TITLE: Ruth's Story of her Battle with Depression and Anxiety
By Nicki Jeffery
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Ruth’s Story of her Battle with Depression and Anxiety
Ruth was a 30-year-old wife and mother of four when she first experienced depression. She had severe hyperventilation and was twisted up with anxiety. She couldn’t even dress herself. She was then highly drugged and felt like she was floating along. It was a frightening and fearful time.
Ruth asked herself, “Why am I like this?” “What has caused this?” Her GP referred her to a psychiatrist.
Working back through her childhood, she remembers the three Greek boys that used to work in her parents’ electrical engineering and dressmaking shop. Those boys and her brother molested and sexually abused her as a child. They grossly interfered with her very being. It was evil and wrong.
At the age of six or seven, Ruth tried to tell her mother what was happening. She said, “Don’t tell lies.” So Ruth kept the awful secret from everybody, even her husband. Ruth now advises, “Listen to your children. Believe what they tell you. It’s okay if your housework and ironing are never done properly.”
In Ruth’s sixty-odd years, she has had 23 crashes. She has been suicidal about 15 times. If there was stress within the family, her system wouldn’t cope. Physically, she would go floppy, with no strength in her muscles. She couldn’t walk around. She would have to go to bed and take medication. Emotionally, she would cry all the time. The crashes would happen every three or four months. She might spend 10 days in a private hospital. Or a week with her parents. She was unable to care for her family for three or four weeks at a time.
There were about six women in her interdenominational Bible Study group who would rally together to help her for two or three weeks each time. They would make meals, take the children for the weekend, do the washing, take ironing home and bring it back, do the housework, bring floral arrangements. They were like a brick wall behind Ruth.
Ruth’s tips for women suffering with depression:
• Admit you have depression
• Seek the best specialist in your area
• Don’t listen to anyone else
• Accept no stigma – people take pills for pneumonia and hepatitis too
• Don’t watch rubbish on TV [especially the news]
• Try to accept where you’re at but know you can get through it
• Don’t mix with others with mental health issues if they are trying to lean on you
• Find two or three faithful friends. Women who will pray for you on the phone, and have a cup of tea with you. Women need comfort and love
• Tell your children everything. If they ask, “Why can’t Mummy get up and get the tea?”, tell them, “Mummy’s mind is tired. I have to rest.” They will understand
• You need positivity around you
• Find a prayer partner
• Become part of a group – a Bible study
• Have a hobby – knitting, sewing, piano
• Play sport
Ruth’s tips for women feeling suicidal:
• Phone someone and talk. Phone Lifeline and tell them, “I want out!”
• See your GP the next day
• Take a shower, dress in nice clothes and apply make up
• Sing hymns
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.