Sunday, October 3, 2010

Have you gone Mental? (XXXVI)

Do you ever have stress in your life? If you are like me, and I know I am, you do. What stress does the "normal" person (the person who does not suffer from depression and anxiety) have? How do they face it? It motivates them to address the problem to overcome the distress.

What happens to those of us who have depression-anxiety when we're under stress? Many of us wonder what we did to bring this about. That's guilt. Many of us wonder what is wrong with me that I now find myself under all this stress? That is shame.
We of the depression-anxiety "set" may put ourselves through the "ringer". It is such a "ringer" that it brings about more destruction than the stressor itself.

What can we do when we are under stress? When we have depression-anxiety we need to take a look into our bag of tricks. First, pull out prayer. Cry out to God, "Oh my Father you see what is happening in my life. Give me the wisdom to think through this stressor and listen for your inner voice that will help me solve this problem"
[or something like this]. Pray every day about the stresor. Pray for the people involved ... PRAY.

Next change how you talk to yourself. Many of us who have depression-anxiety may say to ourselves some very negative things. "I'm such an idiot." "How could I be so stupid." "I've got myself into a situation I can never crawl out of." Instead of this, say, "I am a child of God." "I can seek the wisdom from God." "I am in a tough space here but God is the God of second chances, third chances, fourth chances, and (I hope) fifth chances!" SAY POSITIVE THINGS TO YOURSELF. Stay away from any negative self talk. Stick with positive, or at the least, neutral self talk.

Seek positive input from a friend, mentor, etc. We Christians call this "seeking Godly counsel". If we have stress, we need support. We do! I know its embarrassing to share about our stress. But we MUST! Ask the person you know if they can set aside an hour to talk to you about something and that we need someone to help us think through a problem we are having. SEEK INPUT. An ancient proverb says, "A problem solved is a problem halved." This means not that the person will solve half of our problem for us. I have been in the counseling business from 1984 until the end of 2009. Many, many people said to me. I feel better just having talked about it! I tried not to ever give advice. I helped people think through their particular problem and make a plan with which to approach it. SEEK INPUT ... you will most likely feel better, before you solve the problem!

Well that is all the "tricks" I wish to discuss. You probably can name five more... USE THEM. If you are under the weight of depression-anxiety you are at a disadvantage UNLESS you pull out your bag and use what is there. You have a life experience that "normal" folks don't have. You are already going through "hell" when something comes and throws some new dry wood on the fire we are affected. The difference is you are used to stress... it, to some extent, has taken over your life!
Take a deep breath (or ten): Pray (Talk to God); Talk to yourself (Positive or Neutral talk); Seek Counsel (Talk to another person).

Stress is one of the constants of the universe. If you have no stress ask someone to take your pulse. Life is partially made up of certain stressors that are common to every one of us. If we have depression-anxiety we may have more stress or what we do have hits us harder than it does others. So, take care of yourself. be good to yourself, be wise. Let God help you ... and help yourself with the techniques above or others you already know that will improve your situation.

Typos and all ... God bless you.

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