Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I think I am depressed.  Not as a character flaw but as a diagnosis. Semantics make all the difference.  

I have down days.  I mean days when I am unable to get up, either emotionally or physically.  I fight these days tooth and nail.  My main weapon is self abuse.  I call myself a lazy slug, slob, ungrateful wretch, and pointless to name a few.  Is self abuse an effective weapon?  Hardly.  So why do I use it?  Because depression is a character flaw and I have to kill it.  It is part and parcel of my old sinful nature and it is my Christian duty to squash this evidence of original sin like a bug.  Somewhere I got the notion castigation could kill sin and SHOULD be used as the first weapon of choice.

Where do I come up with this stuff?  I think I was taught it.  I think it may be modified Calvinism but I am not sure.  Anyhoo, it is majorly unhelpful and I am trying to rid myself of it.  In comes Catholicism.  Catholics believe our created bodies are Good, parts of the Body of Christ.  So...if my depression is part of my body (inherited like my blond hair) then it and its manifestations (down days) are not evil, and I am not evil for having them.  I have an inherited condition for which I am obligated to seek treatment to keep this Good body and mind in health.  I do not need to war against my depression but seek care for it.  I begin by not being surprised by my down days and fighting against them.  I treat them.  If you are physically sick you take medicine and/or take to your bed.  If I am depressed I need to love my body/mind and minister to it.  Ministering does not mean all the sugar I can eat.  That would be more self abuse.  Ministering does not mean isolation.  Again more self abuse.  Ministering means, what...?  This I am still trying to work out.  Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks, Love Bea.


Cindy said...

I think because we think of depression as a mental ailment we can't be objective about treating it (even though it has physical side affects/effects(?)).

Our mind is clearer when:

our leg is broken, so we get it fixed, we function again.

our back hurts, so we take advil, we function again.

Depression feels neverending and we think we can change our mindset and fix it without outside help.

Vickie said...

I would think a doctor who has the right background would be helpful. I personally believe that these types of meds should always be thru a psychiatrist who is good at diagnosis and meds (not a gp).

sunshine is always smart (not sunburn mind you, just the shine part). I can't remember if you have a sunlamp thing since you have such long winters.

I enjoy Gretchen:

I find a lot of comfort in a schedule. Not a demanding one, but something that makes sure I take care of myself and keeps me busy in a self help way.

exercise really helps. Walking outside before your snow hits would be good self help if you are not already doing it.

glad you are looking to help yourself.

AdHoc said...

I agree semantics make all the difference. It´s kinder to admit to depression as an illness, partly out of our control. Just like cancer and a broken leg.

There are all sorts of methods that we can use to help ourselves, but first we need to show our selves kindness. You wouldn´t blame your self (at least not) harshly for a broken leg, even if you went out skiing and went to fast.

What has worked best to keep me on the sane side is a mix of medication, meditation and light exercise.

Thanks for writing this blog, it´s helpful to read other peoples stories. Just started blogging about my own anxiety and depression a few days ago, and want to connect with others.

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