Dear Mrs. Bluth,
I live in the Five Towns area and am moved to write to you because of something I read in another publication.
The column, written by a well-known therapist, was about depression. The therapist wrote that depressed people as an overall group can only be healed if they place their complete trust in Hakadosh Baruch Hu and are willing to knuckle under and commit to do the work suggested to them by a therapist. As a matter of fact, she says these are the only conditions under which she accepts patients. Anyone who does not fit this description is not someone she is willing to treat.
Mrs. Bluth, I read your column every week and appreciate the advise you give, so I am turning to you for clarity.
I have suffered from depression for so many years, but have been able to hide from people. According to this therapist, I should have the wherewithal to banish the demons I fight in private just by having faith in Hashem and listening to the directions she would suggest to me.
My first thought was that she has no concept of the pain and darkness I and others like myself live with, moment to moment, day by day and the absolute hopelessness we feel when the darkness takes us over. G-d is the last entity we acknowledge as a source of help and hope – we fault Him for creating us this way!
Mrs. Bluth, I turn to you for clarity and hope that you can share some information that will give me a modicum of hope. I need to believe that I should not terminate my existence and that there is still some chance I can find a way to live in peace and with strength.
The next time the darkness comes might be the last time.
I am fully aware of the article of which you speak, as a number of my own clients have called me about it. I, too, was taken aback by the lack of clarity and realized that many people afflicted with depression may misconstrue the message the author was relaying. I wrote to the publication explaining that was wrong with the column and they had the therapist reach out to me. I was assured that a follow-up column would be printed with a better explanation.
Unfortunately, the next column did less to assuage people’s concerns as it was filled with medical terminology and language unfamiliar to the mainstream readership.
So, lets make it clear that there is a world of hope and help for anyone in any stage of depression. It is the match-up of therapist, the prescribed medication and dosage, the empathy and trust between therapist and client, the age factor of the client and his or her ability to participate in treatment plus the time it will take to see progress, that makes the difference in the return to a better quality of life and a better state of mental health.
Clinical depression is a broad heading under which falls an illness with no clear-cut boarders. It is dependent on so many variables and triggers, which are not easily defined. In fact, it often defies the rules of nature vs. nurture and may or may not respond to intense love bestowed on them by a strong and committed support network during their often frightening and frustrating melt-downs.
The most disturbing, new development in evidence in recent studies has been the vast shift of balance in the onset of depression in children of pubescent age. Children reaching puberty have shown a marked upswing in depressive and even manic depressive behavior. Coupled with the pressures of hormonal body change, a natural development for this age group, and compounded by the inability to cope with the pressure and anxieties to achieve and maintain respectable grades in school, this has become a spiraling whirlpool that claims far more young people than ever imagined. They are ill-equipped to handle the responsibilities of their fast-paced world and many fall under the pressures and expectations that are demanded of them of them.
However, there is always hope. There are many deeply caring and truly committed therapists and clinicians who are doing amazing work with the depressed populace and are achieving wonderful results. There are new approaches to treating depression on every level already in place and pending treatments that promise amazing results in various stages of development.
Hakadosh Baruch Hu is ever present and will not forsake those of His children who are in dire need, even though they may think otherwise. Like the loving, nurturing Father that He is, He has prepared for us the cures that will ultimately help those afflicted even though they may feel He has abandoned them. All of us who treat and help thank Him every day for the tools and the refuos He provides.
Dear friend, never stop believing and hoping and trying as best you can to help us pull you up from the darkness, shed the pain and slowly ease you into a life of light and peace. Trust us to walk with you out of that desire to end it all, and emerge with you on the other side where life becomes worth living. Never give up, never ever give in. Always hope and believe that help and change is possible and that you will find the right assistance to get you there.