FERC KSYF: Mental Illness Workshop

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FERC KSYF: Mental Illness Workshop por Mind Map: FERC KSYF: Mental Illness Workshop

1. PREFACE: Perspective as someone who has gone through it, but also someone who has walked with people going through it

1.1. Hesitation to speak because I haven't found my experience to be very similar or very relatable to others'

1.1.1. My experience does not speak for others who go through depression and anxiety and is not remotely representative of what it is

1.2. Hence speaking both to those who might be going through it and those who only have an outsider's view

1.2.1. I'm speaking to offer a different perspective so that others may get some idea of how much this differs from person to person

1.3. And also really speaking to myself

2. THREE: The Dark Side of Depression and Anxiety

2.1. Idolatry of self, pride and greed for control

2.1.1. Negativity: High, unyielding standards for yourself, and often also for others

2.1.1.1. "I'll never be good enough for anyone or anything"

2.1.2. Feeling entitled: Self-pity, passive-aggressiveness, emotional manipulation or blackmail

2.1.2.1. "None of my friends care about me"

2.1.2.2. "I'll never be the first in priority to anyone"

2.2. Fear of being empty/emptied out

2.2.1. Feeling like there's nothing left for you to give, and becoming guarded and scared because of it

2.2.1.1. "I can't give because I don't have enough already. Why are people asking more of me?"

3. ONE: My Experience with Depression and Anxiety

3.1. High-functioning depression/anxiety

3.1.1. Not really a medical term, but gives the right idea of what my experience is like

3.1.2. Extreme introversion in the sense of turning everything inward means that I can bottle up so much that nothing gets out, including the fact that I'm even not okay

3.1.3. Went to school counsellor who, after seeing my grades was very surprised and decided that I had OCD (which anyone who knows me would laugh at)

3.2. What is depression/anxiety to me? They tend to become the same thing so I won't try to define each since I'm not a doctor so I don't have to.

3.2.1. Depression as mental pain

3.2.1.1. Depression these days is very rarely, if at all, ever sadness for me--for me, sadness can be explained and argued with, but this pain is inexplicable and there is no arguing with it

3.2.1.2. To explain what mental pain is, there's somebody who said that discomfort is worse than physical pain: depression is that prolonged discomfort

3.2.1.3. Imagine having somebody drag nails on chalkboard at your ear for hours on end and it doesn't stop--it's the sort of stuff that is used in actual torture

3.2.1.4. The worst part of any physical pain is in your head

3.2.2. The depression that I used to struggle with and overcame

3.2.2.1. Problems relating to friendship and relationships with people, relating to change and to betrayal, to a sense of being wronged but having your wrongs ignored

3.2.2.2. I was stuck in a loop of going through these things that had happened to me, trying to figure out what I had done wrong and how I could have changed things

3.2.2.3. Self-harm

3.2.2.3.1. Good news! This can be overcome by the power and grace of Christ!

4. FOUR: How to Combat

4.1. Combating idolatry

4.1.1. "Love yourself first": but we already do, just that we are terrible at it

4.1.1.1. Recognise that it is true that you will never truly be good enough, but Christ is

4.1.1.1.1. Entitlement sometimes comes because we feel so deep a lack. But we must also remember that charity and friendship are not debts to be paid to you, they are blessings and gifts from God

4.1.1.2. Be kind to yourself and have grace toward yourself

4.1.1.2.1. Models grace toward others and gets rid of bitterness

4.1.1.3. Analyse your thoughts: figure out what they are, why you believe they are true, why they bother you, and test them against God's Word

4.1.1.3.1. Caveat: we live in a fallen world and pain is part of life; not every single passing emotion needs an autopsy

5. TWO: The Challenges

5.1. Understanding depression

5.1.1. Depression is a paralytic

5.1.1.1. It makes doing anything difficult, and it might often mean you have to give up opportunities you think you could have pursued

5.1.1.2. It feels unfair: the disadvantages are twofold--you didn't ask for this, but no allowances can be made for you. While you are in pain, you simultaneously lose the opportunities you might have had (or so you think).

5.1.1.2.1. When you're in the midst of it, it's difficult to see how you're being sculpted and sanctified--it's difficult to see how any of this can be glorifying to God

5.1.1.2.2. You don't see how this can help you relate better to someone someday, or be a better friend to someone for having gone through this.

5.1.1.2.3. All you see are the opportunities you have missed, and maybe the people who you think are disappointed in you for missing them

5.1.2. Depression is self-facing

5.1.2.1. Bleeding, pay attention to your wound so you don't bleed out

5.1.2.2. But it can easily turn self-absorbed because we are sinful

5.1.2.3. Depression makes us tunnel-visioned; we are so focused on our pain that we forget about God and about our brethren, we forget about how everything comes to pass for God's glory

6. FIVE: The Bright Side of Depression

6.1. To those who know someone who is suffering

6.1.1. Be patient with looking for change

6.1.1.1. Don't think of it as a project

6.1.1.2. Sometimes, the time is just not right yet, or the person is just not ready. The human heart is impossible to fully understand.

6.1.2. Know the person.

6.1.2.1. And let him or her know you. Walking with someone physically is easy. But walking with someone mentally, emotionally, or spiritually is abstract.

6.1.2.2. You can only walk with somebody if somebody is walking with you.

6.1.2.3. As someone who has had the privilege of doing that with those who have experienced more hardship than I have known, there is true joy in walking with someone who knows you, who trusts you, and whom you know and trust.

6.1.2.4. It is the gift of friendship--and its powers are deeper and more amazing than we know.

6.1.3. Even if you can't walk with the person, be compassionate.

6.2. To my fellow brethren who have struggled with mental illness or just experienced blinding, debilitating emotional pain

6.2.1. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

6.2.2. There can be joy in depression. There can be joy coming out of depression.

6.2.2.1. The depths of pain that you have experienced at the hand of depression, are the depths and heights of joy that you can experience at the hand of God

6.2.2.2. When one day you see the hope that has long eluded you, you will never forget it

6.2.3. Fill your mind with things that are noble

6.2.3.1. These things are not going to cure depression, but they can lift us out of the tiny, nitty-gritty, embittering thoughts that trap us and remind us of things that truly matter

6.2.4. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8