Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Defeating Depression

One of the first things the physician treating me for ALS did, was to prescribe an antidepressant. This seems to be standard for ALS patients. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) gradually worsens to the inevitable demise of the patient. Hence, depression is a common experience.

However, depression is not restricted to people with ALS. Many centuries ago, the psalmist queried, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm. 42:5, NIV) But he did not reach for an antidepressant pill. He immediately responded out of the innermost recesses of his soul, saying, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (verse 6).

It seems obvious and clear-cut. The Psalmist only pondered his problem briefly and immediately focused on the solution. The solution he found for his depression still works today.

My self-talk should follow the example he set. Why should I allow a medical diagnosis put me in need of an antidepressant? I have a never-failing resource – the same One to whom the psalmist turned for an answer. Therefore, I can sing with the songwriter…

“God is still on the throne,
And he will remember his own;
Though trials may press us
And burdens distress us,
He never will leave us alone;

“God is still on the throne,
And he will remember his own;
His promise is true,
He will not forget you,
God is still on the throne.”

For what its worth, my bottle of antidepressant pills sits unopened on my chest of drawers. Instead, I have opened my inner-being to the unending grace and favor flowing from God – the eternal Author of everything good.


Lauren Stewart said...

Charles, this is so true! Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration.

Lauren Stewart said...

Its me again. I couldn't sleep and I find myself researching ALS. Its possible that you have already seen this book, while doing your own online investigating. The book is called, 'Eric is Winning' by Eric Edney. There were testimonials attached to his site that could look encouraging. They claim that there have been reports of some people outliving their diagnosis, halting the progression of the disease and even reversing some of the symptoms. They include a phone number for questions, I believe which is: 877-562-6039 and 520-877-2637. I read one comment which was a quote from a doctor saying his patient would have to find something else to die from because it wasn't going to be his original diagnosis of Lou Gehrigs disease! It would at the least be entertaining. You want to have a support group that is positive! Yeah! The ad said that anybody with a diagnosis of ALS should read this.