At 21 years old, I was brutally attacked on a college campus. Immediately following this, I had begun experiencing panic attacks and other physical symptoms (insomnia, physical illness, paranoia, auditory delusions). Eventually, I developed severe depression.
Before I continue, I want to explain that the depression I experienced was not just ‘sadness’. It was a real dark, empty state of being. I was very tired, I stayed in bed all day. I was physically weak.Â Although I had grown up in a Christian family and was born again- but at that moment of my life, I didn’t ‘feel’ anything. Just emptiness, severe sadness and guilt. I cried at everything.
The depression deepened because I felt guilty about what happened to me on that college campus. I thought everyone was angry at me for allowing this to happen. My family was so desperate to help me that they turned to the church for prayer meetings, they turned to psychiatrists and medication as well.
I had been on several kinds of medication, and they just were not working for me. I was so deep in this that I couldn’t rationalize what was happening to me. I would say to myself, “this doesn’t make sense why Im feeling this way?” but I couldn’t shake the feeling regardless of all the good things that people were trying to say to me.
One day, after a long night of insomnia, I decided to just take a whole bottle of my medication. I didn’t think twice about it, I just wanted to end it. The next day, my mother found me because I didn’t wake up. I don’t recall what happened, but the next few days were unclear. I just know afterward that I got medical attention and returned to my parents’ home where they watched me and took care of me.
Finally, my sister and brother in laws (strong prayer warriors for Christ) said that enough was enough. Even if I didn’t ‘feel like it’, they told me to get in the Word of God. Read it every day. They put cd’s on in my stereo and played it 24/7 with praise and worship music.
My niece and nephew (their children) would visit me and ask me to watch their little Christian cartoons with them on Saturday morning. People from church called me to pray with me. If I was home, alone, I had the phone numbers to prayer counseling if I felt like talking to someone. The point being- I had to immerse myself in the word despite what I was feeling physically, I needed to feed my spirit.
Within weeks of focusing on God (and not myself or what I was feeling), I started to change. Something in my spirit wanted to get up and get out of the house. I had a joy inside of me that was being re-awakened.
Yes, I still felt physically ill and very lethargic, but the joy of the Lord was coming through again! After several months, I was a completely new person. I was happy again (inside and out) and I was just a shadow of my former self. I enjoyed reading about the hope of the Lord and what God has planned for us. It’s a comfort and a peace that no one else can bring.
My psychiatrist (whom I hadn’t seen in the months since my sister and brother-in-law intervened), called to ask what happened. My family told her that I was healed! I actually remember calling her the week before the last ‘scheduled’ appointment and letting her know that I won’t need to come in! It was a very happy conversation to have.
This situaton took place nearly 10 years ago. I’m 31 years old now, I just completed graduate school last spring and I work in the counseling field. I want to give hope to people who are struggling with depression. God has given us the ability to understand medical issues and the talent to address them through dr’s and medical professionals. But as I Christian, I also understand and KNOW FIRSTHAND, that healing comes straight from the Lord God Himself regardless of how what form the healing manifests itself in.
Depression is an ugly, dark place in a person’s life. Please fill it with the love of God and the hope that tomorrow is another day. Jesus lives for a reason! And so do you….