Home|Depression’s darkness cannot block God’s light

Depression’s darkness cannot block God’s light

A deep depression that almost resulted in suicide brought Carmen Anderson (pseudonym) into the Catholic Church.
Anderson’s depression started at a young age.
“In high school, I knew something was wrong,” Anderson said.
“I knew that gloomy feeling that came out of nowhere was not normal. Bouts of sadness would come and I knew there was no trigger,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s depression continued for many years and eventually started getting worse.
“I could muster the energy to get my son to school, then I would come home and cover myself on the couch and lay there all day,” Anderson said.
Anderson became fearful and cut off all communication with other people. She quit answering the phone and slept close to 20 hours a day.
“I was praying for angels to come take me home. I wanted to kill myself because nothing was gonna make the depression and horrible downward spiral into darkness and anxiety go away,” Anderson said.
“Negative feelings, sleeping more or less, and thoughts of suicide are common with depression,” said Becky Richard, a licensed professional counselor at Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas.
Anderson had all of those symptoms as she formulated a plan to end her life.
“I was gonna step in front of a large vehicle on the busy street in front of my house,” Anderson said.
She put her suicide plan in motion on a cold Saturday December night.
She went into her front yard in her pajamas and was hiding behind a tree close to the street.
Anderson was planning to step out in front of a vehicle when the right one came along.
“It was like a silent movie,” Anderson said. She said she felt numb and was not aware of the cold or sounds.
She noticed though that traffic was slowing down as it got close to her. She looked up and saw the sight that saved her life.
“I looked at the house across the street and all the windows were open and the lights were on. I could see the Christmas tree. I saw kids in the house. I could even see them reaching for snacks on the table,” she said.
She suddenly was able to hear sounds and feel the cold.
“I realized it was a Christmas party for kids, and I couldn’t ruin the party. They have not had another Christmas party since. I feel there was a divine intervention,” Anderson said.
That Monday, Anderson checked herself into a mental facility where she feels God reached out again.
“I saw a man at the mental hospital leaning on the Rosary to help him. The Rosary got him through each day,” she said.
“If I hadn’t almost killed myself and checked into this mental facility, I would not have met this man who leaned on his faith,” Anderson said.
“I think I am supposed to be Catholic,” Anderson told her husband after she finished her treatment.
Her husband took the faith journey with her. They entered the RCIA program, and became Catholics. They are now parishioners at a Beaumont church.
Through treatment, Anderson’s depression is much better. But her depression will always be with her.
“I have good days and I have bad days, but I have more good days now,” Anderson said.
“Anything can trigger it. You can’t control the triggers. I don’t always know what the trigger was,” she said when referring to her bad days.
“You look for warning signs of the beginning of an episode. They can be crying, not interacting with others or sadness.
When you see those signs, you need to seek help. It’s like any disease, when it comes back you need to see your doctor,” Richard said.
Anderson is managing her depression and hates to be labeled by her illness.
“Cancer patients or diabetics aren’t labeled by their disease, but mentally ill people are,” she said.
“I am many things. Mentally ill is just one of them,” Anderson said.
Depression’s darkness cannot block God’s light is part five in an ETC series on mental illness.

By | 2017-05-03T15:22:53+00:00 January 27th, 2017|English, ETC Online, This Just In|0 Comments
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