Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Circumstantial/Situational Depression


It was a very bad year. In fact, it may have been the worst year of my life. First, my mother died unexpectedly. I alone made all of the arrangements for her funeral. I remember having the unusual feeling of being an orphan, at the age of forty-eight. Now, I had no parents and no brothers or sisters, so I was the only surviving member of my family. Although I was married, I experienced loneliness like no other time in my life.


Three weeks later, a horse threw me and broke my hip. It was two days before my medical insurance kicked in. The hospital in the small Colorado town where I lived was unable to give me the type of operation that I would need to mend my hip. An ambulance had to transport me to Colorado Springs, 90 miles away. I was in extreme pain for several hours, before the surgeons could give me a sedative. The operation and other medical expenses came to a total of
$10,000, which I had to pay for myself.


Three weeks later, I lost my job. By this time, I was so depressed that I was unable to think clearly or to complete the continuing education requirements of my job. This was the first (only) time in my life that I had been fired. I was devastated, humiliated and ashamed.


So, in a six week period, I lost my mother, my health and my job. Consequently, I became deeply depressed.


Depression which is circumstantial is caused by the external events in your life. When someone experiences divorce, job loss, family problems, a car accident, homesickness, major surgery, or the end of an important relationship, they will most likely become depressed.


Situational depression is a normal response to abnormal events. A person will typically recover in a few days or weeks. Very seldom are medications recommended or needed for this type of depression. Usually, counsel by a minister, doctor or therapist will be the most effective method of treatment. Certainly this is a time to seek the comfort which can only be given by God.


In my opinion, King David was the most depressed individual in the Bible. At least, his depressions were chronicled in greater detail. Many of his Psalms reflect the inner turmoil of his emotions. Probably of all the difficult circumstances of his life, the constant problems that he had with his enemies, and the loss of important relationships created the circumstances that he found most difficult to deal with.


Here are two examples of his situational depression.


(1) Speaking to God, he says, "Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and distress.....See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me (Psalm 25:16-19)!"


(2) "My heart is in anguish within me...Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me..If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship (Psalm 55:4, 12-14)."


David knew, as I do, that when we are flat on our back, we are looking up to God. "When he (a man of God) falls, he will not be hurled headlong; Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand (Psalm 37:24)." That's a beautiful picture for the Christian who is depressed.


["I'm so low I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]

2 comments:

Amber said...

This helped me tremendously -- thank you.

leena brit said...

You have done a great work really. A lots of efforts behind this.


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