I was recently in a prayer circle and the leader asked us if there was anything in specific that we wanted prayers for. When I answered, “All of those struggling with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts” I was met with blank stares and an uncomfortable silence. After a while, one woman said, “That’s so heavy.” Someone asked me why that came to mind. Others glanced at their feet. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this reaction, and honestly, that’s sad.
Because while I know that it’s hard to find the words to say, I know that many times we refuse to try. We are so uncomfortable that we sweep it under the rug, it’s a bullet point that we hit on as quickly as possible, or even one of those things that we, “just don’t talk about.” And yet research shows that one in ten people has experienced or is experiencing depression. One in ten. That means of the people in your prayer circle, there’s a good chance that at least one of them is suffering. When someone is sad or feeling alone, they may not say anything for fear of how others will react. Even today, when we’ve come so far, there is still a huge stigma attached. So often, we ignore the signs of struggle. So often, we don’t really look to see how others are doing. So often, whether or not we mean to do it, we label people who have managed to share their struggle as weak. Instead of loving them, we pity them.
Healing starts with a conversation. We need to give an open invitation to talk about whatever is on your mind. You can’t stop something if you don’t know it exists. We need to stop ignoring depression, anxiety, and suicide. We need to start talking about it. We need to let people know that it’s okay to tell someone that you’re struggling, and then we need to be there to help them. Let everyone know they are important. If you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them. If you are sad and feel alone, share it – don’t keep it inside. You are loved. ♥If you or someone you love is thinking of harming themselves, seek help – don’t keep it inside. You can call 1-800-273-8255 to talk to someone.