On Dealing with Depression

Roving editor Tib Sherrill responds to a reader's query about her fight against depression.

By Elizabeth Sherrill

I read an article recently about the clinical depression that afflicted Abraham Lincoln throughout his life. Yet from suicidal impulses so strong he didn't dare carry a knife in his pocket, came identification with the sufferings of others, and commitment to a cause greater than himself.

To think that even depression can serve a purpose–lead to understanding, perhaps, or tolerance, or compassion–only confirms my trust that nothing at all, in God's ecology, is wasted. 


Read Elizabeth Sherrill's story about her struggles with depression.


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Thank you so much for your story. I had a similar experience as an eight year old when my sister left for college "out of the blue". She was practically my second mother as ten years older than I and very helpful to my farmwife mother. I had periods that I would cry and my mother would ask why - - I answered: "I don't know why". But after that I had problems with any good bye experiences with close family. As a young mother (50 years ago) I began to figure out the cause.
This I have had all forgotten when trying to deal with my daughter-in-law's depression. This article really gave me a clue as to how I may direct her thoughts. Would appreciate any help you may offer. I have e-mailed the article to my son in Dallas, as well as I know they have the current magazine as a Christmas subscription from me. Thanks again!!!
I can relate to all the comments given below.
Perfection and pride seem to become stumbling blocks!!

I want to thank Elizabeth for sharing her story "The Saddest Feeling". I have felt so lonely and depressed my whole life. It is so overwhelming at times. I also struggle with hating my standoffish ways and comparing myself with outgoing, bubbly people. To hear Dr. Wright's words is balm to the soul--that I am right now loved and worthy of esteem as I ever shall be, already infinitely loved and respected. God bless you, Elizabeth! We will have such a joyful party in Heaven!

I am 64 years old and have always struggled with depression. I was raised in a wonderful Christian home and have always believed that God loved me and I would chide myself for feeling depressed for no reason. Reading the Psalms did show me that David I think suffered from depression. My husband had a strong Faith and was always there encouraging me and praying for me. He died 2 1/2 years ago and it has been the hardest thing to keep living without him. My sister gave me this months issue of Guideposts and told me the story "The Saddest Feeling" reminded her of me and she thought I would like it. What an encouragement Elizabeth's struggle with depression was to me. I have more hope for future joy than I have had since my husband died. Thank You Guideposts.

This is the first I've ever heard of or read from the guideposts. My grandmother gave it to me the other night during halftime of a very exciting basketball game we were watching together. The stories within caught my heart so that I didn't pay too much attention to the second half of the game. Grandma handed it to me and said that she thought of me when she read your story. I always think there is not a single soul who knows how I feel and what I'm going through, but I felt like this story was as if it were written by me. Its reassuring to hear that there is hope. Thank you for sharing!

I have followed your depression series for years. I'm a sufferer, and I am a member of a self help group that has helped me to accept myself as an average person, and not a perfect one. Thank you for letting us in on your most intimate feelings

I read your story today, "Overcoming Depression" and cried. Someone else who feels as I do! I highlighted the "acceptance of myself" parts and accept(ing) God's evaluation instead of my own. I am praying I get this knowledge in my head to knowing in my heart and spirit (even though I have been a Christian, and on antidepressants, for years)I am infinitely loved this very minute

Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your story, I suffer from depression and have for many years. It is difficult to talk about and at times feel so alone. It has given me hope that I am not alone in this struggle.

I am feeling very alone right now too, as Elizabeth's story gave us courage to voice, you (we) are NOT alone

I would like to e-mail Elizabeth Sherrill or at least talk with her about my ongoing depression and what God has shown me. I wanted to thank her for diving into my head and coming up with all of my emotions. How can I do this?

You may wish to contact Ms. Sherrill via her website, Joy: http://www.elizabethsherrill.com/