A note from Lisa: Remember that if you suffer from depression or even suicidal thoughts you are not alone. In the devotional below, Karlton speaks of both extreme depression that need medical intervention, as well as our “melancholy moods.” There is a great difference between these two areas, but they are often lumped together. If you are feeling suicidal at all, I encourage you to visit a Christian web site I write for ThinkingAboutSuicide.com or seek out immediate help.
“Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression.” (Deuteronomy 26:6-8)
We will face things in life that are just too difficult to comprehend. I have been recently thinking about a young woman who tragically ended her life in a violent fashion. I cannot fathom the kind of misery and pain she was going through to do such an act, what mental processes were involved that led her into tragedy, and left behind sorrowing friends and family members.
There are serious mental illnesses that need treating, and depression often accompanies other illnesses. These do not go away by wishful thinking, but often need medication and therapy.
Nevertheless, I think to some extent we are responsible for our actions and choices–our own “mental health.” For example, you cannot be focused on “doom and gloom” twenty-four hours a day and expect to keep a cheerful disposition. You cannot watch depressing news channels at all hours and then expect to have any optimism. And if you spend all your time with gloomy people and expect it not to rub off on you, it’s unlikely. Good mental health takes an effort on our part.
We should not everpass judgment on those who cope to depression and mental illness; and we should try to help those who are in the throes of mental anguish.
I believe in a healing, restoring God, and I believe He can help us to overcome anything the devil may throw at us. It will not always be easy. Indeed, the challenges are sometimes harsh, but if we will keep the faith and hold fast to our Lord, I believe we can avoid becoming just another tragedy, and help those around us as well.
If you are in the throes of depression and despair I encourage you to seek treatment. There are things we can do to improve our mental condition, but there are mental illnesses that need treatment and medication. People die of various diseases, and such diseases are taken seriously, but I fear mental illness are not taken as seriously even though mental illness can lead to death and endless misery. Faith and positive thinking, and being diligent about our mental wellness are important, but mental illness is a disease as worthy of medical treatment as any other affliction
Perhaps you struggle with depression or anxiety or some other malady of the mind, get treatment, get help. If you know someone who suffers such things, keep track of them, ask them how they are doing, ask if they are getting treatment, if they are taking their medication.
Perhaps you struggle with everyday melancholy and emotional liability, be aware of what makes you worse, what makes you better, avoid the things that increase such problems, and stay aware of your moods and feelings. Some things God heals, sometimes he uses doctors and medication, and sometimes He gives us wisdom to clean up our own unhealthy mental habits.
Prayer: Dear Lord, how painful it is to see others lost to depression and mental illness, we need Your comfort and peace for these situations. And we need Your strength and guidance to help those who are suffering from despair. Let Your love and grace guide us all Lord. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is grateful that the Lord heals the body, spirit, and the mind as well.
Have you considered that the Lord cares as much about our mental health as our physical health? Do you know people who are suffering mentally and need help?