This week we have been talking about depression. It’s not an easy subject. It’s not easy for those of us who have lived it, and for those of us who have loved someone going through it.
It’s a tough conversation to have, and yet, as I look at the world around us the need cries out. People are hurting, wounded and in despair. Everyday we lose people to depression, either physically, emotionally or spiritually.
These kind of conversations allow us to start doing something about those losses. To address how depression really effects all of us. To talk about Hope in the midst of it all.
Monday we talked about the first three of 6 key things to avoid when loving someone through depression. If you missed that post you can read it HERE.
Now we visit the last three: Loving Someone Through Depression: 6 Key Things To Avoid.
4. “If You Just Had More Faith” – This might be one of the most hurtful things that you can say to someone facing a dark storm of life. Depression is rarely just a faith issue. Often depression touches all aspects of a person’s being. Physically, mentally and spiritually. If anything, depression tests your faith like none other and we need others to come alongside of us in that testing. This quote sums it up well – “Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” (Author unknown)
5. Stop Showing Up – Because depression causes withdrawal, it is easy to assume that maybe your friend just needs space. Can I implore you? Please keep showing up. Even if they don’t want to get together because they are struggling to get out of bed, or put one foot in front of the other…keep showing up. A phone call can be a life line. Too often we regulate our communication to a quick Facebook post or message. Never underestimate the power of your own voice in the life of a friend. They need you to show up.
6. Fix It Mode – Because we love, we want to fix. Some times I think it’s just in our nature. Unfortunately, depression isn’t an easy fix. It is a process, which starts with your loved one admitting the dark place they are in. In depression their can be denial, grief, anger, resentment, hopelessness and a myriad of other emotions and factors. The important part is to realize that you do not have to have all the answers. Often you will not. But what you do have to offer is support, love and encouragement as they travel the path towards healing and wholeness.
What I do know is there is HOPE and that you are not alone. There are so many of us who have walked in the place o f depression. There are many of us walking with a loved one battling this monster. However, I am convinced that as we begin to be brave and have conversations about mental health – depression, fears, anxieties (the list goes on) – that we will see God bring even greater healing to individuals and to us as a people.
Next week we will talk about: Loving Someone Through Depression – 6 key things to do.
What is your story? Who are you loving through depression? What would you add to this list of things to avoid?