anxiety

DARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL

(March 10, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan touch on something not many are open about…

The poem Dark Night of the Soul begins with ‘In an obscure night…’ and the third line mentions ‘a hapless plight.’

Written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St John of the Cross (although he didn’t actually title it himself), it has been regarded by many as some deep spiritual, painful depression.

Depression, as Geraldine Brandt points out (The-Too-Hard-Basket) indicates, among other things that a person is low in their spirit,pressed down.’

In modern terms… hampered by what we term a downer!

Reality
As we’ve ministered to church people at the altar prayer line sometimes someone – wrongly feeling ashamed and not wanting anyone else to hear – would whisper that he (or she) was suffering from depression, experiencing dark nights of the soul.

And, not just what’s badly termed as ‘ordinary Christians’ but as it happens, we’ve had to encourage a number of leaders to look beyond troubling dark nights of the soul experiences that have (are) hindering them in their ministry.

Geraldine Brandt writes about hampered ministers needing our prayers. And theologian Dr Jim McClure points out that Depression – or any aspect of mental illness – is not something of which we should be ashamed. Nor should it be kept hidden’ (Mental-Illness-Realites).

We would add this – If depression were to hit, it’s definitely not something to be quiet about in case someone accuses us of having lost our faith. If they do, that’s their problem, not ours!

The reality is that anyone – church attender or leader – could become afflicted with depression. (more…)

APPROACHING ‘THE BIG TABOO’ – MENTAL ILLNESS

Jessica MorrisJessica Morris shares…
As someone who lives with depression, I’ve heard most of clinical talk that comes with the illness.

Stepping in and out of therapy for over a decade, depression and anxiety are something that I have carried all through my teenage years and into early adulthood. The result is that I have become acutely aware of how the church and religion perceive and react to the illness.
(more…)

MENTAL ILLNESS

Question: I’ve been diagnosed with mental illness and am frightened to tell my very ‘religious’ Christian friends. Please help me.

Jim McClureTheologian Dr Jim McClure responds: ‘Interestingly I actually started to write about mental illness just before the sad news of the death of Robin Williams at the age of 63.’

For nearly 40 years Williams’ unique brand of humour brought much joy to millions of people, but he suffered from depression that led him finally to take his own life. This article therefore is timely and will indeed help you – and others with this illness.

Many people in all walks of life suffer from that same debilitating illness of depression which takes from the sufferer the ability freely to live to his and her potential, and, sadly, many respond to the burden of this mental illness by taking the same route as Robin Williams. (more…)