The world is indeed hurting. Everyone is fighting a battle- sometimes one you can't see. In light of Robin Williams passing yesterday (August 11, 2014) topics like depression and suicide are now being talked about. Why does death have to happen for us to discuss this issue? It begs the question of how can we live more connected, intentional lives so that people don’t take their own life. (It should also ask us to pay attention to what we are eating- everythingis connected together.)
The fact of the matter is that each of us has probably gone through some dark valleys- some more than others. We all carry burdens that are most often invisible to the world- even those close to us.
Just how prevelient is depression? The below stats are from To Write Love On Her Arms (sources stated in link):
- More than 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide
- 9.7 percent of Americans have a mood disorder, such as depression
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide
- About 80 percent of people diagnosed with major depression can be treated and return to their usual activities and feelings
We don’t need more prescriptions that mask the real issue going on in our lives and souls. What people need is to BE loved. What people need is to be heard. Listened too. We need to put down our screens and pick up broken, sad, lonely hearts and souls. (A topic for another time but diet-as in what we eat/drink- plays a HUGE part in our emotional health and general wellbeing.)
Depression is a sign of something else going on. These root causes are not limited to the following but include: past (and current) abuse, tragic childhoods, being bullied, survivors, war veterans, addictions, loss of family, abandonment, loss of business, loss of a child, what we eat, what we drink, what we think, poverty…. The reasons are vast and I can’t even begin to touch on them all here.
Depression can happen to anyone regardless of status: cars, houses, boats, cars, shoes, clothes- these things don't care how wealthy we are, our success, our fame. Feelings of loneliness can happen to anyone. Filling the void with things is a sure recipe for continued feelings of emptiness.
What’s going in our minds is very much connected to every part of our health. When we heal the mind we can heal the body. And when we heal the brain through the right food, exercise/physical activity, reputable therapy, thinking healthy, positive thoughts, and fully comprehend the love He has for us, we can begin to heal our wounded, hurting soul.
A few questions for us to think about as we go about our daily life:
- Can we be a trusted ally- a friend that has their back no matter what?
- Are we a safe place to land? Without judgement?
- What can I do to be a better friend?
- Who can I show genuine love to today?
- How many times can I show others that I love and care for them?
- If I struggle with depression and loneliness, who can I talk with today? (If you can’t think of anyone, call this number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Will I chase down the demons that haunt me?
- What can I do today to heal my soul? A run, walk, yoga, massage, eating organic food & drink, superfoods & omegas (really important for brain health!) surround myself with loving people?
- Who can you tell today that you care and love them? Call them, text them, write them a note card...
- What burdens can we help our friends carry?
- Check out my friend Amy's Strong Inside Out Tour- coming to a city near you!
Let's bear one another's burdens and live the kindness, compassion, love we long to see in the world.
You are loved!
And I love you.
P.S. On a personal note, I've had my struggles with depression. I've survived some pretty horrific circumstances and it's only by the grace of God that I am where I am today. But it doesn't make the pain of what I've been through any less real. The struggle is still real. When you break the cycle of abusive, dysfunctional families (putting it mildly), life can be hard. I'm thankful for the people in my life who remind me that I am loved. May you know that too.
If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.
Cover photo credit: Tdlucas5000