Lyme depression is real. Chemical depression is real.
And it is SO hard.
It will be for others to write the scientific explanation.* My family has experienced the emotional reactions that accompany MCS and Lyme personally though, and I thought I’d share the faith side of things that we’ve learned.
There are countless scriptures on joy in the Bible. They leave one things un-arguable: that believers should have joy, and that joy doesn’t depend on the circumstances. That is doesn’t change in anything. Here are just a few:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. -Romans 12:12 (NIV)
Rejoice always, -1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! -Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise His holy name. -Psalm 97:12 (NIV)
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. -Philippians 3:1 (NIV)
I had spent the day outside, adventuring, and when we returned to the place that we were staying at the time (which ended up being bad), I happily walked in, pleased that I had physically been able to enjoy the day with my family. We were only stopping to grab some food and head on to another thing that evening. Ten minutes later I was sobbing. It was a totally irrational sorrow- nothing had happened! I was irritated with everyone, and I was so mournful and self-pitying. Now I am not perfect, but I had previously prided myself in my emotional strength. (I didn’t consciously pride myself in it, but God used this to show me my pride and humble me in it:)). Suddenly my assumption on my own emotional strength was crumbling at my feet. I didn’t understand, but suddenly the world felt like the pit of despair.
As soon as I got in the car, amazingly, suddenly I was back to my bubbly self. I didn’t get what was happening at that moment, but as the same cycle repeated- I smelling something, I was uncontrollably sad, I got out of it, I was normal- we realized what was going on. The chemicals I was smelling triggered a chemical reaction in me that equaled utter sadness and tears. It is like female hormonal emotions, except six times worse. How strange, but I know that it is real, that I am not making it up. Because I am not the only one who has experienced it! Nor is my emotional confusion the only kind.
My dad tends to lean more towards the Lyme side of things, and he experienced irrational irritability, and depression. His is even harder because it isn’t as obvious if there is a trigger. Though when he gets into ‘our’ mold from our old house, he reacts badly emotionally and mentally. My brother also experiences similar things to him. And guess what? When they have LDI Lyme, they get better.
When you get into that place it is really hard, isn’t it. No one understands or believes you, you end up emotionally hurting the people you love, and you don’t understand! Everything is so awful and depressing on top of the results. It is so much easier to try to hide in yourself, or a game, or a book until it all goes away. But then that hurts those around you as well.
Guess what?! You don’t have to be stuck in it. I know how hard it is from personal experience, but I also know that we don’t have to be stuck in it, also from personal experience! In God we have the power to still have joy. Hard to believe? Yes, I know, but do you trust God? Do you trust that he is powerful enough to be bigger than your emotions, however giant and strong they may seem?
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead
-Ephesians 1:18-20a (NIV)
Plus, what about this…
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy… -Galatians 5:22a
If God’s Holy Spirit is in us, we have joy in us. Do we doubt God’s power? Do we doubt His joy? How dare we? He has given us a gift of His Holy Spirit! He can lift us out of the pit of despair! He is true love. Nothing must or can touch our joy in Him.