Sunday, February 21, 2016

Depression & Healing Love

I have no interest in watching human beings pummel each other to a pulp, so Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) doesn't capture my attention even though bouts draw huge crowds. I am aware that Ronda Rousey is a mega-star of the women's circuit and her recent defeat was a big deal.

I am interested in mental health, and so I paid attention when Rousey admitted on the Ellen Show that this defeat resulted almost immediately in suicidal thoughts. At age 29, having lost once, she wondered who she was and whether she wanted to live.

We never know what leads individuals to contemplate taking their own lives. We may have stereotypes of those who are suicidal, yet there are many triggers. Persons may appear competent, cheerful, "together" when in fact they are suffering terribly. Among the courageous celebrities who have been very active in promoting mental health awareness are the CBC's Shelagh Rogers and multiple medal winning Olympian Clara Hughes. Both are highly successful and outgoing, and both experienced serious and even life-threatening periods of depression.

As a clergyperson I am so aware of this for folk I serve and in my own life along the way. Life can become overwhelming, even when we are "on our game," and our congregations must be places of compassion, support, and the healing love of Christ.



janet.rice said...

Right on, as usual, David! My church family (*who you know well!) is remarkable in its attitude and approach to supporting those with health challenges (mental or physical), whether they are church attenders or folks in the community. For me, that is the essence of Christianity.
And the courageous celebrities who publicly promote awareness give the rest of us "permission" and courage to speak up and acknowledge those in pain.

roger said...

We still have a lot of work to do to make mental health issues less taboo and to realize there is no weakness in someone who is depressed or suicidal.

Unfortunately, there are too many people(and I know some of them) who are judgmental of those who are suffering from mental health issues.

I've said it before on this blog - the school system focuses on teaching English and math - which are important - but not on dealing with stress or depression. Or at least not as much as they should. There are far too many young people taking their own lives, and having the school boards being more proactive would be a step in the right direction.

Frank said...

The key is compassion. I think depression can be a very dangerous condition if not diagnosed and treated properly. We all need to be vigilant and totally understanding of those with this terrible affliction.