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Depression: Stigma in the Church

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
September 22, 2019 2:00 am

Depression: Stigma in the Church

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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September 22, 2019 2:00 am

With the busyness of most of our lives, there can be many instances when signs of a mental health episode are overlooked. Depression is a vast topic with many forms but, as we dive into this topic, our focus is to get the church talking about it.

Series: HEADSPACE/ a series on mental health

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Dr. Michael Brown
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Hi, for the Salvation Army. This is Lori Miller I'm Bernie dig welcome to wonderful words will Lori episode ones out of the way, this is your second episode, welcome back. Yes, I think is old hat not quite not quite so it's always good be interesting, but this series is pretty cool what you think. I love it so important is that something we really talk about just on a day-to-day basis on when I was looking at statistics. Studies show that about 55% of churchgoers say they've heard about suicide in their local community almost once a year while yeah and then 32% of had a close family member or an acquaintance who has taken his or her own life. That's staggering to me. I have no clue has actually just touched her family this year. The there was a suicide within the Salvation Army's broader family of over a million congregants. But yes, it was the closest that had come to me in some time that leases long as I can remember most of the time it comes out of nowhere, seemingly to those of us who know the people in and for the majority of us.

We don't know anything about what they're experiencing until it's too late. Well for the next four weeks are series on mental health can be focusing on depression among different age groups. The thing about mental health. For me, as I think that there's a perceived stigma angry. I think particularly when you have no understanding of mental health illness or depression of any kind. When someone would say that someone is depressed because I just felt some kind of way about that know what that was. Don't know how to deal with that how you treat people you treat them differently great. I think it's a silent stigma. I think were afraid to talk to one another about something that we might see here perceived as a weakness but I really feel like the church should be a sanctuary, the church should be a community but a lot of times what happens with those people who are experiencing mental illness of some sort. We just kind of further marginalize them on because we just don't talk about it.

I have to agree with you I think it's something that were almost afraid to talk about it's taboo or you don't want to be offensive right so Gloria I'm glad you're here because you come with a lot more experience that I have. This is gonna be helpful to her listeners.

I think it's a really important topic, especially as it relates to the church.

So if you or someone you love is currently battling with depression, please know that you are not alone. There are people who want to help you there people you can talk to if you don't have a church home. We encourage you to reach out to your local Salvation Army. But if you need someone to talk to immediately please call 1-800-273-8255 and let us know how we can pray for you sent us an email at you can call us at 1-800-229-9965.

I know that's a lot to remember but we have people on staff that are specifically dedicated.

Pray for you, don't hesitate to reach the blush laying on all the utility to first me to say welcome back Ali. Great thanks and glad that you're here and I wonder now, having spoken about being overwhelmed last week. If we could talk about this part one for you as you kinda prepared for for our listeners.

I wanted to speak in terms of shifting from my last session into overwhelmed and how and our society today because we have this constant flow of going from one thing to another and it's passed down not only the parents easy to keep doing the same thing whether they are overly involved in activities that we are missing kind of some of the natural clues that are given away when someone is having a mental health episode. I'm so for the purpose of this particular pack as we are going to focus on depression and depression is such a vast topic and I want to make sure that we understand that depression is a mental health condition and there is very varying diagnoses of depression have bipolar you know what you have the depressed apartment you have made any part you have major depression disorder. You also have some people who are affected was seasonal disorder, you know, we just change just recently so we have some people who get a little bit more depressed when it's cloudy and gray@versus when it's sunny outside, but also want to really focus on its terms of how do we distinguish depression from being in a mental health episode versus periods of sadness okay you know so.

The sadness are things that happen in our life. The loss of a loved one. Loss of relationship, loss of job, unexpected changes that will cause us to have sad feelings hurt and disappointed things like that depression is more characterized as a period in your life where you experience or exhibiting things where you losing interest in activities is an increase in sleep patterns increase of not being able to fully explain what is going on but just having of her clients describe it as just filling up and up selling ideas out a lot going on in my head but I can't really pinpoint so what ED is there how I'm feeling but I'm just going through life the motions of life, but not really participating in my life. And so if that's one of our listeners.

I really want you to know that the first step to understanding if you might be dealing with depression are having some depressive symptoms is really looking at how long you are in that place of what I call of that unknown the great unknown of her to describe love just kind of walking through a dark forest with no direction at all.

Not really knowing if I'm going forward or backwards north to south east to west but just just daycare in the inability to kinda pull yourself out of it.

Regardless of if someone is inviting how when you have those instances in your life and you see someone may be a loved one, who are withdrawing from activities you know they love Mendoza, the size that we should be looking for to say that hey, maybe I'm not just having a period of sadness. Maybe I am experiencing some depression and because we are moving forward so fast in society. We as parents, friends, we are not necessarily paying attention to those clues when we see people draw away think when we prepared for this in a meeting with you. We, the idea that there could be a perceptible stigma as well. We perceive the people think of depression as one where another. There's obviously biblical accounts of depression is is a Christian organization you know who believes the Bible to be true.

We have to learn from that experience and know that were not alone were never alone.

That's a good thing to kinda think of them and for us, even the most joyous life moments having a baby can bring about depression.

These are very real things and people need to know they're not alone. Yeah, you're not. You're not alone, and in things we will will talk about a little later that you're not alone. But when you focus on in terms of the stigma that surround depression or mental health in general, like to use kind of the analogy in terms of if I were sick. Where would I go, I will probably go to my doctor hospital if I break my foot. I'm going to the foot doctor, but no one count that as something negative, but if there's something that I believe that is wrong with my brain chemistry physiologically does a statement said stigma for me going to get help or to talk to someone and why wouldn't there be because in society.

Every instance where you seen something that's taken place. I know we talked about 9/11 a little earlier or if there's been known assassination of a president or let's look at this school shootings that have happened to control society is overly reported what has come out on the psychological evaluations so now you tie into someone who did a bad thing. You know, perhaps, had a momentary slip and judgment to they now have a mental health disorder so that ties into the stigma that we perceive mental health and society and in the church is even worse.

You know there is a perception in terms of where does depression come from. There's been perceptions where if you're going through something you must've done something, but what people don't understand is if your family has had a history of depression.

You will more than likely to have some episodes of depression in your life itself and depression often comes after big highs and I life you know we can't necessarily always stay on the house all the calls you get a promotion is good and then you get in the job and he kinda goes back or your daughter graduates from from high school to college.

That's a great thing, but now she's about to leave those transitions life so there's always this area up and flow in life that we should expect. So if there's someone who's listening to this podcast and you're experiencing some of the things I talked about are some of the key symptoms of being in a depressive state, and I'm noticed is a difference between periods of sadness and depression.

Depression is really lasting a couple of weeks. Up until months you it might break, but it always kinda comes back, you always come back to that place where you want to isolate yourself and you feel like you're the only person standing in this big black forest, but it does take someone in the same thing is for depression. It'll take someone to recognize those symptoms and talk and have communication regarding cannot help you.

All the other if someone in our audience is looking for help. Where where can I go, I believe the best place that we should be able to go to is the church to be able to provide that extra resource and support around an individual who might not be feeling like themselves. At the moment. It could be a momentary thing but it could be something that needs a little bit more clinical support and help. Possibly some medication and I just want us to know that is is not astigmatism to get help for you. I wish you could be sitting where I just see this wonderful beautiful godly woman talk about this passion that is hers and mental health.

We want you know you're not alone. And if you are listening to this podcast and you need help please reach out to someone that you trust. If you don't have a church home called the Salvation Army there. The Salvation Army's in all of our communities are normally run by Salvation Army officers who are pastors there. They can get you to the right people that can help you.

You're not alone were glad that you joined us this week. We hope you'll come back next week the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army to offer your support. We would love to hear from you. Email us at or call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 20 contact us will send you our gift for this series is totally free for listeners like you, one per household, while supplies last.

You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for wonderful words of life follow some social media for the latest episode extended interviews and more.

And if you don't have a church home. We invite you to visit your local Salvation Army warships will be glad to see this is Bernie Dick inviting you to join us next time.

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