September 28, 2018
Warning: Long post ahead
Depression has rampantly taken humanity by storm over the last two decades. It is acknowledged by World Health Organization (WHO) that “depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.”
Our nation may have been branded as one of the happiest countries in the world, yet we are not spared from this sad reality. We may have prided ourselves with flashing smiles amidst calamities and typhoons, yet more than 3 million people in the Philippines are living with depression and an almost equal number of individuals are suffering from anxiety according to Department of Health (DOH).
According to WHO, depression is “a common mental disorder that is usually associated with a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.” They have concluded that depression is a leading factor in suicides.
If you know someone who needs help in this struggle, we hope that these tips will help you provide emotional support to this person.
Just keep in mind that just like with any other counseling session, these things must be done with full consent from the other person.
Ultimately, we must trust that it is the Holy Spirit who brings change and healing in a person’s life. Hence, there’s no need for us to force these things on them or to require them to go through all these steps.
Please remember to encourage your friend to seek professional help for psychiatric assessment after you’ve done psychological first aid. A combination of prescriptive medicine (if needed) and a psycho-spiritual approach will help in the holistic healing of depression.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
excessive worry about the present and/or future event accompanied by mental anguish and physical impulsiveness
separating of oneself from crowds and wanting to be alone to think and talk to oneself most of the time
thinking of ending emotional pain through physical death
looking down on oneself and developing a self-image or concept of being a failure in life
the act of blaming others for the fate one has experienced, at times resorting to ranting and bashing on social media
uncontrolled and roller coaster episodes of anger, grief, and sadness
uncontrolled bursts of emotional reaction related to lingering hurt
physical needs are affected due to excessive mental anguish and damaged emotions
high sensitivity to any comments, even of appreciation, which may be inferred as insincerity from others
no awareness of time, the subject discussed, and continuity of communication among others
4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
1 KINGS 19:4-8
16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-18
“. . . to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
ISAIAH 61:3 (NKJV)
At the end of the day, the greatest help that we can offer is the truth that the Word of God gives life. Jesus did not only save us from our sins—He also healed us from all our sorrows and despair. If you know someone who is dealing with mental health concerns, may you be a living vessel of God’s love to them and a tangible reminder that they are not alone.
5Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6and my God. . . .