Depression is a real illness and a daily experience for many.
“If a person is in a really deep episode, especially when they get to the point of suicide ideation — which does happen to Christians unfortunately, it happened to me — at that point a person is as sick as on hospice for someone else.”
Gillian Marchenko shares about her struggle of living with severe depression while being a mother of four.
“Then you have these times when you can really fight it and there are tools you can use to get through it and not fall into those deeper episodes. ”
There is much more to depression than what the eye can see. Gillian says that people who are living with depression often use numbing mechanisms to suppress the pain, such as Facebook, television or sleep.
“I use that because the pain is so intense, which I don’t think people understand. There is actual physical pain involved, there’s heart pain involved, there’s mental pain involved and sometimes it’s just minute by minute getting through it.”
Gillian faces a unique set of challenges as a parent of two special needs children.
“Our youngest has a dual diagnosis; she’s ten and she functions at about one year old. She takes a lot of effort and she is a trigger of mine…mostly because she was adopted and I don’t have that intuition with her. Some days I tell my husband, ‘I just can’t do it,’ and I’m actually lying and I have to talk to the Lord about that and be honest. Other times it’s a numbing mechanism.”
Even though Gillian hasn’t fully overcome this serious medical illness, she continues to find hope and healing in the midst of living fully with depression.
“My healing is happening. My healing is in the day. My healing is connecting with other people struggling, my healing is being able to look at my family with love instead of nothing, to serve the Lord and those things are just as great.”