Dear Debbie;

I feel kind of “blah” all the time and my family says I don’t show much interest in anything. Sometimes I just start crying for no reason. I am irritable and have no interest in sex. I can fall asleep, but I wake up after a few hours and am sometimes awake until morning. Other times I just want to sleep all the time. I’m a Christian, and somebody told me I should just make a choice to be happy. Others have said to pray harder. What is wrong with me?


Can’t Snap Out of It

Dear “Can’t Snap;”

The symptoms you describe could indicate the presence of a Depressive or Anxiety Disorder. Your first step is to have a physical examination by your primary care provider. Physical causes, including hypothyroidism, can cause these symptoms. If a physical cause is ruled out, you should see a counselor to discuss possible past or current stressors which may be contributing to this problem. We can no more diagnose or treat this ourselves than we could perform our own surgeries! It takes a licensed, trained professional to evaluate and help set our thinking back on track. This is done by the use of diagnostic testing, then treatment by highly technical “talk therapy.”

Telling a person who is depressed or anxious to “just pray harder” is like telling a diabetic to “just produce more insulin.”  If we could recover on our own, we would have already. Help is available if we will accept it.