I have suffered with bouts of serious depression since my early childhood, and so I am particularly aware of and interested in this issue. It is a pervasive problem in our society, and one that needs increased attention and education in order for positive change to occur.
Depression runs in my family. Evidence has shown that there is a strong biological link to clinical depression, and so, a number of years ago I turned to medication as a last resort to combatting the debilitating symptoms of depression (and anxiety).
I found great relief from finding the right medication (it can take awhile) and combined with psychotherapy, I have been able to get to a stable and healthy place in my life.
Another thing that has greatly helped me is maintaining an active faith life. Prayer and meditation have helped to combat pervasive feelings of hopelessness and despair, as well as attending church services and being involved in a church community of believers.
I have also been greatly enriched and healed by practicing the Sacraments of the Catholic faith, particularly Eucharist and Reconciliation. I’m not perfect (my husband can attest to this 🙂 so I “fall of the wagon” at times with regards to being consistent in my practices, but my faith will always remain important no matter how many times I may briefly fall away.
I came across this great book and podcast today featuring the author (psychiatrist and professor at UC Irvine ) speaking on this important issue. I really appreciate the multifaceted approach he takes and how he talks of the compassionate stance the Catholic Church takes regarding depression, suicide, and mental illness in general. I am looking forward to reading it and I highly recommend listening to the podcast!
A Closer Look – Apr 28, 2015