A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression.
My daughter suffers from epilepsy. During her last visit, her neurologist suggested she should consider having a Vagus Nerve Stimulator installed. The device is like a pacemaker with a generator in the upper chest right under the skin and a thin wire passed into the neck. The wire would be attached to a nerve in the left side of the neck called the vagus nerve. The stimulator would send electrical impulses through the nerve to her brain. According to the latest studies, if she responds, she could decrease her medication dramatically and possible be seizure free. I’m writing about this because of two things that happened in the aftermath of this development.
Last weekend on August 29th, Mark Sutton and I held a Conquering Depression Seminar at First Baptist Church in Keithville, Louisiana. The pastor asked us to come to his church and hold this seminar for anyone suffering from depression or anyone whose relatives or loved ones suffer from depression. Mark and his wife, Donna arrived on Friday evening from Orlando and we met them for dinner. They asked Casey how she was doing and she told them about the possibility of getting the VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator). Sherry and I were cautiously optimistic and Casey was on board but we wanted to talk to someone who had a VNS. Mark grinned and told us about a family from his church in Orlando. A couple has an adult son suffering from seizures much worse than our daughter. I had met that couple and their son when visiting Mark’s LifeGroup on one of my Orlando trips. He said they had moved away from Orlando but their son had gotten a VNS and it had changed his life drastically. Instead of having three or more seizures an hour, their son now had maybe one a day. God’s affirmation #1! Mark had no idea we were interested in a VNS but his story gave us hope.
The next morning we held our seminar. During the mid morning break, a gentleman come up to me and introduced himself. He asked me if I knew anything about VNS! My mouth fell open and I motioned him toward my wife so that we could both hear his story. He told us that nine years ago, he suffered from depression that would not respond to any treatment. He had received a VNS as treatment for depression and it “changed my life” he told us. God’s affirmation #2. In less than 48 hours, God had led us to two people who had VNS and who had a positive experience.
On Sunday, Mark and I preached in the morning service at the church and my wife had the opportunity to meet this man’s wife. Again, the affirmation was good. I share this for two reasons.
First, there are times when I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut. Learning that my daughter might have to undergo an invasive treatment for her seizures was just such an event. It is at times like these I immediately feel like I can no longer tread water and I start to go under into the cold, dark waters of depression. But, learning what we did so quickly about VNS was God’s way of reminding us that He is still in control. And, if we trust in Him, He will deliver us! Not only are we encouraged by the affirmation from those who have a VNS, but we find hope in the realization that God was right there with us in our moments of confusion and concern.
Second, VNS may be an option for those suffering from profound, severe depression. In the coming weeks, I will share more information on the use of VNS in depression through the Physician’s Fact. But, for now understand that as a sufferer from depression you may need more than just counseling. You will need a physician to address medical issues and that physician may be the link to finding alternative methods of treating depression. Don’t give up. Always have HOPE!