Even attempting to define the condition is painful for me. Our world does not accept kindly those suffering from depression. We are looked upon as a bit “crazy”; weaklings who feel sorry for ourselves; people who forget to “count their blessings.”
To feel depressed is to be “blue” day after day; to experience tiredness that never goes away, not even after ten or twelve hours of sleep; to lack energy for even the smallest of chores; to not be enthusiastic about anything; to be unable to focus or concentrate; to turn molehills into mountains; to be overly sensitive to comments.
My feelings of worthlessness and loneliness were overwhelming. Each day I would pray that God would end my life; at times I even planned how I could do this. I felt like a failure who was all alone in this world.
Wisdom for the Caregiver (from Marianne)
Helpful support during these times came from friends who
- called every morning to wake me.
- extended words of love, care, and affirmation.
- hugged or touched me (very powerful medicine)
- encouraged me to see a professional for help and accompanied me on the first visit.
- invited me to walk or engage in other types of physical activity.
- asked for my help or assistance. These requests added to my feelings of worthiness and also acted as a welcome distraction.
- reached out over and over again.
- prayed for me and with me. (A dear sister-in-law who lives a great distance away would phone and end our visit with a prayer. This touched me greatly.)
- gave tangible inspiration (A friend gave me a daily devotion flip booklet entitled Never Alone: Comfort in Times of Need. I still treasure this gift.)
- The giving of patience, love and acceptance are gifts that transmit God’s love!
For more caregiving advice on caring for individuals who are depressed – Caring for Person with Depression
- For more caregiving advice, please go to pages 105-113 in the handbook, The Compassionate Congregation by Karen Mulder and Ginger Jurries