Friday, 17 June 2011


Today's post is a continuation in a series of posts from Janet Camilleri, Editor of Footprints Magazine for Australian Christian Women. In this post Janet shares how her depression affected her daily life and relationships; how she felt literally brain dead!

People often ask me what it's like to have depression, and I always find it difficult to answer. How can I describe a continual downward spiral? The unending misery, the total lethargy, the lack of anything to look forward to? The aches and pains? The strong desire to just curl up under my quilt and never come out? The way food became something I just put in my mouth periodically because I knew I should - not because I actually wanted to?

Imagine that you have a can of soup strapped to each of your hands and feet, and that you are wearing false eyelashes. It's okay for a little while, but imagine carrying that load all the time. No matter what you do, that heavy feeling is with you. You try to live a normal life but everything is that little bit harder, and takes that little bit longer. This will give you just a glimmer of what it is like to live with depression.
Now take the cans away, gradually, one at a time. Stretch. Enjoy the sensation. There, feels better doesn't it! Another can gone -wow, look what you can do now! Finally remove those false eyelashes that make your eyelids feel so heavy. Isn't it wonderful! Don't you feel free! You can run and jump and sing and laugh. This is exactly the difference medication can make in the life of a person stricken with depression.
I think the best way to describe my recent brush with depression is to say that I felt 'brain dead'. It's almost like the last three months have been lost in the mists.
Normally I am 'quick' and 'on the ball' but overnight I became very forgetful. I mislaid keys, books and other items. I forgot appointments. I would even find myself standing in the supermarket, knowing that I needed to purchase three items, yet totally unable to recall what the third item was!
I found all my relationships suffered because I lost my ability to communicate. I just didn't feel I had anything to talk about to family and friends. Although some of them chided me for not reaching out to them when I needed help, how could I make them understand that just to pick up the phone and make small talk, or even remember current events in their lives, was completely beyond me? I would completely lose my train of thought in the middle of conversations with my husband, to the point where I was struggling to even complete one sentence. Believe me, this is an alarming symptom in a gal who has been blessed with the gift of the gab!
Praying became almost impossible. I felt terrible that my walk with the Lord was suffering. But one day I had a revelation. All of my relationships were suffering because of my depression. It didn't mean that I loved my husband, my children, my friends any less. And it's the same with God! My relationship with Him suffers when I have depression. Although I lose my ability to communicate, to pray, it doesn't mean that I love Him any less!
My concentration was shot to pieces. Although I normally love to write and read, I just didn't seem to have the attention span necessary. Nothing gripped my attention enough to keep me concentrating.
I had no plans for the future because I was unable to think past the misery and the present day. I lost the joy of anticipation. What are you looking forward to right now? An upcoming vacation? A birthday? Getting together with friends on the weekend? Going to the movies or a concert? Getting married? Having a baby? Finishing your studies? Now imagine all that is taken away from you and you will have some idea of how a person with depression feels.
Research has now proven that many of the electrical impulses in the brain are 'dulled' in a person who suffers from depression. Perhaps this is why I felt brain dead. Pleasure centres especially are affected; yet pain seems to be magnified. When I learnt this, I realised why I was plagued with headaches and migraines, which mostly disappeared once I started taking anti-depressants!
People often joke that when a woman falls pregnant, she loses her brain. When she has the baby, she only gets half of it back! If this is true in your life, I urge you to seek help. Even if you haven't had a baby! Hey, you could be a guy for all I know! As you can see from my story, feeling 'brain dead' for an extended period of time could indicate underlying problems. The good news is, it CAN be treated and soon you will be feeling just like your old self again.
Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The New Normal

Today's post is an excerpt of a post from Kelly at Be A Fun Mum.  The complete post can be read here at Kelly's blog.  Kelly shares of her journey with depression; the discovery, her reaction, how she dealt with it and where she is at now.

It became the new “normal” for me. The feeling of fear. Like a heavy weight on my chest that would squeeze so tight, I found it hard to breathe. From the moment I opened my eyes of a morning, I was frightened. Properly scared. There was no rationale behind it, it was just there. And so fear and I, we became both friends and enemies, entwined in a paradoxical way: I felt alone if I wasn’t afraid, like something was missing, and yet it debilitated me to the point I could not function. Sometimes the fear would dissipate into numbness. Sometimes it would escalate into blind, uncontrollable panic. But it was always there. This was my normal.

For years and years, I carried around the weight of 100 bricks. Every lift of my arms was painful because of the bricks. Bricks, bricks hanging off my body. Bricks squeezing around my heart…bricks everywhere. I was tired. So very tired from carrying the weight. It hurt, and I felt alone. I had to be strong for my family. I had to be strong for my speciial needs daughter. I had to be strong for my dying mother. I had to be strong for my grieving father.  I had to be strong because of my pride. I had to be strong because of my faith. Oh, deluded, pathetic me!

People greeted me with the usual question: “How are you?”

And I would say, “I’m okay.”  But really I wanted to say, “I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid. Afraid of nothing and everything at the same time.”

And then one day I did know. After a violet panic attack, I knew something had to change. The abnormal became my normal, and my new normal was destroying me. 

Please click here to continue reading the remainder of Kelly's post over at her blog.

Paula C. Whitehouse
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Macho men opening up about depression: Researchers has released an article on how men deal with depression.

Men are becoming more willing to talk about emotional problems like depression, but many refuse to seek help in the form of medication, say researchers who are looking into how ideas about masculinity are affecting male health.

Several studies are being done by researchers at the University of British Columbia.

"We're looking at men's health in a new way, by trying to understand some of men's health behaviour in relation to masculinity," Joan Bottorff, a professor in UBC's school of nursing, said Thursday.

"It provides a different way of looking at men's health and therefore opens up some new avenues for promoting men's health."

Depression, heart health, quitting smoking and sexual health are four areas of research being examined at a forum Friday as part of UBC's Celebrate Research Week. The researchers all work at UBC's school of nursing.

Read more here.

Paula C. Whitehouse
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Thursday, 2 June 2011

What Does the Bible Say About Depression?

So...what does the Bible say about depression? I bet this is one question that you've asked yourself if you're living with depression or know of someone who is. Personally, I have asked.

It's comforting to know that despite the human condition and the likelihood of depression, it is something that has been around since creation. has an answer to this question, and also to the question of "how can a Christian overcome depression?"

"Answer:  Depression is a widespread condition, affecting millions of people, Christians and non-Christians alike. Those suffering from depression can experience intense feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, fatigue, and a variety of other symptoms. They may begin to feel useless and even suicidal, losing interest in things and people that they once enjoyed. Depression is often triggered by life circumstances, such as a loss of job, death of a loved one, divorce, or psychological problems such as abuse or low self-esteem."

Read the full article here at  Also check out more answers to questions on both depressionanxiety, and anti-depressants.

[Please read more about here to learn about the web-site
and how answers are obtained from the Bible.]

for A Scarlet Rope of Hope