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Forums / Staying well / Depression and Christianity

Topic: Depression and Christianity

  1. Fly-Away-Blue-Bird
    Fly-Away-Blue-Bird avatar
    6 posts
    8 April 2013

    Hi all

    I am new here and it has taken me a while to stop and admit that I have depression. It has taken a while because depression comes in many forms and I would go undetected most of the time because I appear happy on the outside but my mind plagues me each day. It scares me to talk about this because it means that the abuse of the past still has a hold on me and that just makes me mad! Now I am going to share with you about my religion but I don't want this thread to be about tearing it apart, because that would make me even more depressed!!

    I am a Christian and I have been for 13 years now. I have been healed from many things of my past but other things remain. I think being a Christian has made it harder for me to admit and to talk to others about my depression because the stereotype I get is that Christians should be happy.. I know that when I go to church everyone is smiling and it is difficult to imagine that anyone but me could feel so sad, so lonely and so different from anyone else. I don't even share on Facebook what I am going through because when I see another friends write something about depression all I see is the typical Christian answers of "Go to God, you can overcome this through him, You will be alright keep smiling, what have you got to be depressed for Christ took it for you, etc etc." Those answers come from people who just don't understand!

    So here I am, opening up to strangers.. Please be kind  :-)

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Vegetarian Marshmallow
    Vegetarian Marshmallow avatar
    269 posts
    9 April 2013 in reply to Fly-Away-Blue-Bird
    Well, my nonna is a pretty religious Catholic (pretty much every time we see her, she tries to convince my brothers and I - all atheists - to read the bible or go to church or check out a Christian youth group or something) and I think she's been depressed.  Feelings aren't generally shared very much in my family, and she's the kind of person who doesn't like to bother other people with things.  But by way of trying to get my brother to open up about *his* problems, she once mentioned about how, in the time after my nonno (her husband) died, she wanted to die, and so she was prescribed something-or-other by her doctor.

    What about those depressed friends you mentioned??  Surely they're obvious targets for conversation about depression.

    I think everyone gets that "You should be happy!" pressure, not just Christians.  I don't think "Go to God" comments are anything to do with the fact that the person saying it is religious, but rather that the person is a numpty - the kind of person whose default answer for *anything* is "Go to God".

    "I lost my dog!"
    "Don't worry, The Lord will watch over him.  I'll pray for his safe return.".

    "I miss her so much.  Can't believe the cancer took her.  She was so young."
    "God has a plan.  You are in our prayers."

    That sort of stuff.

    Whereas, my nonna (really the only religious person I have regular contact with) does not simply invoke God for everything, but actually engages on the issues faced by the person in distress.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Faith
    Faith avatar
    2 posts
    12 April 2013

    Hi I am also a Christian and devout Catholic. I acknowledge God since I was young

    Recently I took courage to ask a doctor how would I know if Im depressed. I am an allied health professional too so i have done a research myself about my weird mood started few months ago.

    so i was diagnosed as having depression. Its good that I was able to go to a GP who listens. I said that I dont want to be on any medication at the moment and would prefer counseling. 

     I think being a Christian (or any person who believes in God) will not prevent us from having a mental illness. Depression is as debilitating as any physical illness.

    Sometimes im thinking that some sort of evil spirit possessed my soul. I used to be an optimistic person but i cant control my sad emotions.

    the weird thing is that there is nothing to be worried about my life. 

    Let's see this struggle as an opportunity to be able to reach out and help others who have problems.

    i sometimes think that there is a reason why i have to go through this. Maybe to be able to fully understand my patients who have this condition. Im hopeful that i will recover soon and will be able to show true empathy to patients


    1 person found this helpful
  4. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    geoff avatar
    15268 posts
    12 April 2013 in reply to Fly-Away-Blue-Bird

    hello I am an atheist but that's not the point here, and I feel so sorry for you to feel this way. Christians may go to church bearing a happy face, but I'm sure that there are a large % of them that are suffering from this illness. No religion can stop depression or any of it's other side shoots, it doesn't have any sympathy to anyone, all types of professional people have depression, and my first psychologist also suffered from it, and in some ways this was good, because she knew how devastating it was. You can't really learn about how this illness cripples us from reading a book.

    Christians go to confession, because maybe they need to talk to the priest about their depression and if people believe, and I don't mean this in any disrespect, that God will look over them then that's their right to think that way.

    My ex wife was a christian and she had no complaints from me, we used to joke about various parts but no more than that. If she wanted to go to church that was fine by me, but she suffered from PND.

    When you go to church your faith as well as other religions feel a comfort, complete satisfaction and warmth being in God's home, all their worries have been put aside being in church, there are no dangers confronting them, you are in Lord's hands, however when they leave it's a different 'kettle of fish' they have to enter the world where problems occur, and I'm sure that that many people deep down have this burning feeling of depression, sure we can hide it and put on a happy face but eventually this becomes too much and we break, revelling that we do in deed suffer from this illness. It's a strong illness that requires attention. Geoff.

  5. Faith
    Faith avatar
    2 posts
    13 April 2013 in reply to geoff

    Very nice insight from you Geoff.

    However about confession of Christians, we dont need to confess to the priest about our illness *^____^* only sins. so even i regularly go to church activities, i dont think i will do that :)

    but if an individual would like to go to the priest for some advice or support i think there's nothing wrong with it.

    Yeah you are right that only people who experience this condition will understand. 




  6. Damien
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Damien avatar
    134 posts
    21 May 2013 in reply to Fly-Away-Blue-Bird

    Hello Everyone,

    Geoff and Rodentdron, perhaps I should have put "religion" in the search box before starting my own thread as this is exactly the topic I had in though.  Since I tend to look at "Anxiety" rather than "Depression" threads I missed this.  :)

    Fly-Away-Blue-Bird I'm in a similar position to you and Faith in that I am a Christian, (in fact I used to be a school chaplain), and I experience mental illness.  For me it used to be Depression, now it's Anxiety (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) and Social Phobia. Interesting my social phobia was church: I got badly hurt by people/procedures there and didn't want to be in the same room as "those people" yet at the same time I wanted to "go to church".  Hmm.

    The very thought that "Christians should always be happy" or that depression is somehow a sin because "Jesus offers hope" is very upsetting to me.  Of course the second one (Jesus = hope) is "true", but that's not a cure or a prevention for debilitating life circumstances (especially when the local Christians are bastards) or when your Serotonin goes pear-shaped.  I often say on the questionnaires about Mental Health that I am very rarely "hopeless" because I have a strong faith, but that doesn't stop me feeling "helpless" or "restless" or "nothing could cheer me up", or even "worthless".  Does this make me weak in faith?  No, it makes me a human person with huge real life situations and some disequilibrious brain chemistry.

    (And if disequilibrious is not a real word, it should be.)

    Sadly it is harder to open up to other Christians, and people who don't share our faith are often nicer to us.  (Praise God for compassionate atheists!!)  I imagine that if I were to speak to Jesus about this in person, rather than in prayer, he'd be a lot more like Geoff and Rodentdron than many of the people I avoid over coffee on a Sunday morning.  (That's why I avoid them, and I'm actually at a different church now.)

    As an "outed" Christian (not GLBTI but GAD, not making fun of same-sex at all but I do feel "looked at" in ways I didn't when no-one knew I was "mental") I do still believe in prayer, and I haven't dismissed the idea of personal evil in the spiritual world, but my advice is always to go to a GP and then on to a Psych and a Pharmacist if that is what the GP says.  I'm also a huge fan of beyondblue (of course) and like to direct people to information here.  

    Don't see an exorcist until you've seen a doctor!  :D  Bahaha.

    Our faith is a great source of strength, no-one must be allowed to take that from us.  Our churches should be a great source of support, and at the moment that's what my "soap-box" is...as much as it can be when I feel Anxiety in all its glory.

    Thanks everyone for sharing.  :)

    Bless.

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Sheiknah
    Sheiknah avatar
    16 posts
    11 July 2013

    Hi There,

    I am a born again Christian and I hear what you are saying! I don't open up to just anyone that I feel depressed but my close friends know and they are Christian. I have had some unhelpful comments definately but for the most part I am lucky I guess to some extent that the church i go to recognizes illnesses like this and my friends are empathetic . Even if they don't all understand. I wish my hubby would understand more !! Some have gone through it themselves, are trained professionals or have some grasp on healing or have some sort of understanding in small or large. All have compassion but some understand, I mean like the Pastor the other day was speaking about something and he said " I am not talking to people who suffer from depression as I know how hard that is cause I too suffered from it for many years " and I guess that's the thing. Those that have suffered with it understand and those that have a "healing ministry" or are professionally trained or have empathy also but not everyone. I dont share on FB either cause I dont want every Tom dick and harry putting their two bits in cause sometimes their two bits worth is really unhelpful !! I am aware that we live in a spiritual world. I've experienced it and sometimes ( As Faith was mentioning they feel like an evil spirit has possessed their soul) deliverance ( or exorcism haha ! ) is needed. I also realize that some things can be situational or chemical. I feel like mine is situational. Unfortunately the spiritual realm can latch onto that the little suckers !! : )  Like many things that have been stressful over a long period of time had lead to depression for me and cause they have not been solved and worked through it is still there. I have had prayer and instantly been healed of some things but every case/ things is different and I think some of the unhelpful comments that you mentioned above are people that really dont understand  really what it is like. That's why I guess I feel its a wise thing not to tell just anyone no mater what their faith is. It's nice to meet someone of the same faith that is going through this as you know you are not the only one walking into church or any happy atmosphere for that matter and having to put on an everything is fine face !! Are there any of your Christian friends you can be real with ? So nice to meet you : )

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Sheiknah
    Sheiknah avatar
    16 posts
    11 July 2013 in reply to Fly-Away-Blue-Bird
    Hey guys wondering if we can inbox privately on here ? Thanks so much !
  9. Ruth_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Ruth_M avatar
    59 posts
    12 July 2013 in reply to Sheiknah

    Hi Sheiknah,

    Unfortunately there isn't private messaging on this forum, and our guidelines don't allow the sharing of personal contact information. However, if you check out the beyondblue facebook page, you can find other users who are also using facebook. Welcome to the forum- we hope to keep hearing from you!

    Best wishes, beyondblue moderation team

  10. The Real David Charles
    The Real David Charles avatar
    1014 posts
    12 July 2013 in reply to Ruth_M

    Dear Hugh,

    You don't talk to the other moderators ?    Lol.

    Adios, David.

    PS  The exclaimation mark gives you away.

  11. Sheiknah
    Sheiknah avatar
    16 posts
    12 July 2013 in reply to Ruth_M

    Thanks Moderator B !!

    Prefer not to go on FB as it likes to update everyone what you have been up too but thanks for letting me know : )

  12. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15268 posts
    12 July 2013 in reply to Sheiknah

    dear Sheiknah, your comment is truly appreciated, and I accept what you have had to say.

    I have no argument for anybody that has had a religious upbringing or by having any mythological or spiritual belief, that's their choice, and that's their entitlement, and because I don't have any beliefs, I am not going to argue, that's not my place to do so on this site.

    It helps enormously if the person you talk to, and the list of professionals is never ending, but if they have actually gone through depression themselves, they then understand the strain, withdrawal, hibernation and break down of any relationship that this illness inflicts upon us.

    My psychologist of 20 years had depression and I asked her how she overcome it and she said her kids pulled her through, so could read my mind perfectly, and that's why I kept on seeing her for this long period.

    My GP also had depression and now his son is struggling with it, and again he knows how I feel, and has said to me to ring him anytime I need to see him.

    I know that I am very lucky this way, the only problem is that he's not always at the clinic.

    I am interested in ' I have had prayer and instantly been healed of some things', if you want to share with us. Geoff.

  13. Christian
    Christian avatar
    1 posts
    8 January 2014 in reply to Fly-Away-Blue-Bird

    Hi Fly-Away-Blue-Bird

    I am so sorry for the pain you have gone through. I have been through a period of depression and lost a younger brother to suicide. My younger brother was also a Christian, a Bible College graduate and Youth Pastor. He was diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder a year before he ended his life 15 years ago.

    It was after this that I started to search for answers, how could a loving God (who I believe is all powerful and all knowing) allow this? I am quite certain that my younger brother was in so much pain without the help he needed that God just allowed him to come home where there is no more sorrow or tears. 

    It saddens me, though, that so few in the church really do understand and know how to help. Jesus said that He came to heal the broken-hearted. This includes those with depression. I have found so much help and comfort through the Bible and the love of God. God has healed me as I have sought Him, prayed, and searched His word.

    Each of us in individual and unique. But as a Christian, I believe what God's word says. That we are deeply loved by Him. I pray that you will find your answers within God's word and experience the kind of healing available through the love of God and comfort of the Holy Spirit.

     

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Lillybell
    Lillybell avatar
    86 posts
    8 January 2014

    Hi Fly Away Bird, there have been some really helpful comments posted on here. I just wanted to  add that there is a Bible verse that speaks of Jesus being depressed in spirit just before the crucifixion. That's not to say that he was suffering with clinical depression but that he was emotionally affected by his circumstances.  He also wept over the death of Lazarus. So if Jesus suffered with sadness than I can't see how it is wrong for Christians to and a sign of a lack of faith or something. I think part of the problem with modern Christianity is the healing ministeries that have become a major feature of many churches and which you've mentioned. You get prayed over and whatever you're suffering with is meant to be healed. And if not... you must be at fault and be sinning in some way. It is such a dangerous belief for people with mental illness. There are Christian psychologists out there that could  help you with how to respond to your christian community about depression. You may be able to find someone through one of the Christian radio stations. You're really brave to come on here because Christians these days can get a lot of criticism and intolerance. I wish you well and hope you get the support you need, because I understand how lonely it can be not having a sense of belonging anywhere.

  15. Lillybell
    Lillybell avatar
    86 posts
    9 January 2014

    Hi Christian, I noticed after I'd posted my message that the original post goes back to April so I'm not sure if Fly Away Bird is still  around or has spread his wings and flown away (sorry bad joke). Anyway just thought I would  respond to your post and tell you that I also have lost a brother to suicide. It was devastating and took me a long time to get over it. Not that it is something that you ever get over.  I think all that happened is that something else, just as devastating came along to take its place. The latest for me was my nephew's drowning, four years ago. That just about finished me off.  The most difficult thing of all, was witnessing the pain that my brother and his wife went through in losing their 17 year old son. It brings tears to my eyes now as I write. I've always been able to work on my own pain, but there was nothing I could do to help theirs. I ended up withdrawing into a shell. I'm glad for you that you've been able to maintain your faith but mine was rocked and still is. When people talk about God having a plan for people's lives, I want to say, you've got to be f##king kidding. And I don't swear! It just seems ridiculous that it would include suicide and drowning. But I don't say anything and ironically my sister-in-law has suddenly found faith since her son died. I figure if that gives her comfort and helps her survive then I'm not going to burst her bubble. And it is the same for you, Christian. I am really happy for you that you have found a peace in it all.

  16. Nojy
    Nojy avatar
    1 posts
    28 May 2014

    Fly-Away-Blue-Bird

     I have recently joined this site in hopes of helping fellow Christian sufferers of depression.  I so sincerely sympathise with you. I am a Christian woman and I suffered depression for years, but it is now many years since I succumbed to this awful affliction.

    I found great help in two places in addition to prayer: Jerry Jampolsky has a website, and A Course in Miracles have a website.  You might like to explore these for help.

    I started with the book Love is letting go of fear by Jerry Jampolsky, which led me to The Course in Miracles.  I read the books, but have since discovered the websites.  I am currently reading both books again as I  have been feeling low and close to depression - and I am doing fine.

     

     

     

     

    1 person found this helpful
  17. CD7
    CD7 avatar
    1 posts
    10 July 2014 in reply to Nojy

    As a Christian you are better off confessing to *********** than depression, as you will get far more sympathy and understanding with the former.

    If a Christian sees somebody struggling with a injured leg they won't hesitate to help.  Sure, they'll pray for your leg (and miracles DO happen) but when it clearly has not healed only the real whackos make you walk on it.  But struggling with depression?  Oh heck no.  Clearly that is MY fault for not having enough faith, and at worst a tongue-lashing about my lack of faith and a perfunctory prayer will solve EVERYTHING.  Saying I'm still depressed even after they so graciously commanded the demons to come out is worse than denying the resurrection.

    It's so sad, because my Faith in Christ is the only thing that has kept me going when things are at there worst.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Miraazlife
    Miraazlife avatar
    2 posts
    21 August 2014

    Hello all,

    I have been surfing the net tonight, and for some reason ended up here.  My heart is welling up inside me just reading the above comments, and I am in such a bad way at the moment, I am just praying to God that this site may be helpful to me in some way.  I have been a sincere Christian since the age of 21 after some very tumultuous years of drug and alcohol abuse which worked at times to mask and drown the depression I have battled with since about 14.  I am now 43 and a wife and mother.  I have known some wonderful times of relationship with Jesus over the years, and was in ministry for a time as a Chaplain to troubled youth.  Over the years I have also struggled with some terrible bouts of depression and anxiety, and presently feel in an absolutely horrendous place.  I am attending a church I am getting a lot out of (although I have no friends there as I have become terribly socially phobic - I am an expert at distancing myself) but fear has become absolutely overwhelming to me.  My head is plaguing me with irrational fears of all sorts of atrocities that may occur to me or my children.  I hate taking my kids to school each day because I feel awkward and scrutinised there.  My X-best friend takes her kids there and she rejected me a while back when I told her I was battling with depression, so, pile of hurt there too.  My father has distanced me in the past year or so, which has broken my heart.   I am fighting it as much as I can but some days are a nightmare.  I am not on medication at the moment as I have been on different ones over the years but they always seemed to become ineffective after a time.  I have tried 5htp.  Nothing seems to be effective and I am despairing of finding anything that can help me.   My life is a mess, and I know I am largely responsible for this state of affairs.  I have no friends, only a trail of loss and failure behind me.  I feel suicidal at times, but have some protective factors 1. My kids 2. I don't want to hurt my husband or kids by suiciding 3. I am terrified of going to hell.  At this point, I would just love some encouragement, just to know there is someone out there who cares.  I am so sad.  Thanks for reading my morose post.

    beyondblue's clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.



     

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Sparkles183
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Sparkles183 avatar
    265 posts
    28 August 2014 in reply to Miraazlife

    Hi Miraazlife 

    welcome to beyond blue and I am sorry your post has fallen through the cracks, and it has taken so long for someone to answer your post.

    you seem like a strong person and I really want to encourage you to hang on tight. And I hope that these Forums can be helpful to you. 

    It is good that you have got help in the pass but please don't give up I reminded of the footprints  in the sand poem that  I am sure you have herd of ,the last line of the poem says the times when you have only seen one set of footprints is the times of when I carried you. ....

    ( some times we just need to let him carry us through the storm )

    i just want to let you know that you are not alone in this, I am a Christian that suffers from Depression and anxiety myself and only recently decided to go against what my past church has Said and get help outside the church. And I encourage you to keep posting and even start your own thread. maybe not everyone on this forum will be of our faith but they are amazing people and they will be able to encourage you and support you. Also if you do need someone to talk to or have any of them thoughts again I encourage you to phone beyond blue or lifeline.

    i hope to hear back from you soon and I hope these forums will be helpful for you like they have been for me. 

    Until then bless you

    Sparkles  

     

     

  20. vanillagreekyogurt
    vanillagreekyogurt avatar
    1 posts
    20 September 2014 in reply to Fly-Away-Blue-Bird

    Hi Fly-Away-Blue-Bird,

       Thank you for posting this and sharing all of your experiences with depression. I just wanted to say that I too am a Christian, and I recently suffered experiences similar to what you went through. But you are not alone. I have written more in detail about my story on my blog - if you ever have the time, you can check it out.

          Depression is hard, but remember that through all of this, God is with you, even when you don't feel Him there. One day in eternity, you will look back, and see that it is for His ultimate purpose.

    1 person found this helpful
  21. cja
    cja avatar
    1 posts
    18 October 2014

    Dear fellow christians,

    I pray that you all find peace and are alleviated from your suffering as I too know all too well the sting of depression. I have recently been diagnosed with severe depression, stress and adjustment disorder by my GP and have been referred onto a psychologist. I have had a really tough year this year and I hope my story resonates with others so they know they are not alone in their suffering. My year started off really happy as I got married but my life has been a slow decline since then. It all started when I exposed a family secret; I was sexually abused by my Father for many years starting from childhood, I confronted him with this and after I found out he was babysitting my 5 year old niece and so told my brother in order to protect her. My Father is denying it to the rest of the family but he confessed it to me. My mother wants nothing to do with me and said she had stopped caring about me. She also said she believes I am lying and the reason for this is because she believes I am a jealous person and that I need serious psychological help. I am not a jealous person by nature. Shortly after that a male colleague who I sat closely to at work started to become fixated on me and followed me around the office, my lunch breaks, after work. He would speak with me at least every 10 minutes and try to get physically close to me whenever possible. He would make casual sexual jokes and I heard him say a couple of times that he smashed his phone against a wall in a fit of rage. I told my manager and HR and they setup a mediation session. He denied everything and the impression I get is that they believe him. I recently found out my husband has been contacting his ex behind my back, looking up women he works on facebook and recently he attended a buck's night with topless waitresses however kept it from me, it was only when I asked what went on at the buck's night did he tell me. We are currently taking a break and I am at an all time low. I pray that others in similar situations receive the strength and protection they need from God right now to help them through this dark time.

    cj

  22. malvina
    malvina avatar
    3 posts
    13 April 2015

    Hallo, I'm a new elderly Christian member. I'm having difficulty finding how to post a new topic on new member list and  here without answering someone's post. 

    I am delighted to find a Christian thread because it makes all the difference when discussing our problems.  I have had depression all my life, my father and sister was the same with addictive personality  I had medication after having my babies as it was worse then but they had a bad effect on me and I left them off.  Sometimes I manage well.  Other times I get really ill with severe headache with nausea.  My father drank a lot and was addicted to smoking which killed him.  Smoking also killed my sister and she was taking one heap of drugs for her depression.

    The fact that I am a believing Christian has helped me a lot, I have never smoked or drank, but lately, due to isolation, I've been wandering over to the hotel and got addicted to playing the pokies.  I finished up feeling quite ill last night after a bout

    All the time I am active and helping others I am ok but it is getting more difficult for me as I aged I can't get around the same.  I injured my legs in a car accident which forced me out of the Christian business I had for 20 years.

    Thanks for listening to me I'm so pleased to have found you all.

     

    .

     

     

    2 people found this helpful
  23. malvina
    malvina avatar
    3 posts
    14 April 2015 in reply to cja

    I am so sorry to hear about your sad life.  I see so much of my own life in your story.  Family hate to hear the truth about abuse,  They have grown up with pictures of someone that they love and when you ruin that picture they feel betrayed.  I had the same thing happen to me.  Abuse can ruin someone's life.  It is very important to talk it out and get peace over it or we will attract that same kind of people to us.  The more strong in our mind we are - the less these bad things happen will happen to us.  

    I hope you will have lots of fellowship here so you can grow strong and have a better life.

    God Bless

     

     

  24. Fly-Away-Blue-Bird
    Fly-Away-Blue-Bird avatar
    6 posts
    14 April 2015

    Thank you all for your replies and I am so so sorry that it took me 2 years to reply! Wow 2 years already!! I still have intermittent depression, well i still have depression and it pops up when it wants to! I have found that talking to other people and being real about how I feel has helped heaps! I have found people who will listen and also pray for me which is a great combination and i feel less alien like!

     I have come to a place where I feel at peace being a Christian and not having my life perfect, haha sounds weird but it is a good happy place..

     I am pretty tired today so most of what I am saying prob seems like rambling but I wanted to thank you all for being so lovely and helpful xx

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    14 April 2015 in reply to malvina

    Hi Malvina,

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and to the Community here.

    You mentioned you were having trouble starting your own post. I will explain how I do it, it may not be the best way, but it works for me:

    At the top of the Beyond Blue page, select Connect with others and click on that.

    Then select On Line Forums and click on that.

    Select All Posts and click on that

    Then you can scroll down to the subject heading of your choosing, let's say "Staying Well" and click on that.

    On the right hand of the screen you will see "New Thread", click on that and you can start your own post!

    Hope that works for you!

    I will answer your post personally in a moment. Cheers, from Mrs. Dools

  26. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    14 April 2015 in reply to malvina

    Hello again Malvina,

    I too am a Christian who suffers from depression and stress. In the past I have had some ministers say there is no place for depression in a Christian's life, but to me that is just not right.

    Some people just don't understand that depression does not go away no matter how strong your faith is. Christians have other illnesses and diseases, so why not depression.

    I'm wondering if there are other alternatives for you other than the pokies. I guess the pokies are okay if you can limit yourself to just a few dollars and a certain time limit, but I know for myself I am not that strong to resist them!

    Are you connected with a Church and if so, do they have activities you can participate in? Are there groups or clubs in your region that you could join in, or some volunteer work?

    I do understand how a feeling of isolation can make your depression feel worse. Do you like to read, do puzzles, or garden?

    Please excuse all of the questions but here comes some more. Do you have family that live close by or whom you can phone? What about friends? Do you know other people who may feel isolated as well at times? Maybe you could get together. Invite them to your home for a coffee or to somewhere close by for a meal together.

    Could you contact your local council to see what is available in your region as far as groups and things go. Some Aged Care facilities have activities and outings that the general public can join in with.

    I hope God will keep you safe and will guide you to where He desires you to be. You never know, He may have a purpose for you going to the pokies. Just please don't spend too much of your money there. I know how tempting it can be!

    Cheers for now and God bless, from Mrs. Dools

     

    2 people found this helpful
  27. Carmen Lisa
    Carmen Lisa  avatar
    39 posts
    12 July 2015

    Hi everyone on this thread.

    I wanted to share a story that I found significant when I first got help for depression 7 years ago. I have had some similar experiences to some of you and thought that as a Christian, I "shouldn't" be depressed. For many years before then I had struggled with a brave face but was wondering if I even had a faith at all.

    Grace. Kindness. Love. All things that God shows us. Yet in our depression we forget this.The story is in 1 Kings 18 and 19. It is about Elijah. God has called him as a prophet to the people of Israel. He comes up against the prophets of Baal in an epic display of the supremacy of God. They are all left knowing that God is way more powerful than Baal. Yet when Elijah is threatened shortly after by Jezebel he runs away. He gets to the desert and he wants to die. Die! You might expect at this point (not unlike we might in our modern "every one is supposed to be happy" church) that God might say something like, "you idiot. Don't you trust me? Didn't you just see what I did in that display of my power back there with the prophets of Baal? Why are you so depressed?". But God doesn't say anything like that. Instead he sends an angel with food and water and tells him to rest. After 40 days he comes with a gentle voice and gives him direction for what is next. He also gives him a friend to go with him. 

    This is the God I've met in my despair and the God I hope for others to know. Pain and suffering are difficult to get my head around, but I know that Jesus (God's own son and one with him) experienced first hand the worst the world has to offer. Then I know he understands. I know that he is with me in the darkest time. I also know he provides help amidst the pain: a friend, a time of rest, some medical intervention, a glimpse of joy in a child or a summer rain. And always hope. Sometimes just a tiny thread when my head can't handle even what I've just written...but hope none the less... One day Jesus will wipe every tear from my eyes. 

    3 people found this helpful
  28. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
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    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    13 July 2015 in reply to Carmen Lisa

    Dear Carmen Lisa,

    Thank you so much for sharing this message with us all.

    Sometimes I just want God to come on down and tell me what it is He wants me to be doing and to just hug me.

    I know that He does that through others, that He showers me in blessings. I sometimes just miss them or take no notice when He is trying to tell me He is right here with me.

    It amazes me no end, when I spend the night screaming out to God asking why it seems like He just doesn't care, only to pick up my Bible and devotional the next day to read just how much He is there for me!

    If only my brain and my heart would believe and remember always!

    Thank you and bless you. From Lauren

     

     

  29. Sparkles183
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Sparkles183 avatar
    265 posts
    21 August 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi everyone I just just wanted to share with you what God spoke to me early this year,

    we all know what a struggle it is living with mental illness and being a Christian . Sometimes the church seems to judge us and we all know only God can judge it is not their place to judge. If you read through some of my old post you will see how I have been judged by the church and how I chose to get help despite what the church said.

    Anyway I was speaking to God early this year and asked him why I have to go through this and why I have to be medicated to control my mood and why does prayer not work for me at the moment?. He replied to me he created the mind that beautiful that man can come up with ideas to help people like us through medication and other therapies. He also made me realise that not many people in the church has an understanding of mental illness and one way I can use my illness for good rather then bad is to help others in the church with a mental illness and help them realise it is not their fault. ....

    please do not let the churches judgement stop u from getting the help you need. Remember mental illness does not discriminate, and you will be surprised who else suffers from a mental illness if people opens up and spoke about it.

    i hope this helps have a great day Sparkles....

    2 people found this helpful
  30. myownworstenemy
    myownworstenemy avatar
    7 posts
    5 September 2015 in reply to Sparkles183

    Hi sparkles,  

    Yes it is a struggle to be a Christian living with mental illness and you are right when you say the church is judgemental.  I have struggled with mental illness and Christianity for some time and some people in church simply do not understand or have any idea of the suffering that Christians with mental illness go through.  I really noticed the lack of understanding and being judged since Christmas last year.  I went through a great deal of trauma after having major brain surgery in November last year and my mental health really suffered due to depression, severe anxiety and panic attacks.  I also became very paranoid and even wanted to die.  Some of my friends at church were very understanding and supportive and yet others (particularly a few people in positions of authority) did become very judgemental and suddenly I found myself literally being hauled over the coals for behaving in an inappropriate manner on several occasions.  The thing is because of brain damage and mental illness, I did not know that I had behaved inappropriately.  I thought that I was doing a good thing so yes, unfortunately the church has a lot to learn about understanding mental illness.

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