Category Archives: depression

The Meds…(Part 5)

Happiness? What is it that makes us happy? When one spends so much time trying to fit in and live the life of status quo, it’s a hard question to answer.

Do you know what makes you happy?

Was your immediate response “well, my life with Jesus makes me happy.” That’s usually the answer I gave. That is the answer we are supposed to give when we live the life of a forgiven Christian….at least I thought so. I knew deep down that my relationship with my Creator wasn’t a very fulfilling one, but I didn’t really want to admit that. I was in ministry, and serving to the best of my ability.

Better not to dwell on that too much…can’t handle that truth right now.

Filling out these charts started opening my eyes. It seemed easy enough now…I could identify my thoughts. I was getting better! Right?

Next, for homework, the charts started getting more detailed. This time they were called “dysfunctional thought record” charts. I needed to get into more detail.

Aaarrrrggghhhh……I couldn’t do it.

I wasn’t getting better after all.

It seems that I have a condition called “Dysthymia”. After seeing my counselor for awhile it became quite clear to her that I might need a little more help. We needed to get my medical doctor involved. Maybe if I try some mild medication, together with the counseling, we can finally break through some of the deeper issues.

So, off to the doctor I went. I had a fancy “therapy binder” that I had assembled. Tabs made with fancy card-stock, and pages full of highlighted definitions and charts. (I was quite proud of this binder! 🙂 Probably some of the happiest moments I had had in those weeks was putting together this fancy piece of artwork!) Together with an trainee intern, my doctor gave me some of her own papers to fill out. Let’s see if our patient is truly in need of medication.

Yep…seems to have quite severe PTSD. How have we not seen this in the last 20 years in the doctor/patient relationship? Could it be because I have been hiding all of my feelings for so long? Probably.

I got my prescription….

to be continued…..

Who’s to Blame? (The Silent Scream, P4)

Is it okay to be angry at God?

I think so. He created us, and understands anger.

Is it acceptable to blame God for all of our problems?

Is He the one to blame? Many people believe so. The world is full of anger and rage against God. He gets blamed for the natural disasters, war, and pretty well most of the stuff we, as humans, inflict on ourselves and each other. It is easy to blame God, as He is that unknown entity we tend to ignore unless we have a prayer request.

Who else is there to blame? If we blame ourselves that means we have to take responsibility…and most of us don’t want to take on the burden of changing our perspectives.

Like I said, I was given homework. I went home with papers to fill in. This was supposed to help me understand the emotions I felt. There were lists and charts…”Simple Thought Records”….hmmm. There didn’t seem to be anything simple about my thoughts. They were all over the place. Learning to identify a feeling was much harder than I expected. It’s a good thing there were pages of defined feelings that I could choose from.

As these pages started filling up, there seemed to be an underlying theme. Usually the feelings that I could identify were “aggravation”, “dismay”, “irritation”, “anxious”, “resigned”, “overwhelmed”….you get the idea….they were negative. Part of the assignments were also to give a percentage rate to the emotion. Often mine were between 75% and 100%.

Did this mean that I was an angry person?

Was there hope?

I had spent my entire life trying to fit in. Trying to be a person that other people enjoyed being with. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to belong.

I wanted peace.

to be continued….

The Search Continues (Part 3)

How does one learn to define their needs? Or their feelings? What if they don’t know what they need or feel? Especially when the basic needs seem to be met. There are countless words that we can use to express emotion…

dread
suspicious
frustrated
livid
repulsed
dazed
torn
numb
withdrawn
mortified
listless
devastated
frazzled
overwhelmed

and some positive ones…

tender
loving
intrigued
stimulated
optimistic
engrossed
eager
safe
open
dazzled
giddy
passionate
vibrant
thankful
awed

you get the idea…. Continue reading The Search Continues (Part 3)

The Silent Scream (part 2)

It didn’t take long for the counselor to figure out what was wrong. Within a few sessions it became obvious that I had some form of PTSD. (I had suspected that myself, but it was a relief to hear someone else confirm it.) She also added to that, as there were another few issues as well. Strategic Survival Personality and Boarding School Syndrome…big words! What did those mean? Are they actually real issues? Or were they just some form of psychobabble?

It seems that there were quite a few reasons for this diagnosis. I guess that experiencing war, violence, and abandonment were quite traumatic, and had a long term effect.

Continue reading The Silent Scream (part 2)

The Silent Scream….

Part 1

This last July, just a few months ago, I hit a wall. The rage and confusion was threatening to overwhelm me. I didn’t understand the turbulence in my head, and no matter what I told myself, it wouldn’t go away. It was all consuming.

Did I need to talk to someone?

Was there something inside of me that needed releasing?

How could there be anything wrong? Life was good. I was on a great track. Work in Africa gave meaning to my life, and I felt that there was finally an outlet for my skills. My family was doing quite well. Things seemed…ok…or so I told myself. Continue reading The Silent Scream….

Love Revolution

“Have you had your hug today?”

This was a question I heard for years, when I used to go to work as a flight attendant. I looked forward to seeing this co-worker. I didn’t get hugs in my daily life, and craved contact with another human being. Those hugs were like therapy. I could feel my body relax and fill with new strength.

It’s so sad that the world has changed so much since those days. We can’t touch anyone without worrying about being charged with some form of harassment. There are countless people walking around us, with no non-sexual contact with another person. Love starved and lonely in a sea of people. This isn’t how we are meant to live. Continue reading Love Revolution