Disclaimer: I am merely someone with some life experience (now including some anxiety and depression) and have NO medical or psychological degree. A professional, such as a doctor, should be consulted if anyone has symptoms like anxiety and depression to a noticeable, serious degree. I do believe there is a spiritual component to these health issues, as I’ll address in this blog.
We often treat symptoms. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with that, but it does little to get at the real reason behind the source of the issue causing the one or myriad of symptoms.
Just as a physical ailment or sickness is accompanied by symptoms of fever, shivers, and other out-workings, so can physical or mental hurts or wounding’s show symptoms indicating that deeper issue.
I’ve had cause and reason to reflect on anxiety and depression lately. Anxiety and depression are, in fact, two symptoms of physical and mental abuse.
“The Link Between Verbal Abuse And Anxiety That No One Talks About” is the article link here. It was thanks to a friend who brought it to my attention. (I rather recommend reading this article.)
What’s the fix? There’s no ready, immediate, one-size-fits all solution. It is a process, as with so many things.
Yes, anxiety and depression is treatable. There may be ways people cope, mechanisms that people employ. Treatment could be medical, dietary, altering routines and habits, etc. Those approaches and means may certainly be useful for some; yet, there may come a point when the root of what led to that anxiety and depression should be addressed, or at least recognized for what it is, if one is pursuing health and healing.
Thinking back to those times – specifically when and where – have I been … (And these things are connected to what’s in the article)
2. Been called names (was it persistent?)?
3. Had my interests (passions or dreams too) attacked?
4. Felt a huge need to be alone?
5. Been the butt of persistent jokes?
Yet, I think I’ve done that enough and have grieved enough over those occurrences.
If I were to examine the unintended Swiss cheese of my formative years, I’ll find …
1. I’ve felt unappreciated at times! “Seen but not heard” was spoken often, too often it seemed.
2. Yes; I was called names at times. I was bullied as a kid, and thankfully became friends with him eventually. Even name calling happened later in life too. Fortunately, this was not persistent.
3. Not sure about my interests being attacked but felt that talents, maybe dreams and pursuits weren’t validated or encouraged.
4. Yeah, felt rather lonely several times. Well sure, I’m an ISTJ according to Myers-Briggs type indicator – an introvert. Though I know I reverted at times more into myself.
5. My Self Confidence had been greatly stunted, likely because of trauma in receiving some form of abuse. Had a hard time with my confidence.
6. I lacked in affirmation and encouragement. Some of my skills and talents were recognized, but it was more like “oh, that’s nice that you have that” kind of comment.
I never exactly identified or thought of myself as a victim of verbal or mental abuse; yet, it may in fact be true in looking at myself and in explaining past trauma and wounding.
These questions only start to get at details and specifics. We each need to understand our own stories in depth! It is important to be able to spell out those things with care.
What next? Fact is that this type of healing simply cannot happen inside one’s head. It requires that shame be silenced by the empathy of others in the healing process!!
For myself though, I can also:
Encourage myself some.
I have good friends and a wife who also can help encourage me.
Do things, because I have accomplished things! My skills have grown. I can hone my talents and skill sets.
Can enjoy company of friends and family, while knowing when a “me” time can be refreshing for my introvert self. I know with whom I can be real and vulnerable, assured that they’re a safe and trusted person.
Though affirmation or appreciation isn’t an everyday occurrence, I know friends and family have shown it to me every now and then.
What’s in a name? Yes, I have learned and can and to take a playful joke. I won’t tolerate though someone who will consistently belittle my name. That’s an insult to anyone regardless.
What’s more though, there’s plenty that God has for me in His word. He has promises, encouragement, and loves me! He loves us all.
He has given us talents and gifts by the very nature of you being you. No one can do you since only you can.
You think you’re alone? You are not, simply by the fact that you’re reading this. Others have felt this way and dealt with the same exact stuff! What’s more, there are your friends and family who should be able to be there for you. However, in the case that that might feel inadequate, there are support groups, counselors, and people at church.
Even better and even more, there’s Jesus! Whether you believe in Him or not, He’s ever present. God is right there, willing to hear and help. He waits for engaging you in love and patience and kindness. He is full of grace and mercy.
God’s truths and promises are better than the lies and inhibitors with which that I have lived.
If I remind myself of those truths frequently, even daily, that’d be a sure way to attack not just my depression or anxiety but also those areas of hurt from formative years.
I can be confident in God because He’s been there and knows the way through.
I should realize just praying won’t magically, immediately fix me or take away feelings or things I’ve carries for so long. Yet, that will not limit my expectations and hope! For I have seen God work in my past experiences and know nothing’s impossible for Him.
Where is my faith and trust in these things? To where am I looking?
I’ll try not to levy undue expectations on friends and loved ones.
Though my faith may be little, God is so much greater; I’ll look to and trust in Him.
I will need to remind myself to try to see things with His perspective, knowing how He sees me.
God is love. God loves me.