Depression is more disabling than most chronic illnesses. There are many effective treatments available today, however, most remain untreated due to a lack of awareness and not accepting it as a legitimate illness.
The suffering often continues for a long time, causing great mental, emotional and physical anguish.
Even if the person acknowledges their condition and seeks help they often suffer the stigma of an uninformed public and then get treated very unfairly. They then, not only suffer with the illness but also with the, ď Pull yourself togetherĒ, brigade. This kind of attitude is not only naive, but also very damaging to the depressed person.
Depression is very common. Six to ten percent of the population will suffer a mood disorder at some time in their life.
Sufferers are afraid to report their symptoms due to the negative consequences which may come as a result of their diagnosis. This stigma is one of the main reasons they donít seek help.
We need to re-educate the public and create an awareness of these conditions, so that this stigma no longer causes an obstacle to sufferers.
We also need to be aware that for most sufferers this is a life threatening illness, due to suicide. Many find that death is their only escape from their torment.
One million people commit suicide each year worldwide, thatís one death every forty seconds.
Ninety percent of those suicides were suffering from a treatable mental illness.
I hope you can see just how serious mental illness is. We as Christians need to take this very seriously.I know God does.
In my experience of depression I noticed that even some Christians need to be re-educated, as I suffered negative responses from many Christians. Some were, I accept only trying to offer help, however because of their lack of understanding and awareness they only made things worse. This is why re-education is so important.
Perhaps then, sufferers can be better understood and offered the help and support they need.
Thank you for writing this. You are quite right. Depression is an illness we Christians have to take serious because our churches are full with depressed people. And depression is serious and gets worse if not treated quickly and properly. But ... wisdom and understanding need come in here and the person suffering needs to be helped to realize the condition he is in. In today's church life peoople too quickly diagnose each other, forgetting that each one of us only has very little wisdom to offer and that some things are just not quite the way they seem.
But what to do if it becomes clear to a bigger group of people that s.o. is locked in his own "thought circle" and can't escape from it and is getting deeper and deeper into a locked thinking pattern? Do you have anything to contribute to that? That would be very much appreciated.
Your article is an eye-opener to many people, Christians or non-believers. Cancer or diabetes may elicit a more sympathetic response, but depression gives the idea of a person with a bad attitude or one in a bad mood. I hope your entry provides others with a better understanding of how serious this problem is, so they will take the time and patience to help those around them who need their understanding.