When you have depression, you need people who validate what you are going through. You need people who love you, talk with you, and uplift you.
Sometimes people with depression (or are hurting a lot emotionally) tend to isolate themselves. I know for me, I believed that if one more person touched my hurting heart, I’d shatter.
You have to know though, that there are a lot of people out there who can touch your heart and actually help heal it with their love. They can uphold you and love you and be there for you. There are truly people out in the world like that. Don’t cut yourself off from much-needed love.
Sometimes if you’re hurting enough emotionally, you tend to try to numb yourself. Don’t do that. Numbing only deals with the pain temporarily. There are truly good and beautiful things in the world. Find things that bring you joy.
And remember that you don’t need to fake cheerfulness. If you’re sad, allow yourself to feel sad. Stuffing it all down only makes it worse. Sadness is a healthy emotion. Ignoring it won’t make it disappear, and it actually makes it worse because it will build up over time and hurt a lot.
Realize that for some people, talking their circumstances out will actually help them a ton (I’m one of those people who needs that. I process things verbally). For the listener: be wise how you listen. Those who are hurting just need you to listen (not talk, usually) and validate what they’re going through.
And know that for other people (I have friends like this), talking about it will only put them backward in the healing process. Don’t force them to talk. If they need to talk to someone, let them do it in their own time. I know for me, I’ve had people touch my heart and make it hurt worse. Maybe they’re afraid you’re like that. Give them time and space, let them learn to trust you, and then let them share, when they’re ready.
And remember: the absolute worse thing you can do is try to “fix” or “help” them. Listen to what they’re trying to tell you. And acknowledge what they’re going through. They’re mourning, and they need you to mourn alongside them.
People going through excruciatingly hard times often feel hopeless (I’ve been in this state many times before, and have talked to people who have also been there). To those feeling hopeless, the world has lost color.
What can you do? Well, help bring the color back to their life. Spend time with them. Take them out to a delicious dinner. Go with them to the movies. Visit some fun place. Go for a nature walk with them. By your actions, help them see that life is worth living. God has given us so much beauty and joy, and light and laughter in this world. Help them to see that again.
And don’t do it alone. Helping someone is incredibly draining, and you need to be replenishing yourself.
Extreme emotional hurt and trauma can also bring insomnia (not being able to sleep at night). I was off at university when I was dealing with this, and I know I had to sleep or I’d fail school. What I did was listen to Jason Grey songs (a wonderful Christian artist) and knit (to keep my hands busy). Nowadays, my insomnia is generally less severe. What I try to do is generally give myself an hour or so before bed to unwind. I stop working on the computer. I read a lighthearted book. I daydream. I watch a movie.
Nightmares are another tough thing to deal with. I’ve known some people who have had pretty severe nightmares. Mine are less severe, but not fun, nonetheless. My brain seems to delight in taking all my anxieties and pulling them from my subconscious and putting them into my dreams. I think prayer helps with this. Talk with God about it, and have other prayer warriors be praying for you as well. I think a lot of dreams are due to the spiritual battle we’re in.
Another thing that helps is reading your Bible. I’ve found that it doesn’t really offer a quick fix, but it’s God’s Word, and it shows His love story with us. Soak it in. Are people tearing you down? Read Psalms and connect with David. Feeling hated instead of loved? Read the Song of Songs. God treasures you. Feeling disillusioned by this stupid world? Read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and see who Jesus is and how He walked this earth.
There is always hope. God will see you through.
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“Following Your Feet, A Young Woman’s Journey”
Page Count: 291 (Second Edition)