It’s Friday and Sunday’s Comin’!
Bishop Julius Trimble, bishop of the Indiana area, sent out a letter to churches this week with an important reminder.
The bishop wrote of Simone Biles who, through her withdrawal from most of her planned Olympic events and her explanations about that decision, has called attention to mental health. He wrote: “I admire Ms. Biles for her courage—for making the difficult decision to withdraw from the team competition and for talking about mental health. It is a topic that needs attention; I feel the need to sound an alarm without being an alarmist.”
Bishop Trimble went on to cite statistics about the increased occurrence of anxiety and depression during the pandemic and he called on the Church to take its proper place as an advocate for healing and support.
Of course, Christians are affected by mental illness at the same rate as any other portion of the population. “It’s ok to not be ok,” as the saying goes. Asking for help with anxiety or depression or other mental health concerns is as important as going to the doctor when you have a broken leg or to the dentist for an aching tooth.
“How do I know I’m not ok?” you might ask. Symptoms generally persist more than two or three days and can include one or more of the following:
- Feeling sad or down
- Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
- Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
- Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
- Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
- Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
- Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
- Problems with alcohol or drug use
- Major changes in eating habits
- Sex drive changes
- Excessive anger, hostility or violence
- Suicidal thinking (list from MayoClinic.org)
If you or someone you love experiences one or more of these symptoms, you’re not the only one! Come talk to me. I’ll pray with you and for you and I will do whatever I can to direct you to resources that will help.