As I write, I’m in the midst of a depressive state. And the one thing I can think to do to fight it is to talk about it, which is exactly what I don’t want to do.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12
“Don’t fight like the world.”
I constantly remind other believers that we’re called to be set apart, to not fight as the world would have us believe we should. That’s not to say I don’t believe in the values and miracles of modern science and/or psychology. I realize that, while I do believe that there are forces beyond our understanding of the natural world, not all illness is a demonic affliction or torment. I happen to see a counselor/therapist on a regular basis, and I value both the psycho-therapeutic and spiritual nature of his guidance.
To what degree is difficult to say, but there seems to be a stigma attached to people who are willing to be open with mental health struggles. Even more so, many times the perception of the person suffering is a lie: that nobody wants to help them. Many fear that the response of loved ones will be abandonment or dismissal.
I have struggled with this for many years. “Keep it to yourself.” “Just push through it.” “Nobody wants to deal with your crap.” “They can’t handle it, so why burden them?” I’m not going to go on some rant about how we should all be seeking out our loved ones who may be struggling, or placing shame on those who suffer in silence.
But I will be honest about my struggles. Not for attention or wallowing in helplessness, but because the darkness in this world tells me not to.
“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10