I’ve written about depression before, here and elsewhere, including in my Rosh HaShanah derashah from a few years ago, and a shiur linked here on halachic issues in treating depression.
And I’ve kept my link to Rivka of Ha'azina Tefillati in the sidebar for ages, visiting pretty much weekly, hoping she would come back and post again. She knows so well how to say what needs to be said to the world, to help people become more sensitive to depression and more open to people who are dealing with it. Look at this post of hers, for example.
Depression can be a killer, ending people’s lives even if the air is still travelling in and out of their lungs.
Depression can be a knife, severing relationships, stabbing marriages, carving up families.
Depression can be a cloud or a fog, in its milder form, sapping special moments of their joy, hovering with an ominous weight over days and weeks and months.
Depression can be a thief, stealing love and hope and satisfaction and happiness.
Depression can be an ex-communicator, forcing people to the fringe because they cannot face other people, or because they cannot find people who will accept them.
And it’s everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, in people who are blessed with cooperative biology and ideal coping mechanisms and in people who are genetically predisposed to funk or unable to respond resiliently to disaster. It’s in smart people and attractive people and hard-working people and creative people and, yes, funny and entertaining people. Highly intelligent people especially, actually. It’s in kids and teens and adults and seniors, men and women, everywhere.
It's not a death sentence, and it's not necessarily life in prison, either. For many people, there are treatments and therapies and friends and coping mechanisms and bootstraps that can take being tugged on every day.
But it can be on-going, requiring dogged, persistent therapy and a stick-to-itiveness that the depression erodes all too easily.
It requires friends and supporters who won’t flash in and out of people’s lives, but who will be there for the long haul, תמיד, who can deal with being rejected and resented and raged at when things are bad, without necessarily seeing the benefits of their presence and friendship.
I apologize for being so very heavy, perhaps pedantic with this post. I know that many of you know all of this, and could teach me a lot more about the topic yourselves. But I’m trying to reach those who don’t yet know, to convey an element of the seriousness in a few hundred words.
Because yesterday I came across a newish blog called Kindred Spirit, by a woman who says, “I am a Jewish girl suffering from Depression fighting for hope and hoping for fight,” and I'm hoping you'll take a look at it, please.