AssemblyBoard
October 19, 2017, 09:12:14 pm *
The board has been closed to new content. It is available as a searchable archive only. This information will remain available indefinitely.

I can be reached at brian@tucker.name

For a repository of informational articles and current information on The Assembly, see http://www.geftakysassembly.com
 
   Home   Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
  Print  
Author Topic: Depression  (Read 24981 times)
outdeep
Guest


Email
« on: February 10, 2004, 07:05:38 pm »

I would like to dedicate this thread to people who have suffered from depression whether mild or severe.   Some may have experienced depression while in the Assembly because they felt required to suppress doubt.  Others may have fallen into a funk after they left the Assembly while trying to come to grips with the sense of loss.  Others may have a physiological problem or psychological reasons they tend towards depression.

What is your story?  What helped?  Do you overcome the depression or do you simply manage it?
Logged
al Hartman
Guest


Email
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2004, 01:27:18 am »



     A typical conversation between a sufferer of depression and a caring friend or relative who wants to help, but has never personally been depressed, starts like this:
     "Are you feeling depressed?'
     "Yeah..."
     "What about?"
     ...and that is where communication breaks down.  More often than not, clinical depression is not "about" anything in particular.  Although the severity of the depressive state may be situationally affected, the basic affliction is difficult to assess and is frequently attributed to a chemical imbalance in the body.  The sense of unfounded hopelessness is impossible to explain to someone who has neither experienced it nor been trained to understand it.
     The well meaning friend will often try to "cheer up" the suffering patient (clinical depression is an illness), but may find the result to be the opposite of what was hoped for.  The course of depression, short term and long term, can be unpredictable.  The two non-professional approaches most likely to help are attentive listening (without comment) and a gentle touch (a hand on the arm; a shoulder to lean on).
     What the depressed do not need is to feel that they are being judged and condemned for not "bucking up" and pulling themselves together.  Severe depression defies the mind-over-matter approach.

     Although it was not diagnosed until the mid-1980s, little analysis was needed to establish that I had suffered clinical depression of varying degrees since childhood, probably having begun in the early 1950s.  Over the past several years I have been helped immensely through the ministrations of a Christian counselor.  I am presently seen quarterly by a psychiatrist for the monitoring of two prescription anti-depressants.
     Don't worry about being politically correct with me-- I enjoy valium jokes as much as a "normal" person would.  Wink
I usually get my shrink to give me one of those pens from the pharmaceutical companies, then show people my "personalized" Prozac or Wellbutrin pen. Grin

     I'll share some of my experiences as a "depressee" next time I post on this thread.

God bless,
al

Logged
delila
Guest


Email
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2004, 04:37:41 am »

I left fellowship about ten years ago.  When I left, I still believed in the assembly.  My faith was simply ruined.  They were gona make it.  I was toast.

My hair fell out in great clumps.  I had an ulcer and was treated for it for a long time.  I had great boils on my neck that burst and bled when I splashed water on them.  I lost weight (hardly able to eat) though I wasn't 'overweight' to start with.

Depression can take many forms.  I wrote myself through mine but cried constantly.  I went to see a counsellor and did all the homework she gave me.  Still, I think what I fought most was the assembly's doom for those who leave.  Something terrible was going to happen.  Without doubt, I was gona die a terrible death, or wish I had.  Still, what I feared most, was running into 'one of the faithful' and so I moved, got a new job and broke all connection with those I knew, even outside the assembly - sisters I knew from the campus.  I saw a leading brother on the Ctrain shortly after I left and it was like seeing a ghost.  I was so glad when he got off the train and didn't see me.  It was like I'd almost made contact with a dangerous alien species.  Sounds cruel, I know.  But all I knew was that he would not understand.  And I knew exactly what he'd say.  Doom.  Doom if I didn't 'repent'.

Delila
Logged
Gordon
Guest


Email
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2004, 05:55:55 am »

Upon hearing some of the struggles that so many people had to go through: depression, I had to write a bit of my experiences and God's mercy.

***

FIRST THING, if  you know anyone who is depressed, don't try to 'heal' them. Just be a good listener and be supportive. Hug the depressed, call them, tell jokes, walk with them, but do NOT try to FIX them. Some depressed people needs medical attention and help. Others needs hours, years of support and love. It will REQUIRE spiritual stamina, love and patience.

For those who try to FIX people or think they have the spiritual wisdom of Christ ask yourself this: Do you people who asked depressed people to repent ---- THINK we LIKE this?!!! It's not our eyes upon ourselves -- it's a crippling stronghold that holds our heart in a vice.

I found many in the ministry woefully ill-equipped to help those who struggle with this terrible prison. The biggest stumbling block to help those is PRIDE. You think you have all the answers. You think you are spiritually mature to help. Unless you go through it, you have no idea how bad it really is. it's not just being sad, it's sleeping 18 hrs straight, it's waking up feeling dead, it's a loss of appetite, it's a hollow feeling that you feel sometimes like you're not living in your own body.

It's a slow emotional ebola virus eating your personality away.

For those who don't understand depression, just admit you don't. That is the first step if you want to help those who suffers from depression.

The worse pain I got in the ministry was people saying, "You need to repent. You need to get your eyes off yourself." Maybe for the pity party-type you can say that, but for those who are depressed, you might scar someone for life with added guilt. There is NO measuring scale to the degree of soul damage a misplaced word, or action can have on a clinically depressed person. God have mercy if you shoot off your tongue to quickly to a depressed Christian.

SECONDLY, for all those who are depressed. God loves you, and God will help you get through this.

My sisters all suffered from depression, and my mom is maniac depressant to the point where it crippled my childhood. It's a literal curse upon the family. Some of us will never understand the emotional scarring, burdens and weight of our souls, but I truly believe through the supernatural touch of God we can find healing, and true joy. I lost my childhood, and didn't hear the words "I love you son." from my mother until I was 25. (Listen to Mark Shultz's song WHEN YOU COME home...it'll tear my heart everytime)
 She never said it...because at times I had to watch with tears, with the full realization of helplessness that I could not help my mom. The guilt ate me alive. Needless to say, it laid a foundation for a very unstable childhood.

Only recently through the prayers of many Christians my mom is slowly breaking free with prayer, and the reading of her bible. My sisters are now all saved. I am more stronger, more joyful and more on fire for God than EVER. God's grace came through! THANK YOU LORD!

I will say, if you came into the ministry depressed, it wasn't the ministry's fault you are still depressed. You were depressed before, but the ministry in it's perspective of depression and it's methods for dealing with it was absolutely preschool-like. I will gladly say if you got out of the ministry you have a much greater chance of beating depression than being in it. For sure: not a healthy place for depressed people. I hold responsiblity of these faulty perspectives to George and Betty Geftakys. Their ministry and perspectives have caused many souls to be harmed.

FAMOUS CHRISTIANS WHO STRUGGLED WITH DEPRESSION; Oswald Chambers and Martin Luther struggled with it alone, but God used it somehow. God used it in my life too. It has given me incredible empathy for those who suffer. I am not so quick to FIX people up. I am humbled to learn how to care for a soul AND admit I don't know it all. Pride will cause not healing for someone trying to help someone who suffers from depression.

Finally my own tips on dealing with depression:

Here are a few pointers:

1) Get a great network of support. People who simply will just pray for you without question is the best. I have two women I know without a doubt they can just pray on the spot for me. TALK and hang out with people. YOU HAVE TO GET out and interact with people otherwise you'll go crazy. People who LOVES you, cry tears in prayer hugging you... are the people you want.

When my sister was close to suicide, I cried my eyes out out loud in front of her. I bared my soul in agony for her. I cried HARD. You need that gut-level, love and commitment from people to help you get through this.

2) Diet and exercise. Sounds like 9th grade health class, but it works. I'm a stickler for exercise and a great diet. If you feel great physically it will help mentally, and emotionally. All those endorphins does help. Also you'll feel better about yourself and it will give you one less thing to be depressed and worried about. (Also great for bragging to your friends that you have a heart rate of a marathon runner. Some people think I do it for vanity. Hardly. It's about not being depressed)

3) Truly spend time with the Lord. Reading God's word and be entirely honest with God in prayer will help. Depression is a strange trip. It's emotional, and spiritual. I remember one time I came back exhausted on every level: emotional, physical, mental after from childrens' camp - my mistake was burning myself out without help - and when i drove to work the next day I heard a voice say, "Hit the car".

Let me tell you: Spiritual warfare. it's real. It's the devil and you better deal with it and get help.

4) I know depression is difficult. it might lead you to seek solace, comfort, and relief in sin. It doesn't work. Also don't bash yourself for how you feel, but bring it God. I know it's not easy...but you will make it.

Remember when Christ asked the man at the pool? Its was almost a sarcastic question. DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WELL? The man has been in the same crippling condition for years...it's pretty obvious isn't it? YES it was. But Christ wanted the GUT-level cry and request of the heart. There is something attractive to God that he must work when faith, humility and sincerity is mixed into a prayer request.

When I cried my eyes out to God -- He came through with a song, with a person, with a passage to lift me up.

FINALLY:
Any of you who are depressed: God's value for you is remarkable. If you think your life and contribution to us, and this world is meaningless you're wrong. Your life, your soul, your smile and laughter will be missed. God intends for your life to shine and it will. Don't give up: you are beautiful in God's eyes. God loves you and will help you through this.  

You will one day break the chains of others and set them free.

There is ALWAYS hope my friend.

May God richly bless you, and show you to be the God of Miracles.


Logged
delila
Guest


Email
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2004, 09:43:31 pm »

Gordon,

What excellent advice.  We can not fix people.  We can love them and there are so many ways to show this love.  There is nothing like the wisdom of experience, painful as it is to gain such wisdom.  You speak healing words.

Thanks,

Delila
Logged
Eulaha L. Long
Guest


Email
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2004, 12:44:26 am »

I am diagnosed with Major Depression, and am on a cocktail of anti-depressants.  My depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.  I go through depressive episodes 2-3 times a year, and the episodes can last up to a month.
Logged
delila
Guest


Email
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2004, 10:38:50 pm »

Eulaha,

do the meds make you sleepy?

delila
Logged
Eulaha L. Long
Guest


Email
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2004, 02:10:50 am »

The 400mg's of Serequel make me sleepy, which is why they are taken at bedtime.  But when I first started taking the meds, they caused drowsiness and make me feel listless.  After your body gets adjusted to them, however, those side effects generally subside.

I have been thru several medication changes in the past year, and I think I've finally found the right combination and dosage. Smiley
Logged
delila
Guest


Email
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2004, 03:24:22 am »

Eulaha,
I'm glad you've found something that helps.  I have never tried depression meds, though they were suggested by a doctor to me years ago.  Now is probably the first time in my life that I don't think I need anything like that.  But I'm glad these meds exist for those who get help by using them.

Are there other things that help you when you're depressed?  
Me: working out, writing, and my children I think are the biggest healers for me right now.  Counselling has also helped a great deal.

Delila
Logged
al Hartman
Guest


Email
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2004, 03:53:44 pm »



     My clinical depression was first diagnosed in the early 1980s, after years of unexplained symptoms of chronic fatigue, a variety of physical ailments that came & went and a general feeling of hopelessness that I had worked hard to deny/contain ever since I had accepted Christ 20 years earlier.  After a number of tests, my family physician diagnosed clinical depression and referred me to a community mental health clinic.
     My first experience with mental health professionals was a fiasco.  The psychiatrist in charge of the clinic was much more concerned about the legal ramifications of treating me than in my condition, and the staff counsellor I was assigned to would fall asleep during our sessions.  I was not in a state to appreciate the ironic humor of the situation, so reported back to my family M.D., who agreed to treat me as long as my condition didn't worsen.
     Before too long I was unable to work and had to resign my job.  My wife was an angel of understanding to me and helped our four children to understand what I was going through.  The doctor tried a number of antidepressant prescription medications with varied degrees of success.  Some seemed to work, but the effect was temporary, leading to a number of changes in dosage and in the types of medicines.
     After several years of being unable to work full time, I went on Prozac.  When it had apparently worked well for others for over a year, my doctor tried it on me.  After about two months, I realized one day that it had been over a week since I had experienced a suicidal thought.  Up until then, considerations of suicide had been a daily staple, sometimes occupying most of my waking hours.
     There were no logical grounds for my wanting to end my life.  It was purely fueled by emotion.  It wasn't that I wanted to die, but that I was absolutely discouraged by living.  Nothing about my life was so bad-- I just constantly felt as if it was.  The day I realized that I wasn't suicidal I thought, "I wonder if this is what 'normal' is?"
     For awhile there was a trade-off:  I was far less depressed, but I was also far less sensitive toward those around me; toward everything.  Tragedy no longer seemed tragic, the suffering of others no longer touched me.  I began to wonder if the relief was worth the cost.
     I needn't have been concerned:  before long my body was shrugging off the effects of Prozac, and a long period of changing dosages ensued.  During that time, my physician sent me to another psychiatrist.  This one found me suffering seasonal affective disorder (SAD), meaning that my depression is deeper during the dreary months and shorter days of winter.  I also was experiencing extreme claustrophobia and panic attacks.
     Several years of experimentation with second-perscription supplements to Prozac, varying Prozac dosages, and a couple of changes of  psychiatrists have brought me to a fairly reliable balance of Prozac & Wellbutrin.  A couple of years of seeing a Christian counsellor worked wonders of self-discovery and behavior modification.
     While I am reconciled to probably needing prescribed medicines for the rest of my life, the greatest benefit has come as a result of my spiritual reconciliation to Jesus Christ during the past year.  Medicines and counselling had made me more or less fit for day-to-day living in society, but only the love of Christ has made me truly whole.
     The depression is still with me, worse some days than others, but I cling to the confidence that He who has begun a good work in me will continue it...  My deliverance is a daily occurrence.  I don't mind it this way-- I have no reason to get cocky or to think I have (or can have) arrived.  In my case that's a good thing.


Logged
al Hartman
Guest


Email
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2004, 01:55:02 am »




Do you think your depression was related to your assembly experience? or was it something organic?
Verne


Verne,

     Thanks for asking.  I neglected to clarify that.  First of all, my condition isn't a "was"-- it's an "is."  The struggle is daily; hourly.  
     The answer to your question is BOTH:  My depression, apparently based in a chemical deficiency or imbalance, far predated the assembly.  My father and others in his family exhibited similar symptoms, but in those days one simply did not admit to them.  Widespread diagnoses of clinical depression is a relatively recent development.  Anyway, I have carried these symptoms since at least my early teens, possibly longer.
     There is, however, what the mental health practicioners call "situational" depression.  Some apparently are depressed only because of their circumstances, in which case treatment consists of changing either one's situation or ones attitude toward same, or both.
     But the clinical, chemical-oriented, depression patient may also be influenced, usually negatively, by situation.  The mental/emotional turmoil and the continuous physical exhaustion caused by assembly lifestyle, particularly in leadership, took a heavy toll.  Recovering from that "slough of despond" has been a long and difficult process.  
     The hardest part may be discerning what symptoms are brought on by the physical ailment and which ones are the product of an unclear grasp of spiritual reality.  Assembly teaching offered no help toward this end, and in many ways contributed to its confusion and difficulty.  Additionally, the pace required of me was draining, the resulting constant fatigue discouraging.
     Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift...


Logged
Eulaha L. Long
Guest


Email
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2004, 01:33:10 am »

Hi Al-

Looks like you and I have something in common (did you ever think that would be possible?? lol Wink Wink Wink Wink)

All kidding aside, depression has been a debilitating illness for me for a long time.  I try to live my life day-to-day, because with a chemical imbalance, you never know what tomorrow will bring in light of your mood.  Every day that I wake up in a fairly good mood, I feel like a winner!
Logged
al Hartman
Guest


Email
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2004, 10:58:36 am »


Hi Al-

Looks like you and I have something in common (did you ever think that would be possible?? lol Wink Wink Wink Wink)

All kidding aside, depression has been a debilitating illness for me for a long time.  I try to live my life day-to-day, because with a chemical imbalance, you never know what tomorrow will bring in light of your mood.  Every day that I wake up in a fairly good mood, I feel like a winner!

Eulaha,
     You & I have quite a lot in common, dear sister-- just because I was a misguided jerk when we first met on this BB never meant I was doomed to stay that way! Wink Grin  I have come to love you dearly and hope for your happiness...
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

     For the sake of those who don't suffer depression but hope to understand & help those who do, a description of some of my syptoms (syptoms vary from case to case):

--not wanting to get out of bed.  for days on end.
--not wanting to bathe, brush teeth, comb hair, change clothes.
--not feeling like reading, listening to music, etc., or talking with anyone.
--wanting to sleep & sleep & sleep.
--fearing that staying awake may lead to suicide.
--wanting to die.  not to be with the Lord-- just to die.
--being angry, snappish toward those who try to help me.
--being angry if they don't try to help me.
--self pity.  big time.
--crying a lot, with little or no provocation.
--having no appetite.
--being ravenously hungry.
--being angry toward God & wanting to sin just to defy Him.
--BAD headaches.
--cold chills, shaking & sweating.
--nausea.
--light-sensitivity; noise-sensitivity.
--achiness.
--hearing ringing, whistling & other sounds that aren't there.

     These do not occur simultaneously or in any particular order or with any regular frequency.  I have discussed my symptoms with several doctors, and they are not unusual in cases of clinical depression.  The seriousness of any or all of them will vary from one person to another.
     Prescription medicines to reestablish the brain's chemical balance have helped me, although the chemical needs change, and thus must the remedies.  It is an ongoing experiment, as diet, rest, weather,  stress factors (family, home, health, job, etc.) and many other variables make precision diagnoses impossible.
     Counselling is also helpful, provided the counsellor is genuinely interested and well trained (some are, unfortunately, nuttier than the patients Roll Eyes).
     As I stated in a previous post, the single most effective help to me has been learning anew how to know, trust and commune with the living Christ.  My depression has been severe at times, and life-threatening, but if it took that to get me right with God, I have no regrets.  No cost is too great for gaining intimacy with Him.  Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning, and it is joy unspeakable and full of glory... the half has never yet been told!

al Cheesy
 

Logged
delila
Guest


Email
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2004, 08:57:55 am »

Yikes, Al!

Do you really think that God planted depression in you so that you'd turn to him?  I  hope not.  Though it might be part of the curse, as is air pollution and cancer, I don't think God cooked any of this pain up.  Unlike what George taught, I don't see God that way.  I hope that's not what you're implying.  If it is, let's talk.

Delila
Logged
al Hartman
Guest


Email
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2004, 01:10:47 pm »


Yikes, Al!

Do you really think that God planted depression in you so that you'd turn to him?  I  hope not.  Though it might be part of the curse, as is air pollution and cancer, I don't think God cooked any of this pain up.  Unlike what George taught, I don't see God that way.  I hope that's not what you're implying.  If it is, let's talk.

Delila

     There is a universe of difference between saying that God "planted" an affliction and saying that He allowed it.  However, what I am saying is that I neither know nor care which, if either, is the case.  I have known for many years that my need is desparate, and I have prayed for many years, "Lord, please do whatever it takes to get what you want in my life."
     Hearing this testimony from someone else, I might consider such a gesture heroic, but I know that I am no hero-- I am terrified of missing the mark.  Under GG that meant a constant fear of weeping & gnashing my teeth in outer darkness while the saints go marching in.  Today, freed of that terror, I desire to not fall short of granting Jesus Christ His due return for the immeasurable price He paid to redeem me.
     My depression & physical afflictions have seemed horrible at times, but the Lord has used their influence repeatedly to turn my heart and mind toward Him.  Maybe there was a kinder gentler way, but in fear & desperation I said, "Whatever it takes..."  Through the years of my backsliding, wandering, denial, apostacy, this was yet my prayer.  This is the way by which He has brought me back to Him.
     I blame God for nothing.  Compared to garnering the wages of sin, my life has been a picnic.  I don't preach "Come by the way I've traveled," but I will say to anyone, "By all and any means, get to where I'm going."
     Theologians are welcome to chime in here.  I'm open.  My personal theology/philosophy is not experience-based, but I see no reason to deny any experience that has resulted in honoring Christ, no matter how difficult it seemed at the time.

               He giveth more grace as the burdens grow greater,
          He sendeth more strength as the labors increase,
               To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
          To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

     He is our very present Help in time of need...


Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!