Treating depression

My family doctor suggests that up to 80% of his appointments could be handled by everyday, non-medically-trained people.  Dr. Marlowe Haskins perceives that many of his patients have few or even no friends, so they’ll make appointments to see him every few weeks.  I wonder whether these people are hypochondriacs or actually admit up front that they come simply for a few minutes of conversation and human interaction.

Dr. Haskins gave this statistic yesterday at Telkwa CRC.  I had spoken about depression, using Psalm 42 as a launching point.  Afterwards, I invited him to speak from his Christian perspective and professional experience.  Dr. Haskins did not at all dismiss the importance of diagnosing and treating depression, but he made it clear that much healing from feeling blue and even outright despair can be found within a loving community.

If we opened our eyes wider on Sunday mornings, we would likely notice more people in the pews around us who are lonely and feeling down.  We can affirm them, remind them that they mean a lot to us, offer help as we are able, and, most importantly, spend time together.  On the other hand, when we are feeling blue, maybe we need to ask ourselves why we don’t reach out to someone in our church community.  God does not expect us to wear a plastic happy face when we enter a church sanctuary and, I pray, many of our sisters and brothers in Christ don’t expect us to all the time, either.

As I said in yesterday’s message, depression is treatable…  And you and I are part of that treatment!  You and I can remind people who suffer from it that we accept them and that God loves them.  We do this with our words and in our actions Lonely Bench (found via Google search)and with our time as well as our prayers.  May you and may I continue following the lead of the Holy Spirit, offering the refreshing living water of Jesus to those who are thirsting for it.

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2 thoughts on “Treating depression

  1. Lynn says:

    Hi Stanley,
    It’s just too bad our church community still has this “stigma” about depression. At least thats how I have felt .It’s not something people want to talk about. I’m thankful and very grateful for close friends and my precious dear family that are always here for me in both good and bad days. Just as Jesus walks beside us each day and loves each one of us with unconditional love. No matter what we are feeling or going through. God will never judge you!
    What a great feelling that is. There are many days where I don’t even have the energy to get up and dressed, and have no energy to even get out of bed When no one understands I do know that Jesus does and he won’t judge me for it. Our God is a loving and caring God.
    *For anyone who is dealing with depression and needs someone to talk to, please feel free to email me at lynvdwier@yahoo.com
    Because I can truly say I understand. God Bless you, Lynn

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  2. SjG says:

    Hi Lynn,

    Thank you for your comment and for sharing your heart. I’m saddened that there are still places where depression or other mental illness are met with stigma. The healing presence of Jesus ought to flow through His church with people willing to give long-term commitment to those who struggle. May the Holy Spirit continue nudging and equipping us to reflect the love and care of our God through our Saviour Jesus.

    Blessings to you and your family! Please say ‘hello’ to all from us!
    Stan

    Like

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