Do you know someone who is struggling with depression? This video called the “black-dog of depression” is an excellent, short piece that explains depression very accurately.
There’s no shame in depression. It’s no different from someone who struggles with allergies or diabetes. Both require lifestyle corrections and behavior management. Both may require medication and regular doctors visits.
There are people all around you who suffer from depression – and work very hard at hiding it. It’s embarrassing. Too often people with depression are labelled “needy” or “anti-social” or “fearful” or not having enough faith, or not applying the faith they have.
It is extremely isolating. Too often programs in the church require people get in their cars and drive to the church, socialize, sit in a meeting of some kind, listen to someone give a speech. For someone with depression going someplace is often too exhausting.
Rarely do churches have counseling available because of liability, or lack of time and training. People struggling financially never get the help they need because they can’t afford $80-100 an hour. Too often the only counseling available is secular.
I believe there should be more mental health education in our churches. Teach people that it isn’t a sin to have depression any more than it is to struggle with weight. I can’t imaging anyone telling a person 75 pounds overweight “if you would quote these scriptures, or if you only had more faith, you wouldn’t be fat.” Scripture and faith are a big piece of weight loss (I can attest to that) but it’s not a magic pill.
Christmas time is especially difficult for people suffering with depression. Look around, do you know someone who really needs to know they’re accepted and loved even though they may be struggling? Take Christmas TO them – you’ll be glad you did.