Q: After a series of tragic events in my life (loss of relatives whom I loved very much), failures in my personal life, the lack of simple human communication, I became depressed. I went to a psychiatrist and he confirmed the diagnosis. I am very worried by the constant feeling of sadness and melancholy. I am constantly thinking about how I would like to be reunited with my relatives and about the afterlife. Nothing pleases me here on earth. I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of medication to use, but it doesn’t work out very well. I hate being alive. Can you please tell me what can be done in this situation? What prayers to read and how often? How do I get out of this condition?
A: The Holy Fathers say, “Until you rest in the grave, do not rely on yourself.” We have to lift ourselves up all the time from the gloom, from the inner darkness, which, unfortunately, sometimes overflows us because our nature is sinful.
We have a hospital to go to. We come to church and must confess our despondency and sorrow. Depression is a very real spiritual disease, which cannot be treated with pills, but with repentance and hard work. We should probably pay less attention to ourselves, to our condition, and do more good things – to help someone and to work hard. You should compel yourself not to let in sinful thoughts and not to let them infect your mind.
I think that it is possible to get out of this state through confession, through Communion, through internal and external work without any pills, without any chemicals. Just don’t pity yourself or compare yourself to other people. Learn to thank God and appreciate what you have today.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds