I can't remember much of the conversation in that consulting room. Just two words lodged in my mind: manic depression.
Until I began to respond to a sense of call to Christian ministry my life had been directionless and mostly "gray," but it was not until I was a theological student that depression began to take a hold. I had a driving job, delivering photographic equipment to retailers. I would be driving from one delivery to another weeping. I was scared. I didn't know why I was crying. I wasn't consciously unhappy about anything (I had just gotten engaged to the woman who would become my wife). I wasn't consciously worried about anything. I was just weeping uncontrollably.
After seeing a number of general physicians, I was prescribed anti-depressants and referred to a psychiatrist. Once a month, I saw the psychiatrist to ensure that my moods were stabilizing. I am one of the fortunate people for whom lithium works. Lithium is not a "cure" but ...1