Finding Support For Anxiety and Depression
In some form or another, we will all face struggles that may lead to anxiety or depression. And in some cases even both. Coming from someone who has a chronic illness, I understand how isolating it can be. There may be months of crying, and days of feeling empty. Life may even seem meaningless. I want to remind you there is always hope. We are not meant to walk through this alone.
In this post, I am sharing some of my insights on finding support. I'm learning by having a few close friends, family members, or support groups to talk to is helpful for coping with not only the emotional pain, but the physical pain as well.
Here are five suggestions that may help you or someone you care about.
1. Find A Support Group
Support groups can help with coping with the disease or can relate in some ways to the pain. Recently, I started joining more Facebook groups that are related to my CMT, and ones for those who are chronically ill. I'm noticing a difference when I'm able to reach out for prayer or to help someone else.
I would recommend looking for support groups on Facebook, some would be directly for your chronic pain or illness. Even if you are not on social media there are other options.
Since we are still having some regulations and restrictions due to covid, not everything in person can happen. Depending on where you live, there may be other options for you. I would suggest doing some research or asking for help from a family member or friend.
Recently, I joined a support group for my CMT. I felt encouraged because this was a group of people all with CMT, and could relate to the challenges and struggles it brings. And many shared suggestions or helpful tips on how to deal with the pain and fatigue.
2. Talk with a Friend
Maybe you are like me and prefer talking one on one instead of a group. I have a few close friends that I reach out to when I'm suffering. The friend may not have walked through the same pain, but could relate to the struggles emotionally with depression and anxiety.
I encourage you to think of at least one friend that you could text, call, email, or write letters to when you are needing support.
Going to therapy sessions and counseling can be another way of coping with the pain. Depending on where you live there may be only options for virtual, but with the possibility of in person. Some churches even offer counseling. It might be worth doing some research to find what's best for you.
Last spring I started seeing a therapist from my community college through zoom sessions. Even though she was helpful with more on the depression, and anxiety, I am wanting to see someone who is a Christian.
I suggest looking at Psychology Today to help with finding a therapist. Then make a list of few possible options for a therapist, and then contact them through a phone call or email. You can pray that I will take the step of courage to find a therapist that works well for me.
Link to the website: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us
4. Church Small Groups/Bible Studies
In certain seasons of your chronic illness or pain, sometimes you may just need to be around people.
Being part of a community of other Christians who are around the same age is encouraging. From my experience, those in the college group I had joined would always be there through prayer.
Another suggestion would be joining a Bible study group. I know many happen in the summer and other ones during the year. Interacting with others through devotionals, and fellowship is a beautiful and an amazing blessing.
5. A Mentor
Having someone to mentor you can be helpful when facing the struggles of a chronic illness. This is something that would benefit anyone especially those who are struggling emotionally. I remember back when I was a freshman in high school, and my youth group leaders talked to us about finding a mentor. Until more recently, I did not realize the importance of having a mentor when struggling with pain.
This can be someone who is there through prayer, conversations, phone calls, texts, and even letters. Having someone you can reach out to in days of emotional pain is a blessing. This will bring comfort by knowing you are not alone in these seasons of struggles.
I hope there is a mentor and friend who is there for you. This has greatly encouraged me the past few months to have someone that I can reach out to when I'm struggling.
As you look to find support, remember that God is there with you each step of the way. Even if you are feeling isolated, know that our Lord and Savior will never you. He is there comforting you in this season of pain and suffering.
I hope these suggestions are helpful, and if there are other ones that I did not mention, you are welcome to share them below. That way others will be encouraged as well.
Question: How are you finding support for emotional or physical pain?