How a crisis can quickly trigger depression

A crisis can quickly trigger depression. I wrote this back in 2012. However, I am reposting it today because I have finished my devotional book. It’s a devotional for Christians who find themselves struggling with depression.

Crisis and depression often have a tangled relationship. A crisis brings up some issues I address in the book about how depression can strike after a crisis and how we should be on the alert.

While most of us handle a crisis well, after everything calms down is when depression is apt to strike. This post is about those times.

The Crisis


(2012) I hear the sirens getting closer.  My heart isn’t just pounding; it’s trying to jump out of its fragile shell. Not again, I say to myself. How many times have I been through this?  Has he been through this?

Four emergency vehicles, lights flashing speed up my circular driveway. People swarm everywhere. Six, I think. I become invisible.” This man is my life”, I want to scream. But I don’t. They need to do their job.   I hover nearby, ever his protector.

I ride with him in the ambulance.  Amidst what sounds like a normal conversation, I’m shooting up “arrow prayers” hoping they find their target. “Lord, keep him safe.  Help this to be nothing.”

Then my prayers are for me, “Lord, keep me sharp and focused. Help me to be strong. Help me to hear what’s being said. Give me boldness to question, to confront, even to demand. Help me trust my instincts knowing they come from you.”  

A peace envelopes me like it does every night when my husband wraps his arms around me and I smile myself to sleep. I know there are stronger arms than his holding me now.

Six hours later, three in the morning, we are home. It’s not his heart but a muscle that is inflamed due to all the projects he’s been doing. It is often confused with a heart attack. We collapse exhausted but relieved.

The next day and how depression might be triggered

Red flag, red flag, my mind tells me. 

person looking out the window
crisis and depression

This is the danger zone. The adrenaline continues to flood over me now even though the emergency is over. I need to exercise more to lower the amount of Cortisol floating freely through my system. I find myself wanting to eat constantly. To stay busy every moment. I’m not ready to think, to evaluate.  I remember the aftermath of his heart attack:

After days at the hospital I was convinced to go home for a night. I remember waking up the next morning in a kind of suspended state of reality.  Coming downstairs I saw his truck in the driveway and wondered where he was. The brain fog shattered and I remembered it all too clearly. His heart stopping-literally. The electric paddles violently abusing his body. The sudden beeping of the heart monitor again. The absolute terror of it all.

I consider myself a smart woman. 

Aftermath of a crisis

I know the aftermath of this crisis is where “IT” (my favorite word for depression) is lying in wait to gobble me up.  It’s where the trigger for depression can show up. I’m already planning the days ahead.  Projects to accomplish. Menus to plan. People to connect with.  Making sure I look extra good when I see my reflection in the mirror.  Knowing my time with God will be scattered and unpredictable for a few days.  Knowing that God is OK with that.

These are just quick snippets of what I’m going through right now.  Very little editing. After all, we can’t edit history.  I want you to hear exactly what I’m feeling and thinking as I prepare for a few days’ battle. I know that a crisis can trigger depression. Maybe my honesty will help you.

Remember, there is a close relationship between depression and crisis. So, the next time you find yourself in a crisis, be prepared for the aftermath, and don’t let depression get a foothold. Don’t let the aftermath of the crisis trigger a depressive episode.

God bless and have a good day.

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