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Depression, Anxiety, and Panic Attacks - There is no SHAME, you're not alone

 Mark 14:32-34 They came to an area called Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him. He plunged into a sinkhole of dreadful agony. He told them, “I feel bad enough right now to die. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”

Jesus probably suffered anxiety just like we all do sometimes. Depression, Anxiety, and Panic Attacks! He was God in a “human body”. Many times as Believers and NON Believers, we don’t want to recognize that the brain is actually just another organ in the body that needs special attention to maintain good mental health. Sometimes even medicine!

Though the Bible doesn’t use the word “depression” except in a few translations and verses, it’s often referenced by other similar words, such as “downcast,” “brokenhearted,” “troubled,” “miserable,” “despairing,” and “mourning,” among others. Throughout the Word, there are a number of stories about godly, influential men and women of faith, who struggled and battled through dark times of hopelessness and depression. Many of us may find ourselves struggling there today. But we don’t have to stay stuck there. There’s hope.

Our brain is not our spirit or our soul. It's a great big supercomputer organ, that God created to house our thoughts, make decisions, and send signals to our body using our central nervous system as a highway to do things like tell our heart to beat. Or to digest food.  If your liver started giving you medical problems, you would get prayer, and see a Doctor. Probably even take some medicines and change some eating habits.

1 Corinthians 6:19 "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

The brain is no different than any other vital organ in our body. It runs on chemicals and electrical impulses to do just about everything. From time to time, it gets tired or overworked. Or sometimes you may just have a lot come at you all at once and you get anxiety or panic. Its does what it is supposed to do.

Fight or Flight - Our bodies are created to be survivors. If we find ourselves in a situation that is life threatening, or just annoying, our brains create chemicals to make us either FIGHT, or flee.  That's the way God planned it. That's why God want it to be. Don’t ask me, ask HIM why. Sometimes we get stuck in the middle of fight or flight and we can't make a decision that is positive or helpful. That is a panic or anxiety attack. If we can't get help fast, depression sets in. 

 

NOW I FIGHT! For the promises of God in my life and to live a Kingdom Life.

Jesus was faced with certain death and persecution. He knew he could not run or “flight”, because His death was God's plan for us to all be able to be saved from sin. So the scriptures tell us that “He plunged into a sinkhole of dreadful agony. He told them, “I feel bad enough right now to die.”  Sound familiar to anyone out there???

Now to anyone who has been there, that is a classic panic or anxiety attack. There is NO SHAME in having “mental illness”. We are designed to only process so much and sometimes we get overwhelmed by this world's problem, and the chemical imbalance starts. And we live in a much different world today with wars, rumors of wars, terrible physical health due to terrible nutritional habits, and so forth.

Depression and anxiety are not just a mind over matter issue. They are real chemical imbalances in the organ called the brain. Just like if you get pancreatitis. It needs some TLC to get it fixed. Sometimes just rest and relaxation, other times more aggressive treatment plans to get back on track.

Now we have all been there or know someone who is suffering. I have many times over the years. The last thing I needed was someone telling me put my mind above it. If Jesus needed Peter, James, and John to be with Him as He went thru such an attack on Him, why wouldn't we all want someone around to support us during these times. There is NO SHAME.

Now I know that some people are going to disagree with me about this. And you are the people who I am writing to. Stop with the negative comments and thoughts about that person's depression and pray with them. Just be there. Anything, but don’t be negative to them. It’s not something they chose and condemnation only makes it worse.

Here are seven things you should never say to someone who is suffering from depression:

  1. “Grow Up”
    Depression can happen to anyone, at any age. This comment expresses a true lack of compassion. Saying this shows that you aren’t taking their illness seriously, and you also don’t understand what’s going on.

  2. “Maybe You Should Trying Learning From Your Mistakes”
    Saying this to someone who is depressed is the equivalent to kicking them when they’re down. This gives them more insecurities and more reasons to be upset. This adds to the sense of hopelessness and failure that they’re already struggling with.

  3. “No One Ever Said Life Was Fair”
    When someone is battling depression, they have very little energy to see clearly. Their sadness is so overwhelming and paralyzing that they are unable to see the positive things in life. Saying this to someone with depression will hurt them even more.

  4. “Suck It Up, Life Is Hard For Everyone”
    Depression is not a sign of weakness. This statement isn’t just insensitive, it’s an expression of extreme lack of compassion for your friend or family member who is struggling.

  5. “It’s All In Your Head”
    This statement is clearly insensitive to someone who is battling depression. Saying “it’s all in your head” degrades them and lets them know that you think they’re making the whole thing up.

  6. “Snap Out Of It”
    Telling someone with depression to “snap out of it” is a clear sign that you’re dismissing the mental disorder. You’re denying there is any real problem and suggesting they are simply feeling sorry for themselves. This can end up making your friend or family member withdraw from you, even more than they already have.

  7. “I Thought You Were Stronger Than This”
    A person who says this to a friend or family member battling depression is probably struggling with their own emotional issues. This is a bullying phrase – you’re telling that person their illness is weak, in order to make yourself feel better.




 


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