To me, there are two places in scripture that embody the depression and hopelessness inspired by OCD.
The first is in Luke 23:48-29, which takes place immediately after Jesus has died: “And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.” This one is more implied than overt, of course, but I can clearly imagine the deadness in the hearts of his friends as they watched their great hope dangle dead on a cursed tree.
The second is Psalm 88. I’m drawn toward the Message version, and I used to sob as I read these words, feeling their truth weigh on my heart like the worst kind of pain and loneliness that existed.
God, you’re my last chance of the day.
I spend the night on my knees before you.
Put me on your salvation agenda;
take notes on the trouble I’m in.
I’ve had my fill of trouble;
I’m camped on the edge of hell.
I’m written off as a lost cause,
one more statistic, a hopeless case.
Abandoned as already dead,
one more body in a stack of corpses,
And not so much as a gravestone—
I’m a black hole in oblivion.
You’ve dropped me into a bottomless pit,
sunk me in a pitch-black abyss.
I’m battered senseless by your rage,
relentlessly pounded by your waves of anger.
You turned my friends against me,
made me horrible to them.
I’m caught in a maze and can’t find my way out,
blinded by tears of pain and frustration.
I call to you, God; all day I call.
I wring my hands, I plead for help.
Are the dead a live audience for your miracles?
Do ghosts ever join the choirs that praise you?
Does your love make any difference in a graveyard?
Is your faithful presence noticed in the corridors of hell?
Are your marvelous wonders ever seen in the dark,
your righteous ways noticed in the Land of No Memory?
I’m standing my ground, God, shouting for help,
at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak.
Why, God, do you turn a deaf ear?
Why do you make yourself scarce?
For as long as I remember I’ve been hurting;
I’ve taken the worst you can hand out, and I’ve had it.
Your wildfire anger has blazed through my life;
I’m bleeding, black-and-blue.
You’ve attacked me fiercely from every side,
raining down blows till I’m nearly dead.
You made lover and neighbor alike dump me;
the only friend I have left is Darkness.
I praise God that he faithfully saw me through the very worst throes of OCD, and I believe that he will see me through whatever else lies ahead. But I have known deep depression, darkness so intense that I could see no escape, terror that ignited my heart with a wild fury. And he has seen me through it all.
There is hope. Even though those friends couldn’t imagine it in their wildest dreams as they stared at that lifeless body stapled to the cross, the resurrection was just around the corner.