Mar 30, 2009  •  In Christianity, Depression, Personal

Accountability

The last time I sought help for my depression, I went through a slew of psychologists and psychiatrists. Having grown up in the church, I even visited a few Christian therapists.

The one I ended up choosing was not Christian; rather, she was a prim and proper Jewish woman with a smooth, articulate voice that managed to cut through all the BS in my life. Unlike other therapists who were prone to asking, “So how does that make you feel?” or “What do you think that means?” she actually analyzed my thoughts and reactions, often giving her opinion and advice on top of my jumbled interpretation of events.

She was not afraid to chastise me, which made me shed quite a few tears right there in her office. I resented her for doing so – was I not the patient? Doesn’t she have an obligation to be nice to me?

However, I knew that the real reason behind my resentment was rooted in the fact that I knew she was right. She was merely pointing out the facts that were too painful or too embarrassing for me to see or admit.

Dr. K is still a practicing psychologist and I would recommend her in a heartbeat. I almost looked forward to seeing her again when J demanded that I seek help for my condition.

However, J suggested that we turn to the church this time – more specifically, our pastor.

I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant about the situation. In a strange way, I find it a lot easier to air my grievances to a stranger than to our pastor and friend.

But I wanted to do it. I wanted to see how this disease is viewed and treated from a Christian perspective.

Our first session was brief but sweet. And he told me something that I will remember forever.

To the secular world, my depression can act as a shield or even an excuse for my actions.

But to God, there is no excuse. I am still accountable for my own thoughts and actions.

It was like a slap to the face.

And it was exactly what I needed.

This isn’t to say that I am now 100% better. To tell you the truth, it still took all the energy I had to get out of bed this morning. I still had the usual morbid thoughts. I still cried a few times today, which has been de rigueur for my days in the past couple of months.

The big difference is that I now hold myself accountable. I have to take charge of my life.

And I have faith that I will get through this through God’s grace, at His own time, with the means of His choosing.

4 Responses to “Accountability”

  1. annie:

    jenny you are such a strong girl and i know that you’ll fight this. thank you for sharing your struggles and we’ll both be praying for you as well. *HUGS*

  2. Thank you for sharing such a real and honest post!

  3. Hapless:

    I can empathize with your experience of depression. Indeed, you summarize the symptoms of depression: adhedonia, insomnia, lack of initiative, lack of appetite, which is helpful for people who may not know they are depressed.

    However, I question your post on "accountability." People with major depression can barely function. Some return from this hell by talking to someone about, others have no choice but to take medication. But you oversimplify the issue by suggesting that you (depressed person) aren’t taking responsibility for something.

    Which may be true! But let me tell you, real depression is no one’s fault. Real depression robs you of your ability to think, let alone write sentences on a blog for the world to see. There is a punitive streak to depression (sometimes an actual voice if you are psychotic) that tells you– YOU ARE TO BLAME! IT IS YOUR FAULT! So yes, you have to take care of yourself, remember to eat, go for walks, surround yourselves with loved ones in order to heal….. but beyond that, by seeking help for depression you are being accountable. You are taking care of yourself, and, when you are ready, you can make the changes in your life that need to be changed.

    In sum, reading your post reminded me that stigma remains on the subject of mental illness. I’ll take my pills now and try to forget forget that.

  4. Andy:

    Just stumbled on your blog via Rice Bowl Journals…WoW! Thanks for sharing such a personal thing. I think you should give yourself a pat on the back. You are working on getting a solution. That work is an enormous task, lifelong. I think getting oneself out of such a state is huge and viewing that one is I still depressed can be too focused on the end result, ie. recovering from depression. But the beauty lies in the fight. You are fighting, confronting this demon and you by no means have won but you are trying. Trying,exploring is how you get solution. Keep on trying. Confronting ones demons is courageous.

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