May is mental health awareness month, it seems over the last few years mental health has had more conversation in public spaces making it more socially acceptable to talk about.
Last year my husband was diagnosed with depression, seriously neglected depression and anxiety. It’s taken a long time for him to get into a better space, we’ve tried non pharmacy therapies, we’ve tried pharmaceutical drugs, we’ve tried changing our diet, we’ve gotten out and been in nature more often. What works for one person doesn’t work for everyone else with this condition.
What works for us is the right medications, a lot of time recharging, being mindful of how we spend time outside our home, and how we spend time with each other.
Anxiety & depression manifest differently for everyone. I, too, feel these at times especially as my husband continues to look for work in his field of study. I also admit to feeling less hopeful about the future, this has been an over a year process and it’s draining emotionally, spiritually, and physically. While he is currently working a part time job at a local store, it has been a huge boast to his emotional health. He finds his job fun but fun doesn’t always pay the bills, kind of like this little blog.
What I hate most is when I open up to others about my husband’s mental health struggles and my coping and self care, is when someone says,”You need to pray more” or “God will take care of you.” I often remember these verses from James 2:14-16:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”
What good is it to care for the spiritual and not the physical needs of a person? James understood we must provide and care for an entire persons well being, spiritual, physical, and emotional. I also know, that God can do anything, I also believe God works through other people. Yes, my faith has been tested and I’ve questioned everything more in the last year and yet He continues to show me mercy and love us extravagantly.
Our families, our church, our friends have been those that provided for our physical needs as well as our spiritual needs over the last year. They have shown us the love and life of Christ through their actions and their words. For them I’m deeply thankful.
If you have or think you need mental health help, do not be ashamed. Your mental health is as much a medical condition as taking care of your body, visiting the doctor for a broken bone, or seeing the dentist. I encourage you to find a therapist, and try new therapies and even medication. Your mental health matters.