Thursday, August 31, 2017

Help for Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts

(June 12, 2018)  It's so sad to hear about all the celebrities who have recently committed suicide (or about anyone who has committed suicide, for that matter).  My heart breaks for them, for the pain they went through, and for the ones who love them, for the pain they are now going through.  It is truly a tragedy.  (And it could have been me.)

To anyone who is hurting really badly, who is struggling with overwhelming anxiety or depression, who is considering taking their own lives ... I dedicate this post.  Please, take some time to look through some of the links here.  This is a round-up of some on-line resources or posts about dealing with anxiety or depression, particularly as a Christian.  


[And as a Christian, I would add that if you've never read the Bible, pick one up and start reading, maybe starting with the New Testament.  With Jesus and the hope and healing He offers.  Or maybe starting with the Psalms, reading about others crying out to the Lord and finding hope in Him.  I truly believe that you will find no hope as genuine and healing as the hope that's found in the Lord.  If you've tried and tried to do life on your own but have found it exhausting and overwhelming, then it's time to reach out to the Lord and let Him help you.  If you've never prayed before, then just say out loud, "Jesus, help me.  I need You."  Let that be your first step to true healing.]    

I haven't read everything in these or evaluated the websites, but I have tried to find biblically-sound ones.  And I am passing them onto you, for you to check out yourself.  Maybe there will be some hope or help in there somewhere.  Because let's face it, when we are struggling with real anxiety or depression, we can use all the help we can get.  (And I will try to add any more that I find as I find them.) 

And no matter which one you click on, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone!  We all struggle at some point, in some way.  We all need help sometimes.  We are all human.  And that's okay!  Let's help each other on our journeys.  Let's offer compassion and understanding and encouragement!

You are not alone!  And by the grace of God, you can make it through!  



Bible verses to remember:
Jeremiah 29:11:  "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

Isaiah 41:10:  "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Psalm 34:17-18:  "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Deuteronomy 31:8:  "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Psalm 40:1-2:  "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."

Romans 8:38-39:  "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Psalm 145:18:  "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."

Psalm 55:16-17:  "But I call to God, and the Lord saves me.  Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice."

John 10:10:  "The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

2 Timothy 1:7:  "For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  (KJV)



Romans 10:13:  "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
John 3:16:  "For God so loved you that He sent His one and only Son to pay the penalty for sin, so that if you believe in Him, you will not perish but will have eternal life!"  (Paraphrased)




Links to some encouraging songs
There's more in the "My 'When Anxiety Strikes' Playlist" post on my other blog, My Crazy Faith.  And fyi, I couldn't get the font/color to be the same for all the titles (stupid computer):

Oh, What Love  by The City Harmonic - always makes me cry. Grace, forgiveness, mercy, healing, hope, purpose ... it's all wrapped up in that amazing love!

Love, Heal Me by The City Harmonic - the song that inspired the title of this blog - my heart's cry for the past year

Fell Apart  by The City Harmonic - one of the best opening lines ever! These City Harmonic songs became my prayers at a time I was too broken to pray for myself.

Sweetly Broken by Jeremy Riddle - absolutely amazing!  It touched my heart so deeply that it became a theme song for my life and the inspiration for my other blog, The 'Sweetly Broken' Journey.

I AM by Crowder - God's always there holding onto us, calling us to hold onto Him.

Forgiven by Crowder - forgiveness is always available, no matter what you've done.  Those sins have already been paid for.  You don't have to keep paying the price for them.  Accept the forgiveness of God.

Come As You Are by Crowder - you don't need to polish yourself up first, just come to Him as you are!

Healing Begins by Tenth Avenue North - one of the inspirations for My Crazy Faith blog.

Worn by Tenth Avenue North.  Can anyone else relate to being tired just from breathing?

By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North - no matter where we are, He's always by our side.  No need to earn His love, grace, forgiveness, or help.  Just accept them!  It's already waiting for you.

Hold My Heart by Tenth Avenue North - this is totally my prayer!  What I've been feeling for a long time.

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher - This one meant so much to me when we sang it at church while I was in a very dark time.

Forgiven by Sanctus Real - no one needs to live in bondage to sin or guilt or shame anymore.

Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray - You matter to the Lord ... enough for Him to give His life for you.

Forgiveness by Toby Mac - We all need forgiveness.  We all need a Savior.  If you're broken, you're in good company, because so are the rest of us! 


Here's a list of 20 Funk-Bustin' Songs For Your Bad Day from https://hissparrowblog.com.  And Ashley even includes links to more songs at the end of the post.  



Links to websites and posts:
If you don't know Jesus, let me introduce you to Him.
https://heathersgardenandhome.blogspot.com/2017/11/starting-your-own-relationship-with.html



Kay is a Christian who has dealt with anxiety and she has a series on her struggle.  This is part one of that series.   
https://www.wisdomgraceandcurls.com/my-depths-of-chronic-back-pain-anxiety-revealed/   



In this post, Kay shares one of her favorite blogs that deals with anxiety.  And she includes links to some of her favorite posts on that blog.    
https://www.wisdomgraceandcurls.com/favorite-blogger-month-calm-courageous/  



Susan also has a series on dealing with anxiety and depression.  This is the first post in her series.  She starts with hope.
http://carryonmyheart.com/with-anxiety-and-depression/



This is a blog from a cancer-survivor with a lot of heart and a lot of encouragement to share. 
http://nikihardy.com/blog/



I just found this one.  It's a blog from someone who understands, who once tried to take her own life.  It's worth clicking around on her other posts, too.  She's got lots of encouragement in there.



I also just found this one, and it looks like there's a lot of hope and truth in it for those who are struggling in life.
https://couragehopelove.com



These are posts I wrote to share some spiritual and practical tips for dealing with depression and anxiety, from my own struggles.  FYI, I do not write short posts.  I write long, wordy posts ... for two reasons.  One is that I like to write things out, deeply and fully.  And I do this for me, to clear my mind, to process things where I can see them.  And two is because when I was struggling really badly emotionally and dealing with incredible loneliness, I found great comfort in reading other people's stories.  And when I found a good writer, I never wanted the book to end.  It would've been fine with me if they had written in detail about what they ate for breakfast - how it tasted, how it smelled, the way it felt in their mouth, where the crumbs fell, etc.  I needed their "companionship."  And while I know most people like quick, easy-to-read, get-to-the-point posts, I write mine for those who like to read deeply, who want to linger over what they read and who find companionship in words.  That's why my posts are so much longer than everyone else's.  (If you want quicker, easy-to-read, inspirational posts, check out many of the blogs I have links to in the right side-bar on this blog.)  But for these posts, I did write a shorter one for those who don't have enough energy for lots of words.  Sometimes when we are struggling the worst, we just want things to be simpler.
The really long version: 
https://lovehealme.blogspot.com/2017/08/26-tips-for-dealing-with-depression-and.html
The shorter version:  
https://lovehealme.blogspot.com/2017/08/26-tips-for-dealing-with-depression-and_28.html



This is one I posted on my other blogs.  It has tips on "getting through the broken times."  (Most of these are also in the "26 Tips for Dealing with Depression/Anxiety" posts above.  But the above ones have a lot more in them.)



This is a post that has links to a lot of encouraging songs, ones that I found helpful when I was at my lowest.  



This is a page that compiles the various posts on anxiety at Desiring God.
https://www.desiringgod.org/topics/fear-anxiety#



A post that shares some resources for those struggling with depression.  I haven't checked out the links myself, but you might want to.
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/too-depressed-to-believe-what-we-know



Several quick, simple tips for when you are struggling emotionally.
https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/women/overcome-anxiety-and-depression-11563116.html



This is a simple, encouraging daily devotional.  I've only checked a couple of these posts out, but I did read the "Streams in the Desert" book, and I loved it (at least, I think that was the title).
https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/desert/



I just found this one and only read a few posts, but I like it so far.  The blog itself is a satirical Christian look at lots of various issues.  (I personally love satire and sarcasm.  I'm really good at it, too.  I just don't get much chance to use it.)  But this post is about things he found helpful when dealing with anxiety.
http://adam4d.com/things-helped-anxiety/



This link connects you with an index of posts on anxiety at iBelieve.
https://www.ibelieve.com/topics/anxiety/

And this one connects you with iBelieve's posts on depression.
https://www.ibelieve.com/topics/depression/



I'm not sure how this blog is, but there seems to be a lot of topics to choose from for women who are struggling in various areas.  This links takes you to the "fear/anxiety" posts.
http://www.girltalkhome.com/resources-for-christian-women/blog/fear-anxiety/



Some good posts from Sheila Walsh (http://www.sheilawalsh.com/category/blog/), who struggled with emotional issues and wrote books about it.  I really appreciated her flat-out honesty in the book I read (can't remember the title).
http://www.sheilawalsh.com/miracles-in-the-middle-of-the-mess/
http://www.sheilawalsh.com/the-hope-of-a-beautiful-broken-new-year/
http://www.sheilawalsh.com/free-gift-from-sheila-first-chapter-from-in-the-middle-of-the-mess/
http://www.sheilawalsh.com/free-chapter-one-from-sheila-in-the-middle-of-the-mess/  (This link says it's chapter one, but it's actually chapter two.  The first chapter is in the link above.)



For a satirical look at how we grow in bitterness, check this one out.  (But do not take it too seriously.  I wrote it to show the ridiculousness of some of the things we do that bring us down and hurt us, about how it's Satan's plan to make us bitter and how we consciously or unconsciously follow him in his plan.  You never know, you might recognize something of yourself in it and realize that it's something you don't want to keep doing.  But don't read it if you are really depressed and can't handle the satire.  Read one of the other links instead.)
https://myimpressionisticlife.blogspot.com/2016/02/satans-foolproof-plan-for-bitterness.html



I wrote this one out of frustration after our pastor included depression in a list of sins, without any further help or advice or compassion.  It really upset a woman at church who struggles with it.  And it upset me to think about how heartless and irresponsible it was for the pastor to do that.  So I wrote my "response" in this post.  For those of us who know what it's like to struggle with depression.
            Honestly, sometimes I think that the only people who should be allowed to help those who have emotional struggles are those who have had emotional struggles themselves.  They are the ones who can truly understand what it's like.  And so they know that Christian platitudes and simplistic "pat answers" are not going to help.  They are the ones who are willing to come alongside another person and help lift them up, instead of simply throwing around uncompassionate condemnations and simple "I'll fix it" ideas. 
            Broken people are the best ones to help broken people.  That's why I write what I do.  I'm broken, too.  (But I'm being rebuilt in the Lord!)
https://lovehealme.blogspot.com/2017/08/is-depression-sin-repost.html



And here are some Christian blogs that have link-ups to connect you with an abundance of great writing from other Christian bloggers.  You are bound to find encouragement in there somewhere.  (The link-ups are found weekly on most of these blogs, not on every post.  You might have to look around a little for them.)

https://holleygerth.com/blog/

https://www.godsizeddreams.com/  (They are currently not adding more posts, but there are many archived ones)

anitaojeda.com/category/inspire-me-monday/  (Inspire Me Monday Link-up)

https://www.dawnklinge.com/abovethewaves/  (Grace & Truth Link-up)

https://countingmyblessings.com/  (Faith 'n Friends Link-up)

https://lylidunbar.com/blog/  (Faith on Fire Link-up)

https://www.betheeinspired.com/blog/  (Destination Inspiration Link-up)

www.journeysingrace.com/  (Grace Moments Link-up)



Suicide is not an option! 
National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-8255


In the comment section, feel free to share anything that's helped you in your experience with anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts - advice, blogs, tips, thoughts, Bible verses, links, etc.  Let's help hold each other up!

1 comment:

Sweetly Broken Girl said...

Sarah D., Thank you for taking the time to comment (although I suspect this is really just spam), but I am sorry that I cannot post your comment because it appears to be a link to a website that encourages worshipping someone other than Jesus Christ. May you find your hope and healing in the Lord and not in that man. God bless !