Depression is HELL! Literally, living with depression is painful and like living in a box contained by all your worst fears, horrors, anxieties all swirling around crying out for attention. Depression can squash a person's will to live - hope does not seem real. The most caring and dedicated people can be incapacitated and absolutely trapped in a prison of hellish depression and seeming so unable to change and "pull themselves out of it." Not all the time but sometimes depression seems so resistant to change. Depression itself breeds hopelessness.
Millions of people suffer from depression. Some describe depression like I did in the above paragraph. Some know when they are depressed. Some can accurately diagnose their own condition, it is either a good day or a bad day. Some are not so sure. Some have a feeling something is wrong but can put their finger on it.
The point is, the depression experience itself can mean different things to different people. I really don't think anyone knows exactly how any particular depressed person is feeling. No one knows for sure because there are so many descriptions of what depression is like to live with.
For the next few posts I want to move into practical application in dealing with mental health issues. Up to this point I've stated my belief that there is always a spiritual component in the complexity of mental health problems - always! Contrary to the conclusions of brain science research, psychiatric problems are not one hundred percent physical and related to chemicals only. Although there is a physical element involved, solutions to mental health problems should not be one hundred precent medication based (which only deal with the physical.) People with mental health issues can be renewed by faith in the midst of pain and trials.
So, in the treatment of psychiatric disorders both the spiritual and physical need to be dealt with. But what do I know? What do I have to say about treatments of psychiatric disorders...I am not a Doctor much less a professional!? What counsel could I possibly offer to anyone suffering from mental illness? What about you? What business do you have in helping that friend or co-worker who is depressed?
I do believe there is very practical help most caring people can provide others in dealing with mental health issues. The help comes in the form of listening and assisting the suffering while they describe their suffering and then helping them distinquish between heart issues from physical issues. Heart issues will be uncovered and so those can be tackled one by one, physical symptoms will be more clearly identified and thus easier to deal with.
I realize this is over simplification. Mental health issues are complex!!! But, if not reduced to just matter and physical causes only, there is much help a good friend can provide a suffering person - when the soul is brought back into the equation, friends can help friends, soul to soul.