Day: July 10, 2018

It’s National Minority Mental Health Month

Just like mental illness is not just for white people, NMMH or National Minority Mental Health isn’t just for African Americans. The month helps to remind people of all minority backgrounds—Hispanics, Asian, LGBTQ—to look after their mental health, because well just like your physical health, your mental health deserves to be looked after too.

The Spirit of Depression

Lately these past 2 months have been hard for me because of crippling depression. Yeah….I was battling anxiety, but I’ll just focus on depression right now. The depression was due to all the financial hardships I was facing, homelessness, and an exam I was preparing for (that I’ll be taking at the end of the week). Now…I’m struggling not to be depressed for being depressed these two months.

I felt I should have just focused on my exam instead of worrying. I felt like deep down, God was telling me “Just focus on the test. Don’t worry about the rest.” But the thing was…I did and I lost time to study. So what did I do after realizing this? I began praying to God.

Not saying I was not into prayer, but I haven’t made it a priority during the last few weeks of school. There was sooo much assignments to finish, that I didn’t take the time to make sure I kept my spirit replenish. While I take my meds (it helps to reduce the physical effects of anxiety and depression), having my spirituality helps me from letting my anxiety and depression from taking over me completely. So they both help keep me in tact.

It took me about a week and half to recover and to get back in the groove of my life. I hated that, because I had to like, learn to go back to sleep on time, push myself to communicate to my friends again, push myself eat and cook for myself, take my meds on time… Ugh! I was doing so well before that, before the end of school… Why was I regressing yet again? Look, I know that regression is part of the recovery process, but it’s so tedious because I had to relearn all my good habits all over again. Heck…I hard to push myself to attend “Celebrate Recovery” again.

When I attended my second week (since being MIA for about a month), Pastor Tom (not his real name), recounted his time overcoming his depression and he read off a scripture from the Bible that made sense why depression came back again:

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.”

Luke 11:24 NIV

When I heard this, it was like a revelation to me. I’m rid of depression, I’m free and then depression, who apparently had nowhere to call home, said, “This isn’t working out. Guess I’ll return to the old stomping grounds.” Oh vey…

Well the good thing is even the Bible, mental illness was recognized. Well actually…it wasn’t called mental illness, because there probably wasn’t a name for all the mental illnesses that existed at the time. That’s probably why mental illness was never mentioned. In fact, the closest word that was used to define “depression” was “melancholia” (History of Depression). Sorry I’m going to sidetrack a little here. The ancient Greeks believed that all diseases were a imbalance of the four bodily fluids or the four “humors”: sanguine (red bile), phlegmatic (clear plasma) melancholic (black bile), and choleric (yellow bile). In fact that’s where the name melancholy comes from: Melas meaning “Black” and Kholé meaning (hmmm…doesn’t this also remind you of the word coal?) “Bile” (History of Depression). Ancient Greeks believed that if the black bile was not properly balanced with the other 3 humors, it would also impact a person’s mental and physical well-being (History of Depression). Well what do you know? Even the early Greeks believed in wholesome health.

Anyways… the more awesome news is Jesus sits on the throne.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

So lately, I’ve been asking God to help lift my spirits up whenever I’m anxious and/or depressed, because whenever I’m too anxious or depressed I don’t have the strength to call upon on Him. And you know something? It’s been working! Just when I’m about to be depressed or anxious, I feel my spirits rise from under me. It’s the best thing. I know it sounds weird to ask from this from God, but nothing is too big or small for Him.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and door will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7

In spite of living with mental illnesses, having it helps me to be more closer and more reliant on God and Jesus Christ. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because God doesn’t mind. Besides who know why else I live with mental illness. Maybe there’s something else God needs in me while having it. As long as Jesus sits on the throne, I’ll know be alright no matter how many times depression returns.

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. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.

Psalm 40:1-3

Reference:

History of Depression