Here's important testimony from a reader who has lived through severe depression and offers some important advice regarding the use of medication. Depression sufferers and their supporters, please listen to this! (A response to my recent post: Light on Severe Depression.)
As a pastor who was hospitalized with clinical depression and anxiety and stress syndromes, I can add my personal AMEN to what you have shared, Chris.
The church certainly remains behind the eight ball on this one. In my congregation’s case (at the time), they carried out a better model. They teamed with my presbytery (regional governing body) to create a team to take care of both me and the congregaton’s ministry (liaison with the session [governing board]). The session granted me a three-month, paid leave of absence.
I had the grace, space and time to rest and get well, under the care of an excellent Christian psychotherapist and a quality psychiatrist, who found just the right medication.
Speaking of the latter–STAY WITH YOUR MEDS TO THE END OF THE REFILLS, my friends.
Thinking you’re better just because the symptoms go away is a BAD REASON to stop your meds without careful consultation with your physician(s). You’ll just dig a whole that ends up being harder to climb out of than before.
And depression sufferers: IT DOES GET BETTER. Indeed, it often takes a lot of time, hard work, and trial and error–but you’ll find God in the midst. That’s a promise fulfilled in my case!