From Our Readers
Note: The series “Understanding Mood Disorders,” which appeared in our issue of January 8, 2004, drew an unusually large reader response. The following letters are just a sampling of the many we received.
I have read many articles in your magazines that have touched me, but none as much as this series. As I read of our brothers and sisters who suffer with these disorders, my heart went out to them. If I have ever said anything insensitive to such ones, I hope that they can forgive me. Please continue publishing articles like these. They help all of us to be more loving and understanding.
S. W., United States
I felt that my life was over when I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. I cried so much, but I also prayed to Jehovah with supplications. This week I received the answer to my prayers—the Awake! on mood disorders. It was as if Jehovah were wrapping me in a warm blanket on a winter day. Because of these articles, I have the courage to move forward.
R. T., Canada
Our 12-year-old son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder three years ago. Often he has felt that no one understands his problems and that Jehovah does not care for him. When we showed him these articles, he immediately read them. He had tears in his eyes as he said: “Mom, they do understand. And Jehovah understands me.” His physician was pleased to accept the magazine, and I had an enjoyable Bible discussion with him.
L. P., United States
I asked Jehovah with all my heart that information on bipolar disorder be published. Today, two months later, I have the January 8, 2004, issue of Awake! in my hands. Thanks to your practical suggestions, I have been able to increase my service to Jehovah.
M. S., Mexico
I used the information in this series for a project in college. The department head of the special needs program asked for a copy of it to use in teaching staff members about bipolar disorder. Keep up the excellent work. Many are benefiting.
K. R., United States
You well highlighted the importance of not confusing the illness with the person. These articles help those of us who are congregation elders to understand the circumstances of the brothers battling these ailments and to work with them.
R. P., Italy
My sister suffers from major depression. When I read these articles, I cried because I realized that I have spoken with such ignorance concerning her plight. Now I know that I must not give up on my sister but patiently seek to understand her.
D. P., United States
I identified with everything I read in this series. I was moved to tears and felt somewhat relieved of my guilt feelings. I gave a copy of the magazine to my doctor, who has always encouraged me to stay faithful to my beliefs.
A. L., France
I am 13 years old. So many times I have wanted to die. The Awake! has really helped me to hold on. Now I know that Jehovah really does care and that he listens to us!
M. S., United States
I always considered depression to be selfish, something that a person just needs to snap out of. After reading these articles, however, I realized that by not being considerate of others’ feelings, I was actually the one being selfish.
R. N., United States
Thank you for this well-written series. It provides a wonderful foundation for treatment. I am currently a PhD student in counseling, and I will use the article with my clients.
P. Y., United States
For more than ten years, I have been fighting depression. These articles mentioned the benefit of keeping a diary, and I would like to try that. A Christian friend records the meetings for me on the days that I can’t go, and this is a real help.
M. S., Japan
I have been living with these symptoms for ten years. I’ve read the articles many times and studied them carefully together with my husband. They helped us to talk about my moods and to pay better attention to each other.
I. H., Hungary
I have been criticized by my own family to the point of my wanting to commit suicide. But this series gives me hope, knowing that Jehovah understands me. Now I’ve been going back to Christian meetings and participating in the ministry.
M. B., United States
I am comforted by the fact that I am not alone in my sufferings. There were practical thoughts in the series, and I will try to apply them to the extent possible. Please continue to print such articles, which can help many.
V. L., Russia
I am a 68-year-old elder who has had clinical depression for about ten years. The “shepherds” are sheep too, and some of us can also get seriously depressed. Reading how others are coping with mood disorders touched me deeply.
B. A., United States
The material in this series moved me to get medical treatment. It has also helped my wife to cope better with my depression. I never fail to be impressed with how timely and accurate your articles are.
C. B., Germany
Three months before reading this series, I was diagnosed with depression. My first reactions to the news were exactly as you described in the series—shock and a reluctance to tell anyone. Thanks to your series, I feel understood and I do not feel alone anymore.
A. G., Austria
Ever since I was little, my father has been afflicted with bipolar disorder. When he was in the manic phase, the family really suffered. Even though I knew he was sick, I hated him. But when I read this series, I understood for the first time what my father was going through. I couldn’t stop crying as I read it. The next time I travel home, I want to try to talk to him. I will try to accept him from my heart.
S. S., Japan
My friend’s daughter has mental problems, and I told her that if she simply studied more and prayed more she would feel better. The information on page 10 of this series showed me that I was wrong. Prayer and study help, but they do not cure medical problems. Thank you for keeping me up-to-date.
B. D., United States
Many times I have cried when someone told me that if we are Christians, we don’t get depressed. But this series has helped me, and it comforted me to know that I am not alone with this problem.
P. B., England