24 Aug

When we were visiting The Squire’s sister in North Carolina, I happened to read an article by Billy Graham that upset me considerably. A woman had written to him saying she suffered from depression, and his only advice was to pray about it. He did her a great disservice.

Depression is a physical illness, and prayer will help it about as much as it will help diabetes or a broken leg.

I have known I suffer from clinical depression for about fifteen years or so, but I recently read a book that described the symptoms of depression in children. Check, check, check.  Yup, that’s little Miss Preacher’s Kid, by gum. Now, living with my mother was no barrel of laughs, but I believe I have been clinically depressed since I was about three or four years old.

When The Squire and I were dating and newly married, my joy overwhelmed any feelings of sadness I may have felt, but there was always an under-current that this would not last, mostly what would I do if he died. (Never a question of us breaking up!)

Oddly enough, I almost never suffered from situational depression. My dad suffered from end-stage renal failure, my mom had dementia, my Nana had cancer, and my sister has Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). As each of them died, there was a general sigh of relief that they had been delivered from their distress. Although I was a bit miffed with God that my sister got to go home first, I wouldn’t have chosen her illness if I’d had a chance!

Shortly before our trip I had to visit my doctor about another problem entirely, and he mentioned that I looked sad. We discussed my feelings – I have no reason to be feeling blue; a wonderful marriage, no financial worries, two grandkids about to get married – and he suggested a mild anti-depressant. Didn’t even know there was such a thing, and I’m so used to feeling down that it was normal.

Well, let me tell you! He says it’s mild and I’ll take his word for it, but wowzer!  This is really the answer to a prayer!

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