I had let myself arrogantly believe that “depression” was something other people dealt with.
I never thought I’d personally experience depression. In fact, I was sure I wouldn’t, so when it hit me, I ignored the signs. I pretended I was okay. After all, I was still seen as a “happy” person by my friends and co-workers. I was still getting my work done. Nobody feels great all the time, right?
By ignoring the signs of depression, I made life much harder than it had to be for myself, my wife, and my family. I wish I could go back in time and spare myself the unnecessary pain. I obviously can’t do that, but I can do something even better. I can perhaps spare YOU the unnecessary pain of living with untreated depression. The first step is to take an honest self-assessment and look for the possible signs of depression in your life.
Here are four clear signs of depression I experienced (and millions of others have experienced too). If you or your spouse are experiencing these same symptoms, please know that help is available. These are not the only signs of depression, but they seem to be among the most common:
- A Noticeable Drop in Energy Level and a Drop in Sex Drive
- A Lack of Enthusiasm Towards Things That Once Excited You
- A Desire to Escape from People or Activities
- Frequent Feelings of Frustration, Anger, Stress, and Sadness
I experienced all four of these for years but attributed them to other factors. I’d made excuses like:
“I’m just getting older.”
“I’m just going through a stressful season.”
“My thyroid is messed up, so this is just the way I’ll always feel.”
“Maybe I need to exercise more or eat healthier, and I’ll feel better.”
I did the things within my power, like exercising more, but it only made a marginal difference. I still felt like I was walking through life with heavy weights around my ankles and a raincloud over my head. My amazing wife, Ashley, saw what I had refused to see. I was depressed.
Mental Health Issues and Marriage
I had let myself arrogantly believe that “depression” was something other people dealt with. It was for people with more significant problems than mine. I even thought that being depressed meant my faith wasn’t strong enough or my mind was too weak. Ashley helped me see that I was indeed depressed, but it was nothing to be ashamed of. It was merely something to be treated.
Fast forward to where I am today, and I’m feeling much better. It hasn’t been the result of anything, but a multi-pronged approach has helped my mental health, overall attitude, and energy level. Here are a few of the most beneficial tools I’ve experienced:
- I’m on a hormone prescription to boost my testosterone, improving my energy level and sex drive.
- I’m on a daily antidepressant, which has drastically impacted my serotonin levels and mental clarity.
- I’ve spent less time on social media and more time outside in nature.
- For a time, I was meeting online with a counselor at http://getfaithful.com/nakedmarriage, which gave me a safe space to talk about things and get some helpful feedback.
- I used to avoid doctors, but now I go regularly to get my bloodwork done and monitor all levels making medicinal adjustments when necessary.
- I’ve continued to prioritize a daily time of prayer and Bible study.
- I have a daily regimen of vitamins and supplements.
- I’ve tried to be more intentional about having meaningful connections with family and friends.
- I try to live with an attitude of gratitude and thank God often for the blessings in my life.
- I try to be fully present in each moment and laugh as often as possible.
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I’m happy to report that I’ve come “out of the fog” where I’d been living for far too long. I’m so thankful for a fantastic wife who walked with me through it, doctors who gave me the medicine I needed, and a Savior who carried me in my lowest moments.
Don’t believe the lies that life will always be this way. Get the help you need.
If you are in a season of depression, please don’t lose hope. Don’t believe the lies that life will always be this way. Get the help you need. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to proactively do all you can to live life to the fullest. I’m praying for you and cheering you on!
For additional tools to help your physical, mental, and spiritual health, check out our book, Naked and Healthy, at https://www.nakedandhealthy.com.