By Valentina Lor, Outpatient Therapist, Christian Family Solutions
Thank you so much for asking this question! This is a common struggle people have, so you are not alone. Sometimes guilt for our feelings can cause people to feel as though their problems aren’t valid.
Know that your feelings are valid. And they are real. Learning a little bit more about depression can help you determine what to do with those feelings.
When a person is feeling depressed, they might have thoughts of hopelessness, troubles focusing, or not feeling like doing the things you normally like to do. Depression can develop in different ways, ranging anywhere from having a family history of depression to a stressful life event that causes it to kick in. Sometimes it is severe, sometimes manageable.
People’s capacity to manage feelings of depression can vary, depending on life experiences or practice. Remember this: Just because someone else’s problems seem like a “bigger deal” doesn’t make your feelings any less important.
Imagine planting a vegetable garden and things are beginning to sprout. The only problem is, you have a lot of little green sprouts emerging from the ground and you don’t know which ones are your vegetables and which ones are weeds. They all look the same! As the vegetables grow in your garden, the weeds are also growing. Before you know it, the weeds seem like they grew a ton overnight and end up taking so much space that your vegetables don’t have any space left to grow.
It might feel overwhelming to have to take care of all those weeds, especially since it seems like they just came out of nowhere. You might even feel defeated or disappointed in your garden.
You decide to talk to your friend about it, and you find out that your friend’s garden had the same thing happen, except his garden is way bigger than yours!
Does your friend have a bigger problem than you have? Maybe … but does it make your problem less of a problem? Not at all! The size of our problems compared to other people’s problems doesn’t matter, and comparison doesn’t take our problem away. It also doesn’t make our problems any less compared to theirs. They still exist.
The tricky thing about depression is that sometimes it can grow so quickly, making it more difficult to manage, similar to the weeds in the garden.
At times, it can feel like we are alone in our struggles. We are not alone. In Matthew 11, Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Even when our problems seem small in comparison to other problems in this world, God still provides for us.
Try looking around you for sources of help that God might be providing for you. Perhaps there is a trusted adult, friend, or pastor you can talk with. Perhaps there is a school counselor you can ask to see. God provides for His dear children, because He loves you so much! He will give you the people and tools to work through your problems, no matter what the size.
These answers aren’t comprehensive … They are a start. If you or someone you know needs counseling please call Christian Family Solutions Counseling Care & Services at 800-438-1772.
If you are experiencing a health emergency of any kind, please dial 911.