Depression and other mental health matters may be the most secretive difficulties people in your local church endure. And, sadly, the reaction of fellow believers can tend to keep them hidden. Our “fix-it” society loves to help others and that certainly is a good thing. The problem arises when people offer what they believe to be simple and “obvious” answers. Sadly, the words that people intend to be the immediate cure can have the opposite effect. Saying there’s an easy solution to someone who is enduring something they already don’t understand can make them feel worse.
As they used to say on Schoolhouse Rock, “knowledge is power.” Carlos Whitaker is an author, speaker, blogger, and worship leader who gave a “day in the life…” rundown of what it’s like for someone dealing with anxiety and depression found here. It starts like this:
When I wake up it feels like my eyes are literally in the back of my head.
My face tingles.
My breath is shallow.
My limbs are a bit numb.
My heart feels like it is beating at half the pace it normally does.
Kisses from my kids do nothing to move me.
I lay there looking at the ceiling wanting to pull the covers back over my head.
But I can’t.
Because I have to pay the electric bill by Friday or they will shut it off.
It continues on, letting people see how anxiety and depression impacts every single moment of a person’s day. Chances are someone close to you is having a day similar to this. In the end, he says,
In our numbness He feels for us.
In our sadness He will be our smile.
One step at a time friends.
And if this not you, be the feeling and smile for the one in your life who struggles.
Romans 12: 15 says, “…and weep with those who weep.” We meet with people and let their suffering become ours. Yes, we can give practical help when appropriate, but sometimes the best thing one can do for someone who struggles is to say, “I’m here for you” and to simple BE for them.
Carlos has a new book coming out in October 2017. “Kill The Spiders” talks to believers who find themselves falling back into their old behaviors and need to experience freedom in Christ.