I just read a blog post by Perry Noble regarding his struggle with depression. Mental illness has been a prominent topic in the Christian news lately owing to the tragic suicide of Rick Warren’s son, Matthew. It’s sad that such a tragedy had to happen before Christians realized that mental illness is real. We live in a fallen world in fragile clay jars that are often cracked in various places. If our bodies are prone to illness; what makes us think that our minds would not? Circumstances, trauma, or chemical imbalances cause different and varying illnesses of our minds and emotions.
In all honesty, I take 10 mg. of Prozac every night. I have never publicly admitted this. I was embarrassed. I was insecure. I was worried about what people would think. I thought it would disqualify me from the things that I love to do. So, why would I divulge this now? Partly because I know there are many other people who struggle with the same thing or much worse. People need to know they are not alone. There is no shame in needing help.
I have a serotonin deficiency. This diagnosis didn’t happen overnight. I had been experiencing symptoms for months. Lack of sleep, excessive inward anger, food cravings, anxiety are among a few of the symptoms that I experienced. The final straw came when I threw a mirror against a wall and broke down, crying uncontrollable. My sweet husband said, very gently, “I think you need to see your doctor about how you’ve been feeling lately.”. So, I saw my doctor. Filled out a chart to track symptoms for three months. My doctor said it was very clear that I had a serotonin imbalance. He prescribed fluoxetine HCl or Prozac.
I am grateful for that little pill. I’m grateful that I can be on an even emotional keel. I’m glad that I can sleep at night. I’m glad that I don’t have to fight to keep control over inward, unexplained anger. I’m grateful for a God who loves me in spite of the cracks in my clay and has provided a way, through medication and faith, for me to live a beautiful, fulfilling life.