Winter provides an opportunity to discuss more openly the realities of living with depression. People are much more open to conversations about the weather than they are about their inner lives, but during winter these two things merge. People are more open to talking about their experience of depression when they feel that it is bounded by fluctuations in temperature. The weather is perceived to be banal and innocuous small talk and so it creates an opportunity to talk about more difficult subject matter.
One of the most famous passages in literature describing these connections comes from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, which begins: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
I believe that this passage from Ecclesiastes can provide a helpful framework for talking about depression without putting people on the defensive. Depression is frightfully common, yet little discussed within churches. If we can talk about grief, we can talk about the melancholy without meaning that defines so many people’s experience of depression.
This message is excerpted from “Tis the season! For seasonal affective disorder…” by Mary Beth Button from the February 12, 2015, blog of the Women of the ELCA.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.