Even spiritual giants like Moses and Elijah needed help to cope sometimes.
Hey you, the one reading this article. Good for you! You saw this website and you started reading it. Well done! You took the time to stare your depression or anxiety in the eye, and tell it it's not going to win. That's amazing! You know depression and anxiety are treatable, and you're ready to think about starting treatment. And that alone is worth celebrating!
It's OK if you have questions. There are lots of treatments out there, and it might take some time to find the one that works for you. Don't give up. Even exploring treatments to find the right one is closer to managing your symptoms than you were before.
You're on the right track. Good for you!
Your treatment might include talk therapy – advice from a trained professional to help you see things in a new light. A therapist may be able to show you strategies that you hadn't heard of before. And if you learn something useful, you'll be in good company. Some of God's biggest champions took advice from others when they struggled. Moses is a great example. He was so weighed down by the petty disagreements he had to solve every day that he'd nearly given up on things ever getting better.
But fortunately for Moses, his father-in-law Jethro had some experience mediating quarrels – maybe because his seven children weren't afraid to speak their minds. Jethro told Moses to put other people in charge of the smaller stuff so that Moses had time to mediate the more significant problems. Jethro's advice helped the leader of the Exodus make it through his days in one piece. Maybe little talk therapy can do the same thing for you.
If you don't have a therapist yet, there are tips for finding one in the PDF you can download at the end of this article. Remember, every mental health professional is unique. There are many treatment styles and approaches to therapy. If you visit a therapist and don't feel that he or she is addressing your concerns in a meaningful way, it's OK to try a different professional. Keep looking until you find someone who can help you.
But what about the M-word – medication? Do you need it? Will it help? Every person's situation is different, and only your doctor or mental health professional can answer that question. Still, if your provider or psychiatrist suggests medication as part of your treatment, it might be worth considering.
Jesus treated the whole person – he healed broken bodies, restored possessed minds, and forgave sins. Often, the Greek verb Sozo – to save, heal, restore, or make whole – gets used for all three kinds of healing in the Bible. When Elijah broke down after his encounter on Mt. Carmel, God fed him first and gave him rest before he sat him down for a talk. Elijah's body needed to heal before his mind was ready to learn.
You are a whole person too, and God wants you to restore you. If your brain is less than healthy, taking medication might help you to understand things you never would have seen before. It could open your eyes to a little more of the beautiful world God created for you. And the good news is that, with your doctor's supervision, of course, you'll most likely be able to taper off your medication in a year or less and keep feeling better.
No matter what treatment you and your doctor decide on, congratulations for taking a step. Well done for looking out through the fog of depression and anxiety, and seeing the light on the other side. It's real, and you can get there.