Sunday, 10 July 2016

Call me Daisy

Hi, guys. Call me Daisy. Kind of nervous but I want to – need to – do this.

Mental health can be an awkward topic. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety can be even more awkward. Thankfully we are now in a more enlightened time of mental health and associated issues. The “buck-up”, “don’t be so weak” and “sort yourself out” mentality still remains sadly, but the majority of people now even slightly accept that there are such things as mental disorders that you cannot just “snap out” of. This is a big blessing.

But it is so much harder to really understand the situation these disorders put people in. I myself helped friends in the past who I knew were suffering with depression and/or anxiety. But I couldn’t empathise with them, with their internal sufferings, with the complete lack of choice they had, until I had experienced both conditions for myself.

This discrepancy between the reality of those suffering and the perception of those around them results in painful misunderstandings and heartbreak in both parties. As someone who has both watched and personally experienced this, I would never – never – wish any of that pain on anyone.

Therefore, anyone who cares, please listen. Let me talk about my observations, so that I can help make you a little wiser about this. Please, let me have the delight of saving you some pain.

I will declare something now, I’m not hiding this; this blog is not just about depression, nor even depression and anxiety. This blog is about depression, anxiety and the Christian faith. Many of you will switch off – and at worst, click off – as soon as you read that. But allow me to ask those of you who are persevering: of the possibly many problems you have with the existence of God, is the existence of evil one of them? If so, there is not a single person – Christians included – who doesn’t struggle with this problem. Christians don’t have some magical immunity against suffering. We are human. We live in the same broken world as everyone.

Just a request/demand; questions about the faith are whole-heartedly encouraged. I may answer some individually, and some collectively in new posts. So feel free to post questions. What are discouraged – to put it lightly – are purposeless attacks on Christianity or any religion. I’m not saying this to “protect my fragile delusion”, as I’ve been accused of before by non-Christians. I’m putting these limits in place because, with any luck, people in very precarious and dangerous places will be reading this blog, and some of them may be Christian. For all any of us know, an attack on their faith could be all it takes to force a suicide attempt. It’s that serious. You may be angry with God, so all you want to do is shout at Him. That’s normal. All I ask is that you don’t discourage others with everything that discourages or confuses you.

The point of this blog is to inform, encourage and support. If this helps you in any way, please let me know so I can reuse those strategies. Equally, if something is unhelpful, let me know so I can rethink how I work.

Disclaimer: the things I write about in this blog are things I have experienced and observed myself. Depression affects many different people in many different ways, so what I write about here may not be the experiences of others and will certainly not apply to everyone. 

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