When clinical depression is “on-the-clock” it can be sheer agony. It resists and lingers, sometimes for days and days. (It can last for months if untreated.) But it seems that it is these “hours” that are scarcely endurable. It’s truly all this “wasted” time that can seem most unbearable to the afflicted.

“I was mute and silent,
I refrained even from good,
And my sorrow grew worse.”

–Psalm 39:2, NASB

Depressed people tend to suffer in silence and isolate themselves from the outside world. When you’re depressed, you feel less motivated to go out, make contact, socialize or participate in activities, or doing anything at all. It’s all you can do just to get out of bed.

Days, even weeks can go by without wanting to see anyone or talk to anyone. This aggravates feelings of isolation. Often depressed people do not want to talk about their problem or simply feel misunderstood.

Similarly, prolonged and intense feelings of depression can lead to loneliness. Treating the symptoms of depression may help resolve the problem but it isn’t a sure thing. Finding good relationships can push you out of a depression. Loneliness often fuels my depression. Find understanding friends that you can talk with.

unbelieving-believersBeating depression or loneliness does not start with having more friends, or a relationship, although it can help. It really starts from within and is a process that takes time and care. We can be tempted to scrap friendships because they’re a lot of work. But they maybe one of the keys to healing. Experience has taught me that humans go through life in patterns. (We ‘ll do the same thing over and over again.) Even in different situations, these patterns will be repeated and simply generate the same results. A friend can be a new and strategic solution to breaking free.

It is a good thing to know that Jesus Christ sees and understands. 

But it’s also good to have someone with “skin on.”  Someone you can see and touch.  That’s precisely why we have the Church.  People who believe and touch each other deeply, helping each other up.  Depression does not do very well in the true Body of Christ.

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:1-2

Dear broken believer, take solace in the people in the church. Learn to confide with those who understand. Sometimes I wonder if God has arranged my mental illness so that I will reach out to others. Perhaps He allows it to bless His Church?

“The church is not a select circle of the immaculate, but a home where the outcast may come in. It is not a palace with gate attendants and challenging sentinels along the entrance-ways holding off at arm’s-length the stranger, but rather a hospital where the broken-hearted may be healed, and where all the weary and troubled may find rest and take counsel together.” 

–James H. Aughey

aabryplain

 

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