In this message, Rev. Cindy Holtrop reflects on her own season of depression and God's presence with us in our dark times. She concludes with practical ideas for ministering with people who have mental illnesses.
Depression is nearly impossible to describe. I was looking for a word or phrase that captured the heart of it, and I found it in an article by Dr. John Timmerman, “At the most unexpected moments it slips people its dark poison. One scarcely notices the initial sting.
This author's third (and first biological) son was born in December 1967. He was a lovable child like his two older brothers. In 1985, the year in which he turned eighteen, the Lord permitted this devastating brain illness (schizophrenia) to affect him almost all year in some way or other. In fact, the illness left none of them untouched.
All my life I had been searching. (By the way, I am 64 now.) I felt either really good or really down, and as I got older my down periods went on longer and longer.However, I went on with life, and I put on a good front. No one ever knew anything was ever wrong.
Robin Williams was first a comedian who happened to be suffering from mental health issues. He was not trying to mask his mental illness any more than I was trying to mask my mental health illness with preaching.
This guide helps to identify the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues for college students and where and when to seek help.
“In a typical congregation of 200 adults, 50 will experience depression at some point, and at least 30 are currently taking antidepressants.” (Dan Blazer, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, in Christianity Today, March 2009). What could that mean for your church's preaching, programming, pastoral care, and congregational care?
The National Empowerment Center maintains a list of consumer-run organizations that encompass the entire state or large parts of states. These organizations can be contacted for consumer support groups or programs in their respective states.