My friends at http://mockingbirdnyc.blogspot.com/ just posted some excerpts from a wonderful article by Kathryn Greene-McCreight that focused on depression. Being one who suffers from panic disorder and depression I believe it offers a true to life description of what it feels like. It also offers some hope too. If you know someone who suffers from mental illness or you do yourself this will definitely speak to your heart. Here are those excerpts that they picked out of the article. For a full description of the article check out their blog (It's an awesome blog site by the way)...
Depression is not just sadness or sorrow. Depression is not just negative thinking. Depression is not just being "down." It's walking barefoot on broken glass; the weight of one's body grinds the glass in further with every movement. So, the weight of my very existence grinds the shards of grief deeper into my soul. When I am depressed, every thought, every breath, every conscious moment hurts. And often the opposite is the case when I am hypomanic: I am scintillating both to myself, and, in my imagination, to the whole world. But mania is more than speeding mentally, more than euphoria, more than creative genius at work. Sometimes, when it tips into full-blown psychosis, it can be terrifying. The sick individual cannot simply shrug it off or pull out of it: there is no pulling oneself "up by the bootstraps."
And yet the Christian faith has a word of real hope, especially for those who suffer mentally. Hope is found in the risen Christ. Suffering is not eliminated by his resurrection, but transformed by it. Christ's resurrection kills even the power of death, and promises that God will wipe away every tear on that final day. But we still have tears in the present. We still die. In God's future, however, death itself will die. The tree from which Adam and Eve took the fruit of their sin and death becomes the cross that gives us life.
In my bouts with mental illness, this understanding of Christian hope gives comfort and encouragement, even if no relief from symptoms. Sorrowing and sighing will be no more. Tears will be wiped away. Even fractious brains will be restored.