This tends to be a touchy subject for most people due to the different beliefs in the Christian community in regards to mental illness. Because mental illness isn’t as easily testable for as a physical illness is, there tends to be a lot of speculation on whether mental illness is of the physical realm (such as a chemical imbalance in the brain) or of the spiritual realm (such as demon possession and lack of faith).
The truth of the matter is, there isn’t currently a blood test out there that can test solely for a chemical imbalance in the brain, and the ones out there have been known to provide untrustworthy data. We can test for hormonal imbalances, abnormal thyroid levels, and vitamin deficiencies, all of which can cause symptoms of depression, but we can’t solely look at the actual neurotransmitter levels in grave detail to make a diagnosis or prescribe a specific type or amount of medication. Usually most mental illnesses are diagnosed based on questionnaires and your personal responses to those questions.
So which one is it? I’ll never know for sure. What I do know is I understand what it feels like to not be able to get out of bed in the morning, to not want to shower every day, or to not want to go see friends at fun social activities (by nature I’m an extrovert). It’s tough. I get it. I also understand that when your home is your job, it can be hard to keep up with your responsibilities, alone, all day. It can get lonely. However, we know that the joy of the Lord is our strength (John 16:33).
Have a call buddy.
Having someone there can help drastically, especially when you feel like being alone may be a danger to you if you struggle with suicidal ideation. Ideally someone in the faith is ideal, as they can encourage you in Christ to help you get through a rough patch. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, GET HELP IMMEDIATELY. Whether that’s calling a friend, the Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255), or going to the emergency room. Your safety to yourself is what’s important.
Think of 3 things (at least) that matter to you.
Whether that’s your husband, your children, your parents, your pets, whoever and whatever it may be. Run it through your head, write it down on paper, whatever you need to do to reinforce what matters to you.
Have an encouragement Scripture.
If there’s a verse or verses that encourages you, write them down and have them with you. John 16:33, Jeremiah, 29:11, and Proverbs 3:5-6 are all great ones to have.
Do the things you do when you’re in a good mood.
This is the toughest one in my opinion. This is forcing yourself to go to social gatherings, take a shower and do your hair, clean the house, etc. Whatever you usually do when you’re feeling motivated and in a good mood, do it. You’re not going to want to, you’re going to make every excuse as to why you shouldn’t have to, but trust me, it helps.
Acknowledge what triggers the depressive or anxious feelings.
For some people, it’s nothing at all. Other times it’s a smell, taste, situation, or noise that can cause really debilitating feelings. When you sit down and acknowledge what those are, it can be easier to avoid or face them in the future.
TALK TO PEOPLE
This gets a lot of people in trouble. They feel unwell about themselves or a situation, they don’t want to feel like a burden, so they refuse to air their feelings out. This causes a buildup of instability and can cause you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. You eventually turn into a pressure cooker and it’s not good. This is why having a support system (particularly one that’s in Christ), or even a therapist is extremely healthy to have.
PRAY PRAY PRAY. Your dialogue with Jesus Christ and your spiritual walk can make a huge difference. Stay in the Word and pray daily.
Believe me, I understand all these things are easier said than done. Especially in the moment, but be encouraged. it takes a lot of willpower, but that’s where Christ comes in.