I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.
I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help.
Have his promises permanently failed?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
(Excerpts from Psalm 77)
These excerpts from Psalm 77 are just a window into David’s thinking. He wondered when his depressive thoughts would end. He finally concluded that God had a history of saving his people, so he took some comfort in God’s ultimate provision.
I don’t know if the DSM-5 has come up with a revision to include a diagnosis of “Covid Depression”. They might. Maybe they should. This virus has been in our lives since February 2020, and it has colored everything in our lives. Any issues that my clients may have had prior to this virus and its aftermath have been greatly exacerbated by the current climate. It literally makes everything worse.
Whether or not you were depressed prior to the COVID crisis, I can bet that you carry a low level of depression now. I do. Anytime our standards of stability are upset, we respond with some reaction. We try to regain normal. The presence of COVID has stymied many of those attempts at trying to regain normal. Our response is often a complex brew of sadness, anger, fear, and helplessness. Collectively, that jumble of feelings can be called depression.
Reactive depression is a thing. We all experience it in our lives, and we then must do something about it. Feeling like there is no escape is absolutely the worst place to be, but for a while, that is the case. Then we recognize that we can VISIT that place of depression, but we do not want to LIVE there.
For me, I recognize the signs in myself. I am a little bit irritable, sad about the fact that our lives continue to be disrupted. I wonder when this oppression will end. How does our economy, or our social interactions, survive? When will COVID stop being a dominant news story? So many questions to which I have no answers.
So, I do what I can do, and I try not to get bogged down by what I cannot do. I can look at my attitude and remind myself of the many blessings I have. I can wear a mask and social distance, as necessary, because I think that is what science recommends. I am vaccinated and boosted. I can do the things that at least approach normal, like eating out at restaurants on their patios, (when possible), testing before any social gatherings, etc. I can continue to exercise and work. I can reach out to others to support them.
So, that is my therapy plan. I assume that you have some COVID Depression like me. What is your therapy plan?
Prayer: Father, you know the big picture that we cannot see. I trust that your plans are good and healing for us, Amen.