Homework in Counselling for Women – Topic: Depression
Depression is smiling when you want to cry. Talking when you want to be quiet. Pretending to be happy when you aren’t. Depression is not just feeling sad. It’s not one or two days of feeling blue or down. It is not feelings you can just get over. Depression can be wanting to escape the feelings insides you and numb them with sleep, drugs, alcohol, etc. It’s feelings of hopelessness. It steals your life and controls you. But there is hope. According to Hislop (2003), depression is “an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts” (p. 69). Depression is treatable with medications and counseling and doesn’t have to control you.
As a shepherd to women who have depression, it is essential to listen to them and validate their feelings. It’s being able to walk along beside them share in their suffering, encouraging self-care, praying for and with them, and helping them focus on something other than themselves. It is also knowing when they need professional help and helping them seek it.
There is a mental health building next to my church. People tend to place a social-stigma on the people that go there by ignoring them. I don’t walk the other way. I acknowledge them by speaking to them. A simple hello. Sometimes it leads to a conversion. Sometimes it doesn’t. I always respect their privacy. I pray for them and with them. A few times I’ve invited them over to the church to help clean and organize the kitchen. Sometimes when our church has funeral dinners I take the leftover food to them. They are always grateful. I hope someday I’m able to do more for them.
Jesus never ignored the suffering. He would touch and heal them such as the example in Matthew 14:14, “When He (Jesus) went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
Hislop, B. W. (2010). Shepherding women in pain: Real women, real issues, and what you need to know to truly help. Chicago, IL: Moody.