Anna Veltkamp- Staff Writer
Depression is a genuine burden, and trying to suppress it is equivalent to driving a car with the parking brake on. The car still runs, but it’s slower and it’s being damaged by the unseen issue.
The effects of depression are profound, and can worsen even with a sound faith. The pain, the suffering, and the baggage that constitute depression are weighted down with a sense of guilt; a temptation to believe that you’re not a good Christian.
Though it has the same name, not every case of depression is equal. It may be periods of feeling out of it, it might be feeling far from God, or it may be days of calling in sick because it feels impossible to get out and live life. In any case, depression can feel like it is taking over by interfering with every aspect of life.
The American Psychological Association found that depression is the second leading mental disorder at 36.4 percent among college students, with it’s runner-up being anxiety at 41.6 percent. It’s a colossal problem, and yet so few reach out for help.
Aaron Baart, Dean of Chapel at Dordt, advises students to get help, even if they’re questioning the actuality of depression.
“There’s a good number that have not gotten help. They really don’t need to carry this struggle,” Baart said. “A lot don’t want to reach out; they don’t want this to seem real.”
He advises students to communicate, to voice their concerns, even in the case that they don’t actually suffer from depression. There are many counselors on campus that are more than willing to offer help, or to lend a hearing ear at the least.
Aaron Baart noted that some students may simply suffer from fatigue, that “they’re stretched out too far in life.” It is easy to confuse the two, but the effects and solutions can be interchangeable.
Whether it is depression or fatigue, neither issue can deter God’s love for you. Depression is not an embarrassment, it is real. It can take control of your life and if you or someone you know might be suffering from it, get help. Talk about it, find solutions that might work, and take the first steps in the hike to unload this burden.