A Solution to Depression


#1

Depression is that cross which most people bear, at some point in life, sometimes most of their lives. It is a terrible sorrow that makes everything seem pointless, futile, obnoxious, and dark. But the solution to depression is exaltation in God’s Mercy.

Think of His Mercy and exalt in it. He has given you many good things, from a home to family to body and soul to atoms to food to clothing to day and night to eternal life to resurrection to the Holy Mysteries. All this good He has given you out of love and mercy. When He was thinking of you, He was thinking of saving you and of sanctifying you. While He was creating the wheat that would become your bread, He was thinking of you. While He was instituting Confession, He was thinking of all the graces He would give you and all the sins that would be consumed in His Love and Mercy like twigs thrown into a furnance. When He rose from the dead, He was thinking of you on the last day with your risen body joined to your soul. Though no one is worthy of any good things, God has given us every good things, out of love and mercy. So rejoice in His Mercy and exalt it. This is true joy!

God is Mercy and Love Itself. Exalt in Him for what He is!


#2

God’s Mercy is as a furnace, a furnace so large and wide you cannot measure it, and the self-sufficent fire burning within it is so hot that if a single spark fell on a block of ice the size of a mountain, the ice would instantly boil. The fire within is so hot that anything thrown into it is immediately consumed. So even if you threw into this furnace twelve million twigs each day, it would not extinguish the fire. Even if you threw into this furnace fourteen billion logs each second, it would not extinguish the fire. Even if you threw into this furnace every real and probable twig and log for eternity, even still, the furnace would consume it all and not be extinguished. But what is more, the fire is not only self-sufficent but everlasting. It constantly burns. Even if you waited seven times your lifetime, you would find it still burning. God’s Mercy is infinite, self-sufficent, eternal, and so powerful that no sin, venial or mortal, can extinguish it. So even if you sinned mortally a thousand times each day, and went to Confession to throw your sins into His Mercy at the end of each day, you would not be denied nor disappointed; all your sins would be annihiled as if they had never even existed, so that the baptismal gown you sullied, black as sin, would instantly turn white as snow, brand new, as if you had never even sinned in your life. Even if you waited until your death to throw your sins into the Sacred Heart of Jesus, even with such a greater number of offenses, they would not put out the fire of His Love and Mercy. And what is more, His Mercy is always burning for you, He is always ready to forgive you. He is always knocking on the door on your heart, always asking you to come to Him, always giving you the graces of conversion and repentance. Even if you waited half of a lifetime, and than answered His call, you would not find Him angry or impatient or sad or disappointed, but rather, you would find Him joyful, cheerful, and ready to forgive you as if He had not even waited a second for you to answer the door (so to speak). Just as He is eager to give you Mercy on the first knock, so He is just as eager to give you Mercy on the thousandth knock, the millionth knock, the trillionth knock, and every knock after that.


#3

But forgiveness, while the glory of His Mercy, is but the tip of the iceberg of God. For not only dose He forgive you but He gives you gifts which help you to offend Him no more and live a better life. It is as with a king who forgives a peasant, than gives him a precious and useful present out of the goodness of his heart. And not only that, but He has given you many graces even before you were born and even before you knew Him. For all good things are His gifts to you. And what is more, like a true lover, all He asks in return for such compassion and love is your love of Him. Think of a man who gives his wife a pearl necklace, which cost him his life’s fortune. The wife knows he asks only for love in return. Yet the gifts of His Mercy, which cost Him His very life, are greater than a necklace, and yet still He only asks for a return of love. But there is still more! God lets you bother Him at every moment. You can knock on the Door of His Heart a thousand or even ten thousand times, and still, He will happily and eagerly answer you as if your thousandth knock was just your first. And each time you turn to Him in prayer, in conversion, and in need of aid, you glorify Him. Each time you pray to Him, you exalt Him. Each time you turn from sin, you exalt Him. Each time you seek His help, you exalt Him. So there is no reason to tremble with fear before God, as if He will deny you your request or strike you dead for offending Him or not bother to give you graces, for He is glorified by your turn to Him and will in turn glorify you with His Mercy and Grace. And there is much, much more to His Infinite Mercy, but I cannot write it all down, for I am an ignornant man. Suffice it to say, the Lord is Mercy!


#4

You are right… Today I was so depressed due to the problems and lack of works. But when I read it, I feel better.

But it is really to hard to praise God on this time and remember his gifts…


#5

With man, it is impossible. With God, all things are possible. Rely on Him. :wink:


#6

There seem to be three kinds of depression. (They do fade into one another.)

  1. The passing mood frequently called “the blues”.

  2. Reactive depression. This happens during difficulties, such as loss of a job or bereavement.

  3. Clinical depression.

This last is a PHYSICAL disease. It’s a chemical imbalance, and not a moral defect. It even affects physical functioning.

In fact, it does have such a basis. Nerve impulses simply have a harder time getting through the gap (synapse) between the end of nerve to the beginning of another. No wonder clinical depression can bring physical pain with it! Brain scans have even shown that the pain centers of the brain get stimulated during it!

Only a physician or therapist can diagnose clinical depression, and the best medicine or medicines for it.

If you (as I) suffer from it, then humble yourself, quit trying to play macho Christian, take your medicine, and thank God for His provision for you.


#7

With all due respect, I suffer from clinical depression also, and in such prolonged dark moods, God seems like a figment of the imaginations of sanctimonious do-gooders, which I am surely not if I continue in this way. Much of the time, he does not exist for the depressive, so exalting in his mercy, forgiveness, and the gifts he has given is an impossibility. He is a torrent of well-meant, but utterly meaningless and altogether empty, irritating words.


#8

Clinical depression here, too. Medication has been the only help I’ve found (and I’ve tried a lot of different things/therepies). Being grateful, etc isn’t a possibility for me without it. Even tho’ I tell my mind things He has done - I might as well be saying a prayer in vain repetition! Although the perfect medicines haven’t been discovered yet, imperfect medicines let me be the nice, happy person I was as a little child.


#9

When we started to pray & praise God in hard time, something form our heart will also start to pray. I have many such experience… mostly the prayers or repeats the Bible words or sometimes some Christian Songs… and this last for some minutes.

Have you ever heard such prayers from your heart ?


#10

While I do not suffer from depression, I suffer from an anxiety disorder. Just as with depression, anxiety can make life very difficult. I like to liken my extreme bouts of anxiety to sharing Christ’s Agony in the Garden.

My faith is important to me, however sometimes it can make my anxiety worse. I can be extremely scrupulous, spending such great amounts of time in prayer during the day that it interferes with my responsibilities and social life, self-critical, and extremely legalistic in how I look at my actions and their potential sinfulness. Sometimes such anxiety pushes me away from my faith. It has gotten to the point where I avoid the confessional because of the anxiety it provokes within me.

I recently started medication after some prodding from my counselor and doctor. Has it freed me of my problems? No! However, it makes life much easier to deal with on a day to day basis. I still have anxiety, but it is at a MUCH lower level. In my situation, prayer did not aid my condition, but made it worse. My true help came from counseling and medication. Thanks be to God, the medication and counseling have helped me and now I am able to balance my religious/spiritual needs and my anxiety disorder in such a way that my anxiety is not destructive towards my faith.


#11

My sentiments exactly when I was depressed.

Still, I always kept praying, and it’s in the past now.
Persevere. Help someone else worse off.


#12

Exactly how I feel. I’m getting to the point where I go to Mass on Sundays and holy days (which our Arch Bishop typically has us celebrate on Sundays so we don’t have to go to church an extra day), If I’m required to fast at a certain time I do that, but that’s about it. I’ve been praying for direction and healing since I was a teen and nothing really has changed. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with my life and it’s getting to the point where praying just reminds me of leaving voicemails for a friend who never calls back or answers. Eventually, you just stop leaving voicemails and you wait for that person to make a move. That’s kind of where I’m at.


#13

I think the biggest problem for me, after thinking about it more (that’s about all I do is think), is that I have no passion. I have no zest or passion for life. I just go through each day thinking, “whatever”. I have nothing to look forward to in this life so each day seems completely and utterly pointless.


#14

This is how I feel about 9 times out of 10, too. I have no job prospects, no degree, still live with my folks (and I’m in my mid twenties), don’t make enough on disability benefits to afford an apartment, blah blah blah. So why should I even try looking forward to the next day? I’ve prayed for years and nothing has significantly changed, so what am I really doing here?


#15

I intellectually know what I have to do, (in the way of searching the newspaper for job and apartment listings, etc.), but it’s too overwhelming on an emotional level. Crying out to God hasn’t helped, going to Mass faithfully and praying there does nothing, I’d feel like an idiot on a college campus with all those young kids, so-on and so-forth. I’m so mired in the minutii of my own frustrations and fears right now that concepts such as the mercy of God are pretty foreign, and incomprehensible.


#16

I read that Saint Therese always smiled, and the worse things got, the more she smiled.

I have tried this. I might look a bit crazy, but when I feel down, and I force myself to smile, I start to feel better. The bigger the smile, the more it works! Then I start forcing myself to sing to God in my mind, songs of praise and thanks. It is amazing, but after a while I start to feel better, and I notice as long as I keep smiling, it becomes hard to be sad.

:smiley:


#17

Such an articulate expression of what it’s like for me every day. Depression is definitely my major roadblock to ever joining RCIA, I’ve come to realize. There’s a part of me that so greatly desires to be a part of the life of the church, to go to mass, to finally receive the eucharist, make connections to new people and actually feel like there is something worth living for and to be passionate about. And yet, my mind continues to insist that there is no God, no communion of saints and no nothing out in the universe that cares about anything. I cry out to heaven, begging even the faintest possibility of a God to make me believe.

Sometimes it works - but it always fades in a few days. I go back to the darkness in my mind where there is not much to live for and nobody to believe in. It is a very painful and dark existence. What keeps me here is the fear of whatever is beyond death and that I would really hurt some people in my life if I died. So I stay here, trapped and faithless, living out every day as a “whatever”.

I’ve taken meds before, and they made me feel like a robot. I was physically unable to cry for a year. And then they stopped being effective, so I stopped taking them.

I learned to love the rosary, because it was repetitive and comforting, and even some other prayers - but some days, I feel like it’s meaningless. I tend to use the rosary so that I feel like I’m doing something useful for myself and for someone else simultaneously. It’s the one thing I can do to take me out of myself.

Sometimes it’s very hard to understand how God gives grace to everyone when you can’t even hear his voice over your own hurting mind. :frowning:


#18

I’ve taken to listening to the Rosary on either EWTN, or Radio Maria whenever I can remember to tune in and catch it. I’m very, very new to all of this, though, so haven’t even memorized the order of all its prayers yet, though I know all but the last bit by heart: “Save us from the fires of hell, etc.” I know all the individual prayers, but don’t remember which mysteries are which, for instance.

I took medication for nearly 2 years, and felt no change at all, except that I slept constantly and had almost no appetite.

The only thing which sometimes brings me back to believing there is a God, aside from the words of many old hymns, are the poems of St. John of the Cross.

I cannot cry, except when reminded by frustrated family members and acquaintances that I am failing at everything (most of all a full life) by not being able to “put myself out there, take the bull by the horns, toughen up and face the world.” In such moments, God seems farthest away. Why did he make me as sensitive to criticism and so impervious to humility, and all the rest of it? Why am I such a coward? Why can I not simply take the logical route, talk to whomever I must to find a job, fill out the paperwork for going back to school, so-on and so-forth? Why does all of this reduce me to a whining mess who wants nothing but to crawl into bed and sleep the pain away for as long as possible?


#19

Would it help any to say that God has allowed a cross like this to be sent to you because Christ Himself considers you stronger than most others here who would simply fall completely apart given this cross. It occurs to me that the cross of mental illness or depression or anxiety disorder which many suffer from is a double-cross, in that there is the physical and mental anguish in itself, and then there is that stupid social stigma attached to diseases of the mind among some to this age (though it’s changing), so that, literally, unless a person has been through it, that person will minimize its pain to the sufferer and have no idea the depths it can plunge a person to. They have actually done long-term medical studies where one of the 7 big factors in determining a person’s longetivity on this earth was whether the beast depression itself was present or inherited.

St. Paul himself said famously after asking the Lord to be cured three times and receiving no answer or help from God on his sickness in perhaps one of the most poignant statements ever written by Paul that he now understood that “for when I am weak, I am strong”: that is Christ’s Power shows more in Paul’s suffering. The late Malcolm Muggeridge who brought more people to Christianity and Catholicism than any other contemporary figure in England possibly, in his writings on Paul, was convinced that Paul suffered from massive, full-blown depression when he asked God for help.

I have always interpreted that part of the Beatitudes where Jesus speaks that “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, that Jesus here was referring to those whose lives were spiritually, mentally, and physically spent because of real depression and the toll it could take on a person’s spirit. Though it is easy to forget, know that Christ is with you every step of the way, even if you become angry with the situation you may be in and angry with God. God is actually watching. If you go out one day and your plans don’t work, knock it up to God’s will, realize you tried, and then try again if you can later, realizing NOT TO FEEL GUILTY IF YOU SCREW UP. You didn’t ask for your sickness, and people with depression I believe constantly have to remind themselves NOT to feel guilty if they fail in one endeavor. It is not your fault. That is half the battle won already.

Hope this help somewhat. God Bless. :slight_smile:


#20

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