Devotion: Understanding The Valley Of Depression When Coping with Chronic Illness
Posted Feb 21 2012 10:00am
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
For most people suffering chronic health problems depression is no stranger. Many illnesses bring with them secondary depression. This affliction is not something people are comfortable talking about. We admire those who go through life with a cheerful disposition, and positive thinking is almost a religion. Being depressed is unacceptable and something to be avoided at all costs, but what if it can’t be avoided?
I have gone through many periods of very dark depression. I’m not talking about a “blue mood” or a bit of melancholy, but about walking around with your head inside a very dark cloud, being stopped in your tracks by a force that can bring you to your knees with the weight of darkness. There are levels of depression, from a sad mood to a case of major depression and at its worst it is a terribly oppressive force.
With major depression medication and/or counselling may be necessary. It is a serious illness in its own right. Secondary depression accompanies various afflictions and draws its strength from the weight of other oppressive illnesses. With either of these depressions it is a good idea to seek medical advice and counselling, but I believe we are also to take our difficulties to the Lord and find help and strength and recovery in Him.
In this world we face many challenges, sometimes the afflictions and challenges of life can get us down. Sometimes our affliction is depression. It is not through a lack of personal strength or lack of moral strength that people are stricken with depression. I believe it is just another malady of living in this broken world and within these broken bodies. Sometimes our brains are also affected by disease and sometimes chronic health struggles can open us up to depression.
If you are suffering from depression, for whatever reason, I would encourage you to get help, medical help, counselling, go to family members and friends who can help and encourage you, and as always, with every problem and challenge, go to the Lord and ask for His help, but whatever you do, do not suffer depression alone.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when we are in the dark valley of depression, take our hand and lead us back into the light. Amen.
About the Author
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. The Lord has led him through the valley of depression.