Dealing with the dark clouds of depression

Harry Croghan - Contributing Columnist

There have been periods in my life when the dark clouds of depression have hit me so hard that I feel mired and unable to move forward. This depression causes a state of mental fragmentation where I feel like I’m coming apart from the inside out. My thoughts all seem to be turned to the negative parts of my reality.

For me, depression can be an all-consuming tidal wave of emotion. But for many people, depression presents in a variety of ways. We must all try to navigate the storm of depression in our own way, but I wanted to share some alternative approaches that I have found helpful.

One thing I have learned, and that most people suffering from depression should understand, is that it is a chemical imbalance in the body. People choose to address this problem in a variety of ways. I believe that a good diet during this time will help you to fight depression. I have found that a change in diet greatly improved my sense of well-being.

Other people have chosen to see their family doctor in order to get medicine to help them through the extreme parts of depression. My concern with antidepressants is that of dependence upon the medication. It is a double-edged sword that requires monitoring to know what helps and what hinders. I am not discouraging anyone from seeking medical treatment for depression, but I want to encourage you to consider changing your diet as an alternative or in addition to antidepressant medications.

There is one very important factor that can help you through depression that not many doctors or mental health professionals recommend, but for me has been my salvation during times of depression. Yes, I have gotten medical help and I feel there is a definite place and time for this, but all along the way I seek the solitude and attitude of a prayerful heart. When I am really down, when I know I cannot climb out by myself, those are the times I ask for help and guidance from God. I have found that He has led me to those who can and will help me. Let your close friends know what is happening in your life and accept their prayers and helpful guidance. There are ministers, priests, religious leaders, as well as lay people, who know a lot about depression.

Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the true power behind prayers.

As many of you already know, I write from my heart, not from my mind. If my rambling seems illogical, it’s because logic is not a big part of my life. I know I am an emotionally-centered being, and what works for me may not work for you, but I try to share what I feel may be useful to someone who is experiencing similar situations and feels very much alone. I am saying you are not alone. Many of us have already been there. Many of us are still there in various stages. I say, seek help. It is there in many different forms.

Since the writing of this article, my younger son lost his wife to liver cancer. He has lost the two most important women in his life in the past two months. I ask for special prayers for him in this time of extreme loss.

Harry Croghan

Contributing Columnist

Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. He can be reached at 740-852-4906 or by e-mail at

Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. He can be reached at 740-852-4906 or by e-mail at