

Since you are being real, I will to as well as keeping to myself-sweet. I don't doubt that depression is real I suffered from it many times in my life, but I have learned something in the last few years and months that has opened my eyes to the fact that most if not all depression on large levels is NOT I say not mental. Instead it's all about diet. I am living proof of this. See when I got pregnant I got depressed…hormones you say, well sure getting a little down and out might be from that but this was a lot down. I had no idea what I was eating was creating a brain fog and depression for me. You see when I was pregnant a yeast (all women have) took over my body (eating sugar and hormones feed it) and after I had my son I ate more sugar (mostly because I could not eat much while pregnant-my yeast overgrowth during pregnancy was partly hormonal and sugar) Then this past June I went on vacation where I ate LOADS of sugar, carbs and anything that my body turned into sugar. The day I got back home I knew something was wrong. My body was acting crazy. I missed work because I could not think in full sentences. More sugar, more problems. Then after my husband got sick with Cancer we all had to do away with sugar for him-that’s right sugar feeds cancer. My body went CRAZZZY!!!!!!!! I felt like I was dieing-which I felt like I was dying before my vacation but this time felt so real. So I got on the computer and one by one I put in my symptoms until I found Candida (oh yeah I had been to the doctor many times to just have them tell me "nothings wrong with you") It seems this yeast got in my blood from a leaky gut (you’ll need to look this up because this comment is already long) and my organs started going crazy. The yeast dying or waste was causing brain fog and serious depression. Now that I know my problem, I got off the sugar and got better after 3 weeks of no sugar (the reason I got so bad when I first went off sugar was because the yeast went into over growth and then death) I have since then gotten back on sugar and at first the symptoms were not that bad until I ate breads and noodles. Then I got sick with a cold (which can not happen when you are with a chemo patient) so I HAD to get antibiotics-err that was hard because ALL of my symptoms came back and then a few.

Know the biggest symptom of Candida is brain fog and depression. Unfortunately it is hard to test for Candida because you will always test positive for it-everyone has it. Your best bet is to go off of anything that has sugar or will become sugar in your body for about a month. This is hard but it can be done.

You know the saying you are what you eat, it is true.

Doctors get almost no schooling on nutrition! They don't treat anyone by what they eat. When is the last time your doctor asked you what you have eaten lately? I have read many books by doctors who started looking at diet and discovered they could "cure" people by just changing their diet.

The book I love the most is Nourishing Traditions.

Give it a try…what could it hurt to eat better.

Latte Cannon