“I’ve been feeling a bit down for a while now.”
“I just can’t seem to find the energy to do anything.”
“I get so worried about everything, and I just can’t seem to stop thinking about things.”
“My life is fine…..so why do I feel like crying all the time?”
“I get so angry about things….I’m afraid one day I’ll just explode!”
Have you ever said any of these things to yourself or to someone else?
From time to time, we all experience unhappy days, bouts of anxiety, drops in energy and occasional sadness. They are all a normal part of life.
But if these feelings last for longer than a few days, we may have an underlying problem that needs help….professional help…to fix.
Most people are quite happy to go to a doctor or a dentist if they feel the symptoms of physical illness, but often feel that they cannot seek the same sort of help if the difficulty is mental. Mental illness has a stigma which it should not have. We know that a massive percentage of people will experience some form of clinical depression at some time in their lives. In fact, depression has become something of a great pandemic in the developed world.
So why don’t we seek help?
There are many reasons: the stigma of being perceived as “crazy”; the feeling that we should be able to “just snap out of it” or “just cheer up”; wondering what our friends and family might think if they knew we were seeking help with mental illness. Worst of all, if we are Christians, we may feel like we are “failing” God if we admit to mental problems. We may feel like we are just not trusting God enough.
This simply makes no sense.
If we have a toothache, we go to the dentist. If we break a bone, or feel sick, we go to a doctor. If we are finding that we are having difficulty coping with life, are feeling depressed or anxious, or if anger is boiling over into our everyday interactions we should also seek some help. Are we “not trusting God enough” if we get a broken arm set in plaster, or a prescription for antibiotics if we have a fever?
Of course not!
It’s time to lose the stigma and get well! If you feel that this is talking about you, please see your doctor and ask him/her about recommending a psychologist or counsellor.
Or visit The Christian Counsellors Association of Australia at www.ccaa.net.au