What to do if your pastor or loved one suffers from depression

I am working on an appendix for the book right now.  This is a question that I seem to answer a lot.  I have my own answers to this question, which I will post in a bit, but I would like to hear from you.  How would you answer the above question?  If you are a parishoner, spouse or friend of someone (pastor or not) who suffers from depression, what should you do?

4 thoughts on “What to do if your pastor or loved one suffers from depression”

  1. One of the first things I have found is to get over your own feelings and preconceptions first. If you have a loved one with depression, there are two things that must be dealt with. First, your own feelings towards the disorder and second, the disorder in your loved one. So many people walk in with their own misinformed ideas about what is going on with the depressed person and because of that sometimes seem to cause more harm than good. Instead, read up on the disorder. There are plenty of good books out there that will talk about what the person is going through. However, once you finish that, remember that you are by no means an expert ready to dole out advice based on what you read. The research is for you not for your depressed loved one.

    You must also love them, even when it seems hard. They are sinners too and in need of Christ’s forgiveness as much as anyone. Whatever happens, forgiveness is not dependent on whether or not the infraction is prompted by the depression or not. Forgiveness is the Christian’s way of life regardless of cause because ultimately, the cause all goes back to Genesis 3 and we all have the illness of original sin.

    Communicate with them. Especially if you have known them for a long time, it is easy to change focus from the person you know to the disorder you see. If you are scared by something they did, tell them! It might give them an opportunity to talk and explain what is going on with them in that moment, fostering mutual understanding and allowing love and not fear to prevail. Treat them with patience and love as well. Sometimes they are going to break dates, forget a promise, or seem like they cannot put effort into the relationship. That is not a rejection of you; that is the disorder. Go back to focusing on them and meet them at where they are at instead of where you want them to be. If they cannot go out to a movie because of the noise and the craziness of a theater, offer something easier, find something different to do, or reschedule, but do so without any hard feelings. Yes, it might take more work, but you would do the same with someone with a broken leg, diabetes, cancer, or any other ailment with a very physical component.

    Remember through it all that this is still your friend, spouse, pastor, etc who is loved by you and by their Saviour, Jesus Christ.

    1. Thank You. I was lost. I didn't know what to do. I would love to say something intellegent here but I percieve that would be about as useful as me giving her advice. the best thing I can say is Thank You. GWBD

  2. One of the first things I have found is to get over your own feelings and preconceptions first. If you have a loved one with depression, there are two things that must be dealt with. First, your own feelings towards the disorder and second, the disorder in your loved one. So many people walk in with their own misinformed ideas about what is going on with the depressed person and because of that sometimes seem to cause more harm than good. Instead, read up on the disorder. There are plenty of good books out there that will talk about what the person is going through. However, once you finish that, remember that you are by no means an expert ready to dole out advice based on what you read. The research is for you not for your depressed loved one.

    You must also love them, even when it seems hard. They are sinners too and in need of Christ’s forgiveness as much as anyone. Whatever happens, forgiveness is not dependent on whether or not the infraction is prompted by the depression or not. Forgiveness is the Christian’s way of life regardless of cause because ultimately, the cause all goes back to Genesis 3 and we all have the illness of original sin.

    Communicate with them. Especially if you have known them for a long time, it is easy to change focus from the person you know to the disorder you see. If you are scared by something they did, tell them! It might give them an opportunity to talk and explain what is going on with them in that moment, fostering mutual understanding and allowing love and not fear to prevail. Treat them with patience and love as well. Sometimes they are going to break dates, forget a promise, or seem like they cannot put effort into the relationship. That is not a rejection of you; that is the disorder. Go back to focusing on them and meet them at where they are at instead of where you want them to be. If they cannot go out to a movie because of the noise and the craziness of a theater, offer something easier, find something different to do, or reschedule, but do so without any hard feelings. Yes, it might take more work, but you would do the same with someone with a broken leg, diabetes, cancer, or any other ailment with a very physical component.

    Remember through it all that this is still your friend, spouse, pastor, etc who is loved by you and by their Saviour, Jesus Christ.

    1. Thank You. I was lost. I didn't know what to do. I would love to say something intellegent here but I percieve that would be about as useful as me giving her advice. the best thing I can say is Thank You. GWBD

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What to do if your pastor or loved one suffers from depression

I am working on an appendix for the book right now.  This is a question that I seem to answer a lot.  I have my own answers to this question, which I will post in a bit, but I would like to hear from you.  How would you answer the above question?  If you are a parishoner, spouse or friend of someone (pastor or not) who suffers from depression, what should you do?

2 thoughts on “What to do if your pastor or loved one suffers from depression”

  1. One of the first things I have found is to get over your own feelings and preconceptions first. If you have a loved one with depression, there are two things that must be dealt with. First, your own feelings towards the disorder and second, the disorder in your loved one. So many people walk in with their own misinformed ideas about what is going on with the depressed person and because of that sometimes seem to cause more harm than good. Instead, read up on the disorder. There are plenty of good books out there that will talk about what the person is going through. However, once you finish that, remember that you are by no means an expert ready to dole out advice based on what you read. The research is for you not for your depressed loved one.

    You must also love them, even when it seems hard. They are sinners too and in need of Christ’s forgiveness as much as anyone. Whatever happens, forgiveness is not dependent on whether or not the infraction is prompted by the depression or not. Forgiveness is the Christian’s way of life regardless of cause because ultimately, the cause all goes back to Genesis 3 and we all have the illness of original sin.

    Communicate with them. Especially if you have known them for a long time, it is easy to change focus from the person you know to the disorder you see. If you are scared by something they did, tell them! It might give them an opportunity to talk and explain what is going on with them in that moment, fostering mutual understanding and allowing love and not fear to prevail. Treat them with patience and love as well. Sometimes they are going to break dates, forget a promise, or seem like they cannot put effort into the relationship. That is not a rejection of you; that is the disorder. Go back to focusing on them and meet them at where they are at instead of where you want them to be. If they cannot go out to a movie because of the noise and the craziness of a theater, offer something easier, find something different to do, or reschedule, but do so without any hard feelings. Yes, it might take more work, but you would do the same with someone with a broken leg, diabetes, cancer, or any other ailment with a very physical component.

    Remember through it all that this is still your friend, spouse, pastor, etc who is loved by you and by their Saviour, Jesus Christ.

    1. Thank You. I was lost. I didn't know what to do. I would love to say something intellegent here but I percieve that would be about as useful as me giving her advice. the best thing I can say is Thank You. GWBD

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