Anxiety and Depression: Take Your Life Back!
Anxiety and/or depression can be like a roaring lion, looming and waiting to devour you and take you down. This may be a graphic depiction, but for those who have suffered from these mental health issues, they would tell you that this is what it feels like to them.Anxiety and depression do not discriminate on gender, race, socioeconomic status, or where you live and what you do for a living. They can sneak up on you when you least expect it and slowly begin to take away the life you once knew. Or the person you love, that you once knew.
We have seen many recent suicides in the media recently, but sadly, this is not a new issue and many people that are not famous are suffering in silence. God, however, is the one who gives us hope in times like these. He is the only answer to prayer when you are on your knees asking for healing and a better life for yourself.
God can take a broken, mentally ill individual, and completely transform them into a happier, healthier person than they could have ever dreamed up. I know this for a fact, I have personally witnessed it. So thankfully for us as human beings, there is hope and there is healing for anxiety/depression struggles.
I am not saying the road is easy, it takes a lot of work to get better and to heal. I have many clients who come in to see me and will do anything it takes to get better. They put in the time and the effort necessary for recovery. Then I have others whom through no fault of their own, expect a quick fix and think that I can somehow magically heal their hurt and all their problems will go away.
I explain this to all of my clients this way, taken from a quote by Gerard Egan, Ph.D., from “The Skilled Helper.” He stated perfectly what counseling is all about: “There is nothing magic about change; it is hard work. If clients do not act on their own behalf, nothing happens.”
When you stop to think about anything worth something in your life, ask yourself this, how did you get this thing you love so much? Did this person or thing just fall into your lap and you did nothing to make it work? Probably not, right? Anything worth something great in this life takes hard work, perseverance, and a strength and courage that never ends.
When you put God first in all that you do, he will do amazing things through you that are not possible without him. God can heal an anxious, depressed person, if they ask him for help through consistent prayer, seeking out counseling, getting on medication if necessary, and changing things in their life to help manage their anxiety/stress levels and depression in a healthier way.
Balance is important when someone is trying to heal from anxiety and depression. Is your life out of balance? Meaning, do you have time for yourself, and practice self-care daily? Do you have a balanced meal plan, exercise routine, and sleep routine daily?
I talk with and educate all of my clients on these three things that are most important when trying to heal from anxiety and depression. It is the easiest place to start and I find that most people are not balanced in these ways and therefore their mental health is not doing well either.
Did you know that skipping meals and not getting adequate nutrition can cause anxiety? Did you know that lack of exercise can cause depression and stress levels to increase? Did you know that lack of sleep can cause anxiety? Starting with a plan to manage a healthier, more balanced life with food, exercise, and sleep is vitally important in managing your anxiety and depression in a healthy manner.
I am writing this article today to let you know that if you are reading this, you can take your life back from anxiety and depression. God knows that you are hurting and there is hope for you. No one is too far gone for him to heal, no one. He will meet you where you are, and begin to piece your life back together, little by little.
I also believe that God puts people, places, things, environments around you for a reason to help you heal. Use them. Do not ignore the signs that he is giving you to help you pick yourself up and get well. If you don’t know where to start, begin on your knees praying to him to give you the answers you need to recover.
He will answer you – just don’t give up. Even if you’re on your knees for days, weeks, months, he hears you. Also, please seek out professional help along with your prayers. That is why we as counselors exist, to help you through this trying time. God does not expect you to do this life alone and hurting.
I love this excerpt I read in a Bible plan that I was reading one day, so I wanted to share it with you below:
The Meaning of Proper Healing
“My grief and pain came off the heels of a shattered relationship. For the first time in my life, I had a hard time eating. I cried at least once every day for seven months, often multiple times daily. I questioned everything I knew, even my understanding of God. I’d like to say I handled that season well, but I didn’t always.
“Perhaps you can relate to the loss of a relationship or that of a loved one? There is also the loss of a long sought-after dream, that of traumatic abuse, or the deeply felt effects of abandonment that leave you broken and in need of healing. It’s those rare seasons that leave you feeling empty, without purpose and alone. It’s the moments of pure vulnerability and uncertainty no one sees but God. You try to make sense of it all while nurturing the raw wounds embedded deeply within your soul.
“Within my own personal experience, I tried to be strong by throwing myself in prayer and Scripture. I tried to be around friends hoping to forget about the loneliness. But after two months I broke in a new way. I wanted to give up and throw in the towel because it wasn’t getting any easier. I began seeking out comfort in the world, however, after a month, I knew those things couldn’t help me heal from the pain I felt so I recommitted to the healing process through Christ.
“It was here I learned a valuable life lesson: there is no bypass to proper healing. As much as I tried to bury the pain deep and sought the comforts of this world, I realized there was no way to heal unless I went through the hurt.
“I found great comfort In Jeremiah 30:12,17; I read it and saw an incredible turn of events. How could pain and wounds be incurable in one breath, and healed the next? The understanding lies in the context. Wounds cannot heal when that healing is sought in the world. It’s impossible. But with God, any wound is available for healing. The difference lies in the source. I saw hope for what I thought was incurable at the time and placed my trust in the God who heals.
“In the following days, we’ll uncover the dynamics of proper healing and what that looks like. We’ll discover my own journey and the perseverance required through grief, along with the best insight I could share for the process. All of it folds into the beautiful mess of proper healing.”
This is what the Lord says: “Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing.” – Jeremiah 30:12
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,” declares the Lord, “because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.” – Jeremiah 30:17
I hope this excerpt above gives you a sense of hope. God can use pain and turn it into purpose, for his perfect plan for your life. Will it always be dark in your life? The answer is no if you put your trust in the one who can heal and save you from your despair. God can move mountains, my friend, he really can.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article today and got some inspiration for yourself or someone you love to get help. We are all prone to anxiety/depression at some point in our lives, again, it does not discriminate. Please talk to someone and reach out if you need to. I would love to hear your story and help you, in your journey to recovering from anxiety/depression. God bless you and know you are not alone.
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