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Re: Williams: Guest expert on depression and anxiety

Posted by Spriggy on April 11, 2005, at 16:01:08

In reply to Re: Williams: Guest expert on depression and anxiety, posted by psycjw on April 11, 2005, at 14:08:08

Dr. Williams,
Like the others, I am grateful to have you here answering our questions.
I think it's interesting you want to know more about Christians approach to depression/anxiety.
My husband is a pastor and we have dealt with people who have suffered with depression and/or anxiety throughout our ministry years, never realizing, that I, myself, would go through the same thing.
When I was giving the advice to fellow church members suffering, I would always encourage them to seek God through their "valley." We of course, would pray for healing from the depression but always encouraged them to seek professional help if it continued. We never took it lightly because my own father is bipolar, as was my grandmother (and although she was a wonderful Christian women, she ended her own life because of her battle with depression).

The last four months have come as a suprise to us because I have found myself suffering from the most intense anxiety/agitation/depression ever. I even was admitted into a psych ward in February because I became so unstable.

We are still in the process of finding out what is wrong; I have just been diagnosed with hypoglycemia and my thyroid tests are abnormal so I am being sent to endocronologist this week. But my doctor "suspects" i may also have a form of bipolar; becuase of my symtpoms lately and of course, my family history.

I admit, that as a Christian, and especially a pastor's wife, this has been especially difficult to accept. I have felt like an utter failure in my faith. How can I lead other's when I myself have this disease? I have so many questions for God but this journey is just beginning for me, at this point, I am just doing my best to survive the day.

We have faced my depression openly within our church. I stood up and shared to my entire church body how difficult this road has been lately and how overwhelming the depression is. It was a "no holds barred" testimony. When I finished, I asked if anyone else was suffering with depression to come forward for prayer- we were absolutely astonished (amazed in fact!) at the NUMEROUS church members that came forward weeping for prayer. People we never suspected suffered with depression or anxiety.

It was a very real eye opener that this disease/illness plagues the church like any other disease.. We aren't immune to pain just because we follow Christ. And following after Christ doesn't mean we won't be required to walk through some painful roads like the rest of the world.

I think the above approach is the only way we know how to handle it anymore. Depression/anxiety can just be a physical part of living on this earth and we shouldn't try to over spirtualize it (although it is sometimes a spiritual issue).

Anyway, there is my two cents. Thanks again for the oppurtunity to share with you.




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