I was saddened by the news of Rick and Kay Warren’s son’s suicide this weekend. As you might know, this sort of tragedy has struck our family as well.
We continue to deal with mood disorders on many levels in our home and in our extended family. The thing that particularly confounds me is the “Christian” response to this tragedy. When someone has cancer, we don’t blame them or their family. When someone has a mood disorder, we feel a need to place blame and discover cause.
My oldest daughter is a fabulous thinker and woman of God. Today, we had an extended conversation on this topic, and this was her response:
I honestly think that we need to learn how to listen to God for each individual thing, and stop trying to make blanket statements, because we are afraid of making God look wishy-washy. Just because He has different tactics, does not mean that His character is changing.
Do you live with mood disorders (either your own or others)?
Here are some things that might help:
1. Seriously, you are okay. God knows where you are and He has you in His hand. He isn’t surprised at your situation, and He does have an answer.
2. Take care of your body (whether the mood disorder is yours or others) –
- Drink 1/2 your weight in ounces of water a day to keep toxins down.
- Don’t eat sugar, do eat whole grains and vegetables, take Vitamin B.
- Exercise – again – this releases toxins, but also moving both parts of your body at the same time is great for brain chemistry balance.
- Take time to be quiet every day.
3. Take everything to God. Don’t get all weird – He doesn’t care what color socks you wear, but He does care about what matters to you. Let yourself relax and ask Him to fix the things that are greater than yourself.
4. Call someone. When you are overwhelmed – call someone. Don’t sit in that crushing spot. Allow yourself to take a break or to call someone to change your brain pathways.
5. H.A.L.T. Never get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. These will set you up.
6. Talk to your doctor.
There are fish that swim way down in the bottom of the ocean at depths that would crush even a submarine. How do these fish survive at such incredible depths? The pressure on the inside of them is equal to the pressure on the outside of them. Are you crushed by life? The pressure on the inside of you isn’t great enough. Do you feel like you are going to explode? The pressure on the inside is probably too great. All of the above suggestions, from exercise and drinking water to spending time with God and considering medical options are designed to help you keep that balance.
If you live with people who suffer from mood disorders, take particular care of yourself. Studies show that moods are catching, and when we tend to pick up and carry the pervasive mood of those around us. Take care of yourself, give yourself breaks and purposefully create balance and resources in your life so that you don’t get buried in the avalanche of emotions.
You are God’s gift to those you live around. History shows that people with mood disorders are some of our great poets, inventors, etc. Those that love them often sit in the background, balance the scales, and ride the wave.
God knows where you are today. There isn’t an easy answer, but like cancer, admitting that there is an issue is the first step to control and sometimes, cure.
If you need someone to pray with you, feel free to email me here, or feel free to share in the comments below.