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I was listening to the radio station KLOVE today as I was driving and heard a Christian singer talk about a time in his life when he was de...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Stigma Still Exists

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where the stigma still exists for people with mental illness.  It's not as bad as it used to be as I look back when I started my journey, but we're not to the point of celebration yet either.  We need to use wisdom and discernment with who we tell our diagnoses and what medications we are taking.  I've had unfortunate incidents with this.  And they were painful.

Back around 2005 I had come down with something unexplainable.  All of my joints ached.  I couldn't get around very fast like I usually could.  I was slowing down until one morning I couldn't get anywhere--out of bed--without great difficulty.  I had never experienced it before.  What I didn't know I had at the time was ehrlichiosis from a tick bite.  I had never even heard of it.  My husband was in the Army Reserves at the time and was on his annual field training with his unit hundreds of miles away.  The only way he could be reached was through the Red Cross for emergencies.
I was in excruciating pain and knew I couldn't drive myself to the hospital.  And my mother who was working could not carry me out of the house.  So I had to call for an ambulance to come get me.   My mother came and took my daughter with her.  On the trip to the hospital in a rival hospital's ambulance (which I don't think would have made a difference) I heard the paramedics talking about me.  They treated my condition very casually.  I heard one tell the others that I probably just wanted a ride to the hospital.  I was so angry and couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I don't know whether they thought I was too out of it or they just didn't care that I heard them make such an insensitive remark.  I don't remember, but I'm pretty sure that they asked what medications I was on.  They usually ask that so they can tell the nurses/doctors when they arrive at the ER.

When I got to the ER the nurses and doctor came in as usual but it took a while for anyone to come see me.  By that time, my sister was there, as well.  I was in so much pain and laid for hours on a gurney in a dimly-lit room.  They ran blood tests (just not the right one, in my case).  The doctor came back to me and said he could find nothing wrong with me and said he was going to send me home.  I didn't know WHAT I had, but I knew it was serious enough that I needed to stay there.  He told my sister and mother that it was all in my head.  Wow, does he say that to everyone who feels terrible.  No, I doubt it.  But I was on psychotropic medications.  I can't help but feel sarcastic about it because I had come face to face with ignorance and insensitivity and from a doctor, at thatSo, I told the doctor since he didn't know what was wrong with me and the pain I was experiencing was SO great that I was going to stay in the hospital until they found out what it was. 
After being taken to my hospital room, I soon discovered the nurse assigned to me decided she was going to let me do my own urination measuring in one of the cups that sits in a toilet to measure how much a person urinates.  I had to tell her how much it was and wash it down myself.  Nurses are supposed to do this for you.  Now, I cannot tell you for sure that she acted this way because she knew what medications I was on or whether she was being lazy or maybe she didn't like her job.  I felt her looming doubt about why I was there whenever she came in to attend to me.  It was like that until the very end.

The doctors (resident doctors) were doing all this testing on me.  They even performed a spinal tap on me one evening to test my spinal fluid.  Nothing came back positive.  Until, the resident docs came in and told me the last test they ran was for ehrlichiosis and it came back positive.  Like I said earlier, I had never heard of it.  I knew about how dangerous it was to get Lyme Disease, but not this.  I also learned that this illness had worsened so much--that if it got much worse it could have caused death if untreated.  That's why I was in so much pain and could hardly move.  When I left the hospital, I felt vindicated that "it wasn't in my head."  What if I had gone home when the doctor said it was in head, gotten worse and almost died.  I wrote a long letter explaining all my experiences starting with the paramedics to the guest services rep for the hospital.

Mental illness stigma is very real and I had just experienced it.  Don't let it keep you from getting the care you need.  If you know something is not right with your body--keep fighting.  We are supposed to 'listen' to our bodies--be sensitive to and listen to our intuition if something doesn't feel right.  Don't ignore for fear no one will believe you or be treated as I did like a 'head case'.  I am not ignorant to the fact that there are mental health patients who are either NOT under a doctor's care or not on a regular basis as they should be.  And at times, these patients can act irrational.  And maybe that's the training health professionals get on how they treat mental health patients--for this very small percentage of people.  I really don't know.  And I know the way I was treated is NOT the same everywhere.  But there are too many mental health patients who don't seek healthcare out of shame, embarrassment, and harrassment.  Let's try to make their lives a little easier by giving them the benefit of the doubt as everyone should.  Stop the stigma--stand by your family members who suffer, friends or coworkers or yourself.  Stand in the gap.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Educate Yourself

When I found out that I was diagnosed with OCD and Clinical Depression--I just naturally wanted to learn more about everything--the diagnoses themselves, the medications possibly used to treat them, etc.  I was like a dog looking for a juicy bone.  At the time, I saved all the papers I received in counseling sessions about various topics.  I took notes when I was up to doing so.  That was how I got my first web site going, 'There Is OCD Hope'.  Much of the information came from those papers, along with my testimonies.

Education can empower yourself to know more about what's going on with your body.  I would think that like most patients of other illnesses or diseases, or at least their family members--would start researching.  In my mind it's part of the responsibility of mental health.  When you educate yourself about mental disorders--then you have a greater chance of knowing what questions to ask of your doctor/psychiatrist, understand more what is being said about what is going on with your body than just being told about it.

Many years ago, I learned about OCD after being diagnosed--that there are several different forms of OCD than can manifest itself.  The obsessive part is the mental component--the thinking problem in OCD; the compulsive is the behavior(s) associated with the mental.  Briefly, the various OCD symptoms are numbers obsession--counting; doing a behavior a certain number of times; then there is the germ phobia obsession to the point of a constant paranoia that you will contract some awful disease if you touch certain things.  This can also play a role in the cleaning obsession--you over-clean your house, for example.  You feel the need to wash your face several times to get it clean, for another example.  

One of the two symptoms I knew the least about was 1) scrupulosity-which is placing one's self into a rigorous strict, legalistic role about what God thinks of you, what He approves of to the highest and strictest works-based level of religion.  It's an endless barage of what is right and what is wrong in your mind.  I met people through my web site years ago that had this symptom.  They were miserable, constantly needing reassurance of their salvation.  As a Christian, I cannot imagine living with that, but it can be treated; 2) The last symptom to briefly touch on are the unsolicited thoughts to harm another, sometimes it's in a specific way.  For example, harming someone using a knife rather than perhaps using another weapon or method to harm someone.  This can be terrifying, to say the very least, to the person who is plagued by such thoughts--and a torture all its own.

These can all be treated by a combination of counseling (Christian, preferably) and medication is usually required to control the thoughts.  And CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a very helpful form of treatment for those with a compulsive obsession or numbers obsession to teach the patient tools to lessen the anxiety of the thoughts/behaviors.

I also learned about different medications and what SSRI's are:  Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors.  These are what a lot of the anti-depressants are categorized as for inhibiting the loss of serotonin in the brain so the patient does not lose their normal serotonin levels (the chemical imbalance) which leads to depression.  There are many psychotropic medications used for many different things.  So, if you are a mental disorder sufferer then get out there or get online to education yourself.  Now, the danger for some certain mental disorders and researching online is scaring yourself half to death for reading stuff you think you have.  There's a lot of scary stuff on the Internet that people use to self-diagnose themselves.  Do not get caught up in that.  And if you do research something in particular that brings on anxiety, then ask your psychiatrist instead.  He or she can help filter the stuff not relevant to you rather than weeding through too much anxiety-ridden details.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sticks And Stones....But Words CAN Hurt

You have probably said it a lot of times as a kid.  We all likely did--"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."  Well, you and I know that's not true.  Words can hurt---very painfully.  The Bible tells us, "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit."  Proverbs 15:4 NIV)The tongue is very powerful.  It can change lives--for good or bad.  It can completely change our course or trajectory in life.  God loves words.  He made a whole book of them--our life manual, the Bible.  There is a whole book in His Word about love and conveying it carefully with words by King Solomon in the Song of Songs or in some Bibles, Song of Solomon.  That book is truly a display of the love of words.

I thank God for doctors and health personnel.  God gave us doctors and medicine for a reason.  Doctors and other health personnel are trained to treat the body.  Sometimes it is good news and sometimes it's not.  What if you were told by a doctor you had cancer and it was going to change your life?  Chemotherapy can wreak havoc on a body.  You have to concentrate on getting well with less stress and much prayer.  I'm sure mentally, it can take its toll.  And what if the cancer came back?  Too difficult to imagine.  You might wonder if your body could go through that again.

But what if during your cancer treatment and fight for your life--you were told 3-6 months out that it's about time you get over your illness--something you have no control over.  You're not 'yourself' yet, but people around you think it's time you get over it and move on.  Would you even think of telling someone that?  No, I hope not--especially if you had gone through the same thing.  

God's compassion and love extends to everyone.  All people want to be loved.  Right where they are at.  No one wants to live in fear of telling fellow Christians they are struggling with depression and be rejected.  Just like cancer, a chemical imbalance is nothing anyone has control over.  It may return at any time and rear it's ugly head.  And if it does then we should come to their time of need as if it were any other kind of disease, as a friend and not run the other directionA fellow believer's acceptance of someone with depression is so important.  Many depression sufferers suffer in silence due to embarrassment, shame as if it's their fault, and fear of anyone knowing.  Let's meet everyone where they're at just like Jesus did as the perfect example of unconditional love.  God Bless!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Truth and Grieving

Years ago, after my initial meeting with my new-found Christian psychiatrist, he gave me a diagnosis of Clinical Depression and OCD.  I had never heard of OCD and he explained it to me.  The unsolicited thoughts I was having was an obsession I couldn't control.  There was a chemical imbalance in my brain.  There is a chemical imbalance in anyone's brain who has a mental disorder.  I was eager to learn all about my new diagnoses.  But that couldn't fully happen until I was discharged.  One of the most important doctor visits I had with Dr. G (not his real last name initial) was to have absolute assurance from this Christian man---who he was first; doctor was a second--that I was going to get better.  I asked him that and if I was going to be a functioning mother again.  I then asked him if he could write it on one of his prescription pad sheets so I could take it with me.  Feeling like he knew the plan and was a child of the Man (God) that I was in good hands--it rhymes sorta :-)  I looked at that prescription A LOT.  I taped it to the inside of a notebook and still have that piece of paper!  Relief flowed through me like a wave of emotion when I was told what I had--what the unsolicited thoughts meant and I wasn't going crazy.  I was in tears.  I was just relieved there was a name for it.  You see, this was not talked about at all then as it is now.  People know now what OCD entails for the most part.  The clinical depression is a chronic ongoing depression that needs medical supervision and counseling, usually with medication.

Hope followed relief.  I felt God giving me hope to hang on.  It was going to be a long road, painful at times, but He was going to be with me every step of the way.  "For he will stand for He is able to make him stand." (Romans 14:4).

I was not a patient person.  I am better today, but I don't have it mastered by any means.  So when I was discharged after about 2 weeks--had a relapse a week after that and had to re-enter the hospital--I felt defeated, weak, sadness, less hope, etc.  Having hope and believing it can come and go.  Since this scene was all completely foreign to me, I struggled.  I didn't know that relapses were common, even to be expected.  My 'recipe' of medications to help my chemical imbalance was not working in my favor yet.  Dr. G. needed to adjust them.

The next phase for me was grieving and mourning.  I started grieving the way I was and what I was going to have to live with the rest of my life, more than likely.  "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." (Romans 12:15).  This is a very real emotion when you know things are going to be different now.  I was going to have to make lifestyle changes.  Being overwhelmed was my downfall emotionally.  I learned I couldn't watch certain things on TV or they would trigger my depression or OCD.  I eventually found I couldn't work at all.  I went from full time to 75% to 50%.  None of it worked.  We needed the money to pay bills and live.  Another stressor and one I couldn't handle.  Thank the Lord my father stepped in and offered to help financially.  I had to completely quit working.  All my focus was on trying to get better and be healthy mentally.  I tried not to stay home by myself as much as possible.  My daughter was in daycare during 'school hours'.  I would go eat lunch by myself, have appointments with the doctor or my counselor, go to the movie.  A totally different life I was leading.  I was mourning my old self and my new self and new way of life.  But that's normal and a necessary process.  You can't stuff that kind of thing and not expect it to come bite you again.  It will bubble up and re-surface.

So give yourself grace.  Take the time to do what is healthy for you.  Whether you are new to clinical or long-term chronic depression--the best thing you can do for yourself is to focus on you.  As I discussed in another post--figure out your triggers and boundaries and follow them.  Ask for prayer on a continual basis, seek the help of friends and family for support, if this is an option.  Don't allow yourself to be alone too much.  Sometimes you can instinctually seclude yourself and close yourself off without noticing in the midst of it all.  But your friends and family will notice.  Let them help you.  Agree to get out for some fresh air--get around people or animals.  Pets are great stress-relievers.  I know cause we have 3 cats and 1 big yellow lab.  I love them so much!  They are life savers, as well.  Hang in there and stay involved in the world.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Reality Is Better Than Suffering

What do you think I mean by the word 'reality'?  When we have clinical depression and realize we can't handle it alone, this is the first reality check.  And it's a huge step for most sufferers of depression.  Because they know in order to reach out, they have to ask for help.  Doing that is difficult for everyone, including those who don't suffer with depression.  It's called pride, folks.  It can be a tough hurdle to jump over.  But I can guarantee you that you will be relieved when you get hooked up with the right doctor, Christian counselors, even your fellow Christians.  Don't wait to reach out because that only prolongs your suffering.

It was April 1999.  I reached out first to a close friend from work.  I mentioned what was going on.  She gave me a concerned look and told me I needed to call my doctor.  I remember when I first reached out to my husband, my mother and sister.  To tell them that something's not right, but not knowing what was wrong was very scary to me.  I was having, completely out of no where, unsolicited thoughts that scared me so much.  I couldn't control them by praying--falling prostrate on my bedroom floor and crying out to God--asking Him if I was going insane and to help me.  Nothing worked.  I had my baby in October of 1998, my precious daughter.  All of sudden I couldn't take care of her.  I felt like a failed mother because of this.  I know some of you are thinking, "I bet this was post-partum depression."  I knew it wasn't that.

My first stop after reaching out was being taken to a psychology clinic.  Then they referred me to Charter Hospital, a behavioral health hospital which was open at the time where I used to live.  They closed down about 1-2 years after I had gone there.  There was a whole 'check-in' process where I was asked what I was feeling--every bit of it.  I had to die to my pride in order to get the help I neededThat was more important--I had an urgency to know what was wrong with me.

After my check-in, I was escorted down to the lock-down area of the hospital where psychiatric patients, as well as patients with addictions were staying while there.  Before I was able to go to my room, my bags had to be checked for any dangerous objects.  I had to remove by shoelaces from my sneakers and give them to the lady who checked me into this part of the hospital.  I had to leave my razor with the front desk and only check it out when needed; then return it.  Everything was so foreign to me.  My husband was the only one who went with me to that part of the building.  All of a sudden I was being treated like someone who would harm themselves because I was suicidal.  Gasp!  Yes, I was suicidal--it happens to believers too.  Being suicidal as a believer HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT PERSON'S FAITH, OR HIDDEN SIN IN THEIR LIFE.  But then, why would I get suicidal?  Because in my mind, I would rather end my life than not be a good mother and not be able to take care of my daughter.  THESE ARE LIESAbsolutely nothing is worth ending your life over.  That is why HOPE is such a big part of my message.  God taught me that whenever I went through these episodes.  When I felt I had no one at all who understood--I was at rock-bottom--God was there with me.  All I had was hope in God and what he could do to help me get through it all.

How did God help me?  He sent a wonderful Christian doctor to me.  There were only 2 psychiatrists in that facility.  One was a Christian and the other was not.  I was assigned to the Christian doctor.  I was SO grateful.  I told him my fears through tears and what was going to happen to me, etc.  He was so kind and patient and understanding.  I explained what happened to me.  He didn't say a whole lot then.  He was trying to assess my situation.

The other thing God helped me with was putting Christian social workers in my path.  One of them eventually became my permanent counselor outside of the hospital setting.  She was such a blessing.  God blessed me so much with wonderful Christians who treated me with such love and understanding.  That was so important to me in getting better.  I continued to see the Christian psychiatrist after being released from Charter.  My after care was all set up for me with God working in and through these wonderful people.  Obviously, God did much more than those things, but I knew He was working to help me; not condemn me.

READERS:  If you ever have any questions about what you read on this blog or want to send a priviate message--please do not hesitate to contact me at: christianscopingwithdepression@gmail.com.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mental Health Responsibility

Certain kinds of stress in our life can cause anxiety within our mind and can translate into physical ailments.  Your mental health is just as important as your physical health--that is part of taking care of your body.  I believe that all of us have a responsibility to do that.  If you know you have a mental disorder and do not seek treatment ,nor take the medications prescribed to you--then you are not only putting yourself at a disservice but also those around you because those close to you are affected.  *Note:  Do not read what I just wrote and tell yourself, "I am a burden to others.  I need to leave this world so no one has to worry about me, take care of me, be a burden to them."  THESE ARE LIES!  And you and I know where lies comes from--the biggest liar of all, Satan.  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV), "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor 10:3-5 NIV).  It's easy for us to take someone's comments and turn them into negative thoughts.  I know, I have been there; done that :-)

Currently, I am going through a Bible study with a new group of friends since moving to a new town.  They are wonderful, by the way--thank you, Lord!  It is called The Daniel Plan written by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life.  If you haven't heard through the media, Rick and his wife lost their son in the recent past to suicide.  They were devastated, as you can imagine.  As a mother, I cannot imagine such pain.

The Daniel Plan focuses on 6 areas: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, Friends, and Living the Lifestyle.  You can read more about it through the link above.  I am overweight.  I have been overweight for some time and I know it's not good.  Some of my weight is caused by a medication for sleeping.  God has been leading me to take responsibility for what I eat and need to do for my body.  I want to be around when I have grandchildren in the distant future.  I want to feel better physically.  Then, a friend mentioned she was wanting to go through the plan--so I joined up!  With this plan, losing weight is more of a by-product because as you learn to eat clean and better, your weight will come off.  It is such a different approach to all the 'diet plans' out there.

To summarize what I said at the beginning--we have a responsibility to take care of our whole body--physically and mentally.  For the first time in my life, I have learned how to eat better and actually put it into practice.  I waited 48 years to do it.  Don't stop taking your meds if you have been prescribed them.  If you are having problems with side affects or whatever, contact the prescribing doctor ASAP.  The tendency of some mental health patients is when they start taking the medicine prescribed, they start to feel better BECAUSE OF THE MEDICATION WORKING, usually--then stop them because they may think, "I'm feeling better so I don't need those meds."  Think about that--you are feeling better because you are taking the medication.  DON'T STOP TAKING YOUR MEDS.  Obviously, if you have a bad reaction, call your doctor ASAP.  You may even need to visit the ER to get it straightened out.  One of the biggest reasons people came to the psychiatric ward at the hospital where I would have to occasionally go was because they needed a medication adjustment.  But, they needed to be monitored while it got straightened out.

Work toward ALL of you being healthy.  My advice, based on personal experience has been:  taking psychotropic medication WITH Christian counseling is the best recipe for a healthier you.  More on this later.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

All-Or-Nothing Thinking

During my years of coping with depression many tools were added to my 'toolbox' for handling situations mentally that caused my thoughts to travel down a dark path.  I was and am blessed with Christian counselors and doctors who gave those to me.  One of the biggest things I learned was to not revert (during your depression) to the "all-or-nothing" way of thinking.  This type of thinking is when you tell yourself something has to be all one way or to the other extreme another way--meaning no gray areas.  For example, maybe you woke up this morning and stubbed your toe going to the bathroom.  Then you burned your finger trying to get a cup of coffee before heading out the door.  Next, you almost hit a cat in the road on your way to work.  And you might think to yourself, "Everything wrong is happening today.  My whole day is going to be horrible."  Just because some mishaps occured before you started your day is NOT a prediction your whole day is going to be awful.  Many of us revert to that type of thinking automatically, "What else is going to go wrong today."  We can CHOOSE to not think that way.  I trained myself NOT to heap every 'wrong' thing that happens in a day into one big negative that is going to follow me around all day like a dark cloud.  Try it.  It can be done.  Then you will learn to look at situations differently.

You can also take this same attitude with bigger issues in your life.  What if you have an addiction (yes, believers have those too) that you are working on and one day have a setback.  Will you allow yourself to believe that the setback has ruined everything and you will never get past your addiction?  A lot can be turned around in our thought patterns to something positive if we are consciously aware of what we tell ourselves.  It is called self-talk.  Yes, you may think it is psychological babble, but it is true and it works--to the negative or the positive.  You can choose. 

Share your issues with a believer in Christ you can trust.  Ask that person to pray for you regarding your issue(s)---he or she will be rooting for you like a cheerleader to keep pressing on toward the prize.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Christ, The Solid Rock

Whenever I would visit my grandparents, they always had a picture hanging in the guest bedroom of Jesus standing on a rock with a cross during a horrible storm--and people were trying to climb up the rock to be saved during the storm.  The picture scared me at the time because I did not understand its significance.  All I saw were people who looked terrified and trying to survive this terrible storm.

Well, when we are going through depression, it can feel like a horrible storm and like we are sinking.  It is a tough mindset to be in.  But our hope comes from the Lord--through Jesus.  He was and is the world's hope.  And hope can mean the world to us when we feel we are at the bottom of the barrel looking up, trying to look up.  For me, in the depths of my despair, I clung to hope and what it meant--the Bible talks a lot about hope.  It is a key ingredient to peace and trusting He is there in all times, all trials and tribulations.  For me, it meant hanging on-even though I may not be able to see around the corner--those wings are always there to life me up; to strengthen me.  

That hope is there for you---waiting for you to grab hold of it.  So, you grab it and do not let go.  There will always be hope in Christ Jesus.  If you trust your soul with him, then would you not trust everything else with him--you emotions, feelings, thoughts, depression?  You are never alone.  Though you sleep; he never sleeps.  He is waiting to grab your hand.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Don't Be Overcome By Fear

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." (1 John 4:18).  

Read that verse again slowly.  Let's take a closer look at fear.  Perfect love=God.  We know this to be true, right?  So, on our behalf, God can cast our fears from us.  Do you think we keep ourselves captive by fears and therefore, in a sense we are punishing ourselves?  God wants so much for us because He loves us dearly.  And part of what he wants for us is to be set free from fear.....of anything.  Yes, I mean anything---the worst fears you have.  He wants to take those shackles off.  Are you keeping yourself in fear with the depression you have?  All you have to do is ask our Wonderful Counselor for help in doing that.  He is waiting.  Take those next steps in your walk with Jesus---be bold and brave or ask Jesus to be brave for you.  Humble yourself and let that pride fall off and ask your heavenly father to take those fears from you.  It may not happen right away, or then again it might--God knows.  You will feel SO much freedom---freedom in Christ to continue to walk with a growing faith because you have passed that hurdle.  It will be joyous!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

It's Okay To Not Be Okay

We all have those tough times--whether it is physically or mentally.  And sometimes, mentally we are "having a hard time."  This is what I would say to my husband whenever I sensed my depression starting to take over my brain.  They were code words for, "I-am-depressed-and-feel-myself-sinking."  And then he would sometimes ask me, "Do you need to go to the hospital?"  I said "Yes."  There were 6 times in my life where I said, "Yes" to that question.  And it was the worst feeling.  Have you been there?  Can you relate?  It's okay to NOT be okay.  I will say it again, "It's okay to not be okay."  You have permission to have depression as a Christian, a born-again Christian, who is human like everyone else and copes with many things physically and mentally like anyone does.

Join me on this personal journey to KNOW and ACCEPT that yes, Christians get clinical depression and it is NOT because they do not have enough faith and need to, "just pull yourself up by your bootstraps!".  Those are LIES.

My journey through depression has been almost a life-time long one.  You can have hope through God who is always there for you and "will never leave you, nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)  You can always count on Him and His Word. 

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."--Romans 8:1