Sierra's View: A Post That Everyone Needs to Read.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Post That Everyone Needs to Read.

Depression Podcast: Conditions and Complexity
Depression Podcast: Causes and Cures

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I have wrestled with Depression since as long as I can remember, as many of you know (more on this here). I do not let this define me or change who I am. It is not all of me. Yes, depression is a part of me, but I do not define my self worth or personality by this struggle. This is such a prominent problem in our world nowadays, and yet, through all of the things that people have heard of about this, they don't really UNDERSTAND. Depression is difficult because it is so incredibly hard to understand unless you struggle with this disorder, but I wanted to share some very insightful quotes to help you "get it" a little more. (Listening is much better FYI--they are quite long, so take some time to sit down and listen--I listened to this at the gym! Ironic, eh? Haha!).
I love how realistic Sammy Rhodes, motivational speaker, is in this podcast. He is a motivational speaker. And he's funny. I love how he just tells it how it is. His honesty, humor and realism about this makes it so relatable and so incredibly true. Enjoy.

Below are helpful quotes from the podcasts that resonated with me (and will be incredibly helpful for you all to read just to understand what it feels like to deal with this):

(Note: "You" and "they" and "we" refers to people who struggle with depression, not you as the reader)

{Podcast 1}: Conditions and Complexity 

What Depression Feels Like: 

(quotes from people)
+"It felt as if he were being violently ripped out."
+ "One thing I have learned between addiction and depression: depression a lot worse. Depression isn't something you can get rid of. You can't get clean from it. It is like a bruise that never goes away. 
+There are people who love God and feel depressed. You do not need to be ashamed for feeling depressed. Jesus felt depression in the Garden of Gethsemane."
+One thing that people with depression struggle with: Am I depressed because I am not doing certain things? Or am I depressed because I am doing certain things?
+Part of the struggle with Depression is this: You have to get your mind right. But how do you get your mind right…if your mind isn't right? Ha. 
+Causeless depression cannot be reasoned with. 

What Depression Affects: 
+Depression affects our feeling, our thinking, and our doing. It affects everything. 

+Feelings: It brings about an innumerable amount of overwhelming feelings. 
*Sadness: an overwhelming feeling of just feeling sad. 
-I remember thinking: What is wrong with me?
-I was incredibly sad for no reason, and yet, I was so drawn to sad things. 
-It can be moments of explosive anger but it's more of a "crockpot anger". It simmers…always underneath the floorboards of your life…
- This can be shown like this: You easily feel resentment and are irritable over dumb things.
-You long to be fully known and fully loved, and yet you are incredibly skeptical that that can be true of you. That anyone can ever really know you, or really love you, and that includes God.
-You feel unloved and unlovable. Nothing can pierce that. We long for something to pierce through it, though. So what we do, we look for things that make us worthy; that make us stand apart. Longing for something to make us feel okay about ourselves.
-One of the ways you fight worthlessness is to know that you are worth it to God. That your worth comes from HIM and not what sets you apart from your fears.
*Panic: panic that you will not ever get better.
-You feel paralyzed. You don't know how to not feel anxious. 
-You are constantly overestimating the threat and underestimating your capacity to deal with it. 
-We grow so weary of being a burden, that leaving this earth seems like the only thing to do. 
-People feel as though they are living a "living death" so death does not even change their outlook; heaven just seems like an easier road.
-Depression is something that is so much bigger than just a spiritual sphere; it is a very painful condition that we experience as broken human beings in a broken world. So please, do not belittle this illness. 

*Thinking in Extremes:
-You think in extremes. You are either a complete success or utter feeler.
-They are complete perfectionists. They are "should"ing all over themselves. You think you "should" do this, you "should" do that--constantly letting yourself down if you don't do those things.
-You have got to learn how to laugh at yourself if you have this condition.
-When someone tries to encourage you, you have a shield that just blocks it right away (depression's odd filter)  For example: When someone says "I love you", you hear a voice in your brain says, "i'm worthless. You only have to say that because you have to." Somehow all words of blessing get turned backwards from their mouths to your brain. 
-A thousand praises, but one criticism completely undoes you. 
*Mind Reading and Fortune Telling: You think you know how people are thinking, you think you know what God knows. You make things up in your brain about what other people are saying or thinking… 

+Doing: simple things are hard: 
-Things like going to sleep, getting up in the morning, getting a little exercise. 
-You do unreasonable things. You tell yourself you will be in your bed at 10 and then if you get in at 10:05, you automatically think you fail. 
-You find it hard to keep in touch with people, to return a text or call. You withdraw.
-Po need safe people who invite us into things. Someone who gets their own brokenness, but gets that Jesus loves them. When you get that, people with depression will open up. 

+Depression is a disease that needs to be fixed. It is an illness that can be helped. Not solved but helped. 
+The brains of depression patients have different functions. These chemicals are depleted in their brains. We don't know near as much about the brain as we do about other parts of our bodies.
 +As christians, you always hear that if you're not doing what you should be doing, than you will feel this depression, which is incredibly infuriating to those who struggle with a biological depression. That is not always the case; there are times when you have done nothing wrong, you just feel it.
+Avoid dogmatism and seek humility.
+A Multifaceted problem demands a multi faceted solution: Counseling/therapy, medicine, AND spiritual guidance are all needed to get better. ALL THREE. 
+Medicine helps me lift my head above the clouds so I can see things more clearly. There is nothing wrong with medicine. It's not a magic bullet, and it's not gonna solve all of our problems, but it will help. 
+Let's take away the stigmatism of counseling!!! 
+we became christians because we admitted we were messed up! 
+I think everyone should be in counseling. 1) You are broken. And even if you don't know what your brokenness is, go to counseling and figure out what that is! 2) You need to learn to talk about your brokenness. 3) Counseling can give you tools to deal. 
+Never let people with depression feeling ashamed for feeling the way that they do. Listen, listen listen (way more than you speak!) 

Question: How do you deal with finding "comfort" in depression?
-I admire people who are very honest about their struggle with wrestling with this. The Lord uses those of us to deal with depression to help others. It's comforting to remember that people who struggle with depression are sometimes the most thoughtful, sensitive and caring people. There is something so powerful about sitting down and saying, "Listen, I am broken. I need Jesus."

{Podcast 2}: Causes and Cures
+Pretty much, all of us will wrestle with depression and anxiety due to something that has happened in our lives, that is more situational. Situational is more reactive.
+But others of us are naturally more pre-disposed to it, which is more clinical. This tends to be more native and indigenous.

Possible Causes of Depression: 

Possible Cause: Stress.  

Possible Cause: Faulty Thinking 
+Faulty thinking that could happen to people with depression:
"To be happy, I must be liked by all people."
"If i make a mistake, it means I am worthless."
"If someone disagrees with me, than I am not liked."
"My value depends on what others think of me."

Possible Cause: Sin.
 Areas of direct disobedience. Your heart is not drawn to the Lord.

Possible Cause: Genetics/ Predisposition
+If my body can fail me, if I have diabetes, etc. can fail me…why can't depression fail me? Could it be that something might not be working right in your brain, just like something in your stomach can not be working? There could very well be faulty "wiring.

Possible Cause: God's Will
+We get depressed because it is God's Will for Us. How can we say that it is God's Will for us to suffer? Why don't we change "why me?" to "Why NOT me? Why not this? Why not now?"
+If my life becomes a source of hope to others, why not me? 
+Because of this struggle, you will display faith to a faithless world, hope to a hopeless world. You were given this trial for those reasons.

+Medicine is not the only cure, but it is a crucial part in the cure. What do you have to lose by trying it?
+Medicine does not work sometimes because people use it as the ONLY thing to help them. It is supposed to be one of the steps, not the only step. .
+It can be a helpful tool to explore.

+Get up at the same time, go to bed at the same time. Going to bed at a good hour every night is huge.
+Read a chapter in your book/scriptures before you go to bed.
+one of the hardest parts of depression is that I only do what I feel like doing, and I don't do what I don't feel like doing. Which is a recipe for a disaster. 
+Routine is important BUT DO NOT BE A PERFECTIONIST ABOUT IT. Allow yourself some leniency sometimes. 

+Watch an episode of a show with your roommate that makes you laugh.
+You need to be in touch with your body. Let your body relax. 
+Laughter helps fight darkness. It unfreezes pride and unwinds secrecy; it makes men forget themselves and focus on something greater than themselves. 
+The Lord gives us humor in the means of hope. Do you think we are gonna laugh with Jesus? Yes! I think so. Sometimes one of the most spiritual things you can do is laugh.
+Go outside, be active, play sports, exercise. But, again, don't be a perfectionist.
+Know what kind of rest you need. There is a difference between resting and numbing.  

-It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. It is seeing His heart.
-With all of these struggles with depression, I have not loved Jesus so well. But He has loved me so well. Time after time. In the deepest darkness secrets. I have nothing else for you except for Jesus. But that's really all you need. He is with you and is loving in incredible ways. 

+You need to be patient with people who are on the outside of your illness but still love you. Be as open and honest of what you need and want from them. Your friends will fail you. The only person who won't ever fail you is Jesus, so always remember that. But be willing to talk and communicate. You are free to say, I don't want advice, that you just want to talk.
+In my marriage, a way that can help me deal is that we joke about me being dramatic. We remember that our marriage is about holiness. We do counseling. We communicate. We talk about it, etc.
+don't find your identity in your depression. Learn to live with well with it.

Please, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or just want to know more…feel free to comment, email, tweet me, meet in person or call. I am more than happy to discuss this with anyone, especially my personal experience. I am not afraid to be open with you. 
I want to do a post on answering questions regarding depression so please, ask anything! Don't be afraid! 


  1. This is definitely something that needs to be discussed more. Thanks for highlighting these truths as well as ways to recover. It's something everyone needs to know and understand! Great post!

  2. Sierra, I actually had no idea you struggled with depression. It's super vulnerable of you to do and I love that it's completely real. I love that you don't let it define you too, because it seems like so many individuals nowadays look at themselves as merely the definition of depressed. Thanks for sharing these posts. Love you, girl!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. It's wonderful and helps those who aren't sure what to do for those who struggle. Depression advocate myself!

  4. Your husband posted this on Facebook and I love blogs so I had to check it out. This is not what I expected but I absolutely loved it. Thank you for being so honest about a subject that most people shy away from! An amazing post!


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