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Depression Help

Depression Help

Jesus and Forgiveness

posted by tereziafarkas

jesus and forgiveness

Christians are familiar with Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. It’s easy to understand when you’re reading scripture, but what about real life? Do Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness work? I asked my friend Dave. His marriage collapsed years ago. Has Dave forgiven his wife?

“It took me a while to forgive my ex,” says Dave who doesn’t want his last name used. “Once I did, all that heaviness and darkness that was glumped together suddenly shifted off me. I could see a thin crack of light and I knew if I kept it together, if I worked at it, I could be in that light again.”

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Dave’s journey is one of struggle and ultimate spiritual triumph. Forgiveness is a tough shoe to put on. It can be an uncomfortable fit. Sore spots can still open up. How forgiving should you be?

The simple answer is you should forgive and be ready to forgive over and over again.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18: 21-22 NIV

It’s easy to judge others, especially when someone hurts you. Society teaches us to judge everything – people included. That’s not what the Bible teaches.

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“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 NIV

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6: 14-15 NIV

Forgiveness is about your spiritual growth. Being stuck in negativity saps energy you could use for other things, like being happy. Simply saying you forgive doesn’t release the pain, negativity, and hurt inside you. You must forgive from the heart. It’s a liberating feeling. It also lets more love back into your life. The Bible teaches that love is the ultimate form of healing. Love doesn’t keep records of wrongdoings, neither does love want revenge or pain upon others.

“The first to apologize is the bravest.

The first to forgive is the strongest.

And to first to forget is the happiest.” (Unknown)

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Is Depression Punishment From God?

posted by tereziafarkas

Is depression punishment from God?

Christians believe that God loves us and wants only what is good for us. One of my previous articles explained how depression isn’t a sin. Depression isn’t a punishment from God. If anything, depression is you punishing yourself relentlessly. Whatever hell you feel you are in is your own creation. What God brings to depression is hope and love.

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When you ask God to help you and give you hope, it’s all part of healing. Asking God to take away the sin of depression won’t work because God knows depression isn’t a sin. Nor is depression some form of demonic possession. Laying on of hands and asking God to make the demon leave won’t work because God knows depression there’s no demon.

An article from the Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) gives a nice answer.

“Many churches already have taken broad steps toward helping members struggling with mental illnesses. Some churches have provided ideal locations for support group meetings. Others have found ways to normalize the problem,” said Del Donaldson, a therapist and seminary professor. And most work to dispel any thought that a mental illness is a punishment for those of lesser faith.

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“Is this a punishment from God? Maybe some churches believe that,” Donaldson said. “But I think folks are better informed and tuned in to the human dilemma.”

People today have a considerable knowledge about mental illness, one that was not available in biblical times, Donaldson says.

Joyce Kaatz, parish nurse at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, puts it bluntly.

“If you have pastors or churches or staff who tell you you’re not strong enough in your faith, you might want to find another church,” she said.

“The people who say that, they don’t understand depression or mental illness.”

Is depression punishment from God?

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Why Andreas Lubitzs Hometown Supports Family, Condemns Public Judgement of Germanwings Co-pilot’s Suicide

posted by tereziafarkas

andreas

Media are using highly provocative and inflammatory words to describe Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz and his battle with depression. Depression once again is getting bad press as a mental illness that will change you into a maniacal, diabolical mass murderer if you feel suicidal. None of the coverage helps anyone who is depressed. Even worse is the hurt caused for family and friends of Lubitz. Stigma encourages silence and distancing from the person. People try to wipe Lubitz from history as if he never existed.

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It’s tough on those left behind by suicide. The family is probably devastated. They lost their son, then the whole world turns against them. People who want to support the Lubitz family are put in an awkward spot. Do they show sympathy for a family whose son they grew up with and called friend? The glider club where Lubitz learned to fly has received death threats.

Stigma is getting pushback from the citizens of Montabaur, Germany where Lubitz lived. Citizens are angry with the media for flaming talk about a depressed maniac and for unfairly judging and finding Lubitz guilty of suicidal mass murder. It’s a rush to judgement based on stigma.

“The co-pilot, the family belong to our community, and we stand by this, and we embrace them and will not hide this, and want to support the family in particular,” says Rev. Michael Dietrich, pastor of the Lutheran church who knew Lubitz and his mother.

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“I don’t think we should pre-judge the situation. Nobody has the right to decide about the lives of others, of course, but the coverage of this tragedy has been dreadful. It doesn’t help people who may be depressed,” said Martin Böttcher, who was in the year below Lubitz at the Mons-Tabor-Gymnasium school. 

Jesus taught “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)

The flight data recorder hasn’t been found. No one knows the whole story and it’s only speculation that Lubitz decided on the spur of the moment to kill himself and all the passengers. Depression doesn’t cause violence against others. Severe depression makes a person sluggish, constantly fatigued, with unorganized thoughts. You’re trapped inside your own head. Depression also creates ineffective coping responses, which means you’re at risk for missing doses of medication. Taking care of yourself when depressed is not simple even when all medical options are available.

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“Some (experts) speculated without any facts, fantasized and lied. That makes a mockery of the victims,” Tom Enders, chief executive of Airbus, was quoted as saying by Bild am Sonntag.

Suicide is never an easy way out of depression. Severely depressed people don’t just decide to commit suicide. They struggle daily to find a reason to go on living. Depressed people fight the darkness constantly, every moment of each day. Sometimes the battle overwhelms the person.

A suicidal person will debate whether or not to commit suicide until the last possible second. That’s why some suicides aren’t successful. People back out of killing themselves. Other times, even if the person decides at the last moment to live, the choice has been taken out of their hands because of the chosen method.

Let’s allow the family to grieve for their son and a community to find peace. The blame, the guilt finding, and the anger needs to subside. The deed is done, let God give rest to the souls, and may we be the instrument of His healing to those who need it now.

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Easter Depression, A Personal Reflection

posted by tereziafarkas

RH-JesusAtEmptyTomb1

Easter Depression can hit people hard. Religiously, Easter is when Christians remember the death of Jesus. It’s a time to reflect on His sacrifice and what it means to you that He died for your sins. You’re supposed to fast, or at least cut out certain foods. Churches resemble dark tombs with shrouded statues and an empty altar.

I always felt sad at Easter but when I became severely depressed, Easter became a nightmare. My mind was pre-occupied with despair and thoughts about death. Going to church I wanted some message of hope that would lift my spirit. Instead, the message reflected only on Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice. I remember thinking, “What about my suffering? Aren’t I sacrificing myself to a world that doesn’t care about me?”

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I know that suffering and sacrifice make up half of what Easter is about. Easter is also about the joy and hope that comes from the empty tomb. But while joy and despair exist together in the human heart, the dichotomy becomes unbalanced when you’re depressed. Depression tunes your thoughts into the suffering and sacrifice part of Easter.

I also hated the guilt trip. My self-esteem was shot and I kept lying to myself about things I had done. I felt guilty about things I should never have felt that way about. Good Friday mass was about Jesus dying for my sins. While I understand what it means theologically, it sucks when you have to feel guilty about someone’s sacrifice year after year. Okay, Jesus died for me. But I wasn’t there. It’s like my grandparents doing something bad and I’m indirectly responsible because I’m their descendent. Inherited guilt isn’t healthy when it’s generations removed.

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Collective guilt won’t work on everyone because guilt diffuses. But depression sucks guilt into you, even guilt you know isn’t yours. I got angry that Easter mass tried to make me feel guilty when what I really needed was hope.

One Good Friday mass I attended did focus on the message of hope. The pastor focused on the positive side of death, telling us how grief can turn into joy even when we feel most despairing. Just because you feel horrible when someone you love dies doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel joyful again. Know that joy exists and that it will come to you.

Jesus-walking-forth-from-empty-tomb

www.tereziafarkas.com

Previous Posts

Jesus and Forgiveness
Christians are familiar with Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. It’s easy to understand when you’re reading scripture, but what about real life? Do Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness work? I asked my friend Dave. His marriage collapsed years ...

posted 8:00:00am Apr. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Is Depression Punishment From God?
Christians believe that God loves us and wants only what is good for us. One of my previous articles explained how depression isn’t a sin. Depression isn’t a punishment from God. If anything, depression is you punishing yourself ...

posted 8:48:30pm Apr. 09, 2015 | read full post »

Why Andreas Lubitzs Hometown Supports Family, Condemns Public Judgement of Germanwings Co-pilot's Suicide
Media are using highly provocative and inflammatory words to describe Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz and his battle with depression. Depression once again is getting bad press as a mental illness that will change you into a maniacal, ...

posted 5:38:09pm Mar. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Easter Depression, A Personal Reflection
Easter Depression can hit people hard. Religiously, Easter is when Christians remember the death of Jesus. It’s a time to reflect on His sacrifice and what it means to you that He died for your sins. You’re supposed to fast, or at least cut ...

posted 4:41:42am Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Paint Depression Your Colour
When I was in grade school, we were asked to paint anything we wanted using the three colours yellow, blue, and red. People blended the colours and painted green fields with flowers. Me, I painted an ocean with the sun shining down upon a beach. ...

posted 3:10:44am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

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