This is the second in a nine part series entitled “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Suffering Paradigm.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.
The complementing studies are also available in a video and podcast formats at the links below:
- “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Responsibility Paradigm”// video and podcast
- “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Suffering Paradigm” // video and podcast
- “Towards a Christian Perspective of Mental Illness” // video and podcast
Facing the Pain without Running Away
ACKNOWLEDGE the specific history and realness of my suffering.
“I will look at my life and acknowledge my emotions as part of my history. I will not try to move forward pretending before myself and others that everything is okay. I trust that God can and will redeem even my painful, upsetting emotions. Evidencing my faith in God I acknowledged my specific history to [names of trusted people]. This brought great fear [describe] and then relief [describe].”
Memorize: Psalm 44:23-26 (ESV), “Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground. Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Psalm” – God inspired these words to be recorded in Scripture because he knew we would need to speak them.
- “Awake!” – The Bible gives voice to a little heresy to show it understands our lives don’t always make sense.
- “Do not reject us” – Even in great emotional pain, the psalmist trusted God with his honest emotions and fears.
- “Our soul is bowed down” – Emotional pain penetrated to the core of the psalmist and he was hungry for hope.
- “Come to our help!” – The hope in this passage is not in the content of its words, but in who it calls upon.
“Since you might actually enjoy mania (at least when it is not extreme), you might be reluctant to try medication. Talk to wise counselors and your family about this. You might decide to try medication as a way to better love others (p. 23).” Ed Welch in Bipolar Disorder
“In anxiety, the person often overestimates the threat or danger they are facing, and at the same time usually underestimates their own capacity to cope with the problem (p. 31).” Chris Williams, Paul Richards, and Ingrid Whitton in I’m Not Supposed to Feel Like This
“The present age of anxiety is characterized by pressing concerns about the threat of terrorism, global warming, the beginning of the end of oil, immigration and pluralism, the widening economic gap between those who have and those who have not, and the outsourcing of American jobs. These concerns are legitimate, and they will demand our and our children’s undivided attention for years to come. The anxiety that we feel is compounded daily or, in some cases, hourly by skilled fear entrepreneurs who know how to push our buttons. As if the issues listed here, eliciting legitimate concern and anxiety were not enough, some fear entrepreneurs introduce a host of potentially threatening crises that keep us constantly on edge (p. 17).” Kirk Bingaman in Treating the New Anxiety
“Faith, instead of being a help, can sometimes cause extra problems in dealing with depression. There is, for instance, the false guilt associated with the false conclusion that real Christians don’t get depressed. There is also the oft-mistaken tendency to locate the cause of our mental suffering in our spiritual life (p. 5).” David Murray in Christians Get Depressed Too
“This can be a painful process of self-discovery. Although we are frail and weak creatures, we like to think that we can cope with everything that life throws at us… Just because we coped with great stresses at some time in our lives does not guarantee that we will cope with lesser stresses at other points in our lives. We age, our hormones and brain chemistry change, and our responsibilities increase as marriage and children come along. Sometimes an adverse reaction to life events will be delayed, even for some years (p. 34).” David Murray in Christians Get Depressed Too
“To be human is to be afraid. We are small; the world is big (p. 5).” Ed Welch in When I Am Afraid
Other podcasts on emotions are available at: