I have been feeling a little down these past couple of months without any tangible reason for my blues.
I am appalled that it has taken me this long to actually realize depression is an illness. The same way cancer or malaria or the flu is an illness., I always categorized depression as something that happened to certain people or was by choice.
Of course until it happened to me. Sure I have dealt with dark emotions before, a lot of which I pulled from to write Still.
However I had never truly grasped and accepted depression as an illness. See in our society both here and in Nigeria, mental illness is scoffed at, swept under the rug. There is visceral response of sympathy and empathy for any illness....that is apart from mental illness.
I am guilty of this.
I remember when one of my guy friends told me a girl we both knew was seeing a therapist. "Well I ain't surprised. She cra cra." I said inwardly.
I have heard pastors say that if you are truly living a Christian life that you won't be depressed nor will you need a therapist/counsellor / life coach. Well, I agree with that in some foundational level.
My understanding of Gods word has led me to believe that being in the continual presence of God is the only source of true Joy. The joy of The Lord is truly your strength. Before I go into full past pastoress Eniola mode let me go back to my original point.
Saying going to a therapist due to depression is a sign of weakness is like saying going to an oncologist for chemo for cancer is a sign of weakness.
It's the same thing.
We have all ignored the true costs of mental illness and the toll it takes on everyone involved if resources /treatment are not available.
mental illness is the window that the devil uses to inhabit a heart then the next Virginia tech shooting happens or elementary school shooting happens.
I have realized that depression is one of the hardest illnesses to treat. I am one that believes in science and believes in common sense. "My African brothers and sisters not every ailment is from your enemy in the village."
However I also know that " for the weapons of our warfare are not Carnal but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds.
Depression is one the most perfect examples of illness being a spiritual battle. I don't believe taking an SSRI for however long will cure you. Yes you may feel better but it's symptomatic treatment. Like treating the fever or headache or runny nose you get from a virus but not treating the virus itself.
When your girl realized that my emotions were not normal. I took control spritually and kibashed the spirit away.
I will admit I still struggle but I am better than before.
I pray for the grace to treat people who are struggling with mental illness with the love of God cos I gotta admit it can't be my love. Mental illness is not a joke. I did a rotation in St. Elizabeth the mental hospital/ prison where John Hinckley (the man who shot president Reagan is) and I is knows.
My hope is knowing that by his stripes we are healed .....including mental illness.