Depression is a killer. Let us not candy coat it, depression has killed a lot of people who could have been helped. If you suffer from depression I hope this post will help you become more aware, and reflect on what your own depression is? Or if you do not have depression, then what someone you know is going through daily with depression.
My picture of depression is someone stuck down a deep, dark well, and cannot get out on their own. This person needs help. This person can hear people living life, having fun, going about their daily business, but this depressed person can’t, as they only see the deep, dark well of depression they are stuck in.
This depressed person is too far down in the well of depression for someone to come along and lift them out. It will take a few small, careful, trained steps, to aid this depressed person out. The key statement here is aiding the depressed person. No-one can help if the depressed person is not ready for the help.
A counsellor can walk the journey alongside the depressed person, in small, calculated, trained steps, to help the depressed person adjust to the light, as they are coming out of the deep well of depression.
I as a counsellor do not lift a person out of the depression well. I walk the journey with them, allowing the depressed person to gain skills to aid themselves to stop getting stuck in the well of depression in the future, or to look in it next time, stand beside it, but not fall into the well and become trapped in their own black despair of depression. This is what I am passionate about, being able to help my clients to help themselves, therefore limiting the danger for them in the future of regressing.
Some people look at depression as a black cloud, or a black dog. It maybe something else for you? If you are depressed, please be brave and take the first few steps to get help. Once the first few steps have been taken it will be easier for you, as you will know you are being understood and supported. If you know someone who is depressed, gently, try to help them to get help. It is life threatening.
The video at the bottom is excellent as it is formed from experience, and contains no fluff. In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the “black dog of depression”. More information on the book can be found here: http://matthewjohnstone.com.au/
The words below are not mine (composer unknown) but go along with my thoughts of depression.
Thanks for reading and sharing to help others. Please do share any thoughts in the comments below with what your experience of depression is, or what it is like to help someone through their depression. Stephen.
“One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!”
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happens.
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less from people but more from God.