Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Depression Feels Like

I've heard someone describe depression as "feeling like you've never had a good day in your life." It's true.

A few days ago I was completely wasted. I could not make myself get out of bed. I knew that lying in bed does not make depression go away but felt overpowered by vague and persistent feelings of wanting to surrender. At times like that, how I feel and what I know are completely unrelated. I feel like nothing good exists for me, but know that there is lots of good in my life.

I could not think what to do except hope that the next morning I would feel better. Blessedly, I did.

Days like that remind me why the relationship between the psychological and the spiritual is so hard to define. Days like that feel like Satan is working overtime, like I might never again be in the light.

If someone asked me why I go to church I might say it's because of days like that. I need to practice knowing that Jesus is with me, that God's promises are reliable, so I can see them in the dark.


  1. I am reminded to the image that by faith we see with our ears. I can't see or experience the "joy of salvation" that Psalm 51 holds up. It is hidden, sometimes more than others. But it is still true.


  2. I so agree with what you wrote about how we can know that things are actually good and right and that we have many blessings, all the while feeling the complete opposite. And I don't know how to handle that. There were times somebody would say, "Why don't you appreciate all the good things happening in your life?" and I had NO idea why I didn't. Depression was the reason, but it didn't seem like a good enough reason.

  3. I can so relate to this post right now. I guess it's a good thing that I can't stay in bed right now...even though almost every bit of my being wants to do so! I also understand what you're saying about church. Some days I wish I could just live in a constant Divine Service!


  4. What a beautiful post. I, too, have times of depression, but when I look up into the shining sky, or the lake behind our house, or into the faces of my children, I see God and my depression lifts.
    Lindsey Petersen

  5. Good to know I'm not the only one. Susan, your comment that "depression ... didn't seem like a good enough reason" sounds familiar. There are so many ways I feel like I've failed to meet other people's expectations because of depression, but it feels wrong to say "I'm sorry I can't [fill in the blank]. My mental health makes that impossible for me right now.."


Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.