Accepting Depression: Why It’s Ok Not to Be Ok
By Grant Stenzel, MS Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
What do you do when depression establishes itself in your daily routine? Your feelings aren’t wrong, and they should be addressed as needed. The most important thing is to recognize sadness and depression for what they are, and realize that it’s entirely acceptable to experience feelings of grief and reach out for the necessary support.
The Transition of Sadness into Something Deeper
Depression manifests itself in many ways. Some cases are more established than others, while certain incidents in life can trigger a sense of grief that can lead to depression. If things aren’t going well, it’s acceptable to express sorrowful feelings and try to figure them out on a surface level. The point at which sadness transitions into depression and can lead to more complications is when it prevents you from living your life in a normal manner. These signs can include:
- Not wanting to leave the house
- Not feeling up to going to work or school
- No longer experiencing joy in everyday things
- Finding few to no small moments of happiness
- Loss of appetite
You’re Entitled to Your Emotions
Remember, depression in itself isn’t “wrong”. There’s no morality on emotions. It’s best to deal with depression head on, instead of suppressing it. In fact, hiding emotions away can often lead to self-harm or addictive behaviors. At this point, finding someone to help you through your depression so you aren’t fighting alone is essential for recovery.
One of my favorite verses that relates closely to what I’ve been explaining is, “Sorrow is better than laughter because a sad face is good for the heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:3. On a surface level, this seems strange—why would someone rather be sad than happy? To put it simply, sorrow provides the human mind with a different perspective on things. As you dive deeper into the meaning of the verse, it highlights that life isn’t going to be full of laughter and joy all the time. There will be times of turmoil, and how we cope with it shows our true God-given ability to overcome even our most impossible sounding goals. We should all be comfortable enough to turn to God in times of weakness and trust him to help us on the path to healing, because through Him, anything is possible.
Recognizing depression in yourself and in others is an important component for reaching out for help. Dealing with bouts of sadness as they come is one thing, but carry the weight of depression on your shoulders can be tough. At Stenzel, our qualified counselors are prepared to help you down whichever path you decide.