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Re: Manda - a question

Posted by Manda on June 4, 2002, at 0:19:51

In reply to Manda - a question, posted by mair on June 3, 2002, at 7:47:12

My depression makes it so that I am apathetic, which means that my prayer life suffers especially. It also affects how I respond to situations, in that, I become overly pessimistic, but also rather self-centered. Both of these are contrary to the Christian faith- right now, I believe that God is in control, but when I am depressed, I think that only the most horrible things are going to happen to me and that God either doesn't care or can't help. For several years in high school, it caused me to doubt that God existed. Now, it just makes it so that I can't really focus on anything spiritual. Going to church, leading my group, etc. become almost mechanical because I am not able to connect on a deeper level. However, from past experience, I have determined that it is still vitally important for me to stay involved in the life of the church and to keep praying, even when I don't feel like it will do any good. On really good days, yes, my faith makes it easier to deal with my illness. However, I confess, most of the time it doesn't. When I can really think clearly, I realize that my illness is actually a blessing in that it allows me to truly understand other people's suffering. Since I am considering a vocation in pastoral counseling, it is really wonderful to be able to say that not only have I studied the symptoms of the various mental illnesses, but I am clinically depressed (possibly bipolar, and also suffering from GAD) and yet am able to struggle through well enough to help others. I have found, with the peer counseling that I have done within my group, that it is a great comfort to people to hear that I really do understand how they are feeling. I am not merely compassionate- I am struggling right along with them. Anyway, that's my long-winded response. :)




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