Depression is more than just feeling a little sadness. It’s not just genetic or environmental, but can be due to trauma, grief and loss, or chemical imbalance. Further, there is a physiological manifestation of the depressive symptoms. With winter season just about here and untreated depression is costing individuals and others billions, treatment is something we would highly encourage you look into.
Depression is something that is rampant in America and a significant source for substance dependency, divorce, and suicide. We previously talked about how the disorder costs businesses billions.
- The leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.
- Major Depressive Disorder affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7%of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
- While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5 years old.
- Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men.
- Only 61.7% of adults with major depressive disorder are receiving treatment.
[Statistics via Anxiety and Depression Association of America]
Professional: Do pastors feel prayer alone can fully heal depression?
On the surface, that seems like a difficult question, but it’s actually an impossible one. If you don’t mind, I’m going to side-step this question and come to an answer from a different angle.
First of all, I don’t think that prayer heals anything. Prayer is simply speaking with God, putting our requests before him. I can order my pizza through a app on my phone, but neither the app nor the act of submitting the order makes the pizza appear. Someone on the other end must receive the request and respond.
Prayer is the method by which we bring our requests to God. He then responds according to His will, His plan to bring glory to His name and eternal good to our soul. So, right off the bat, I’d like to make it clear: prayer doesn’t heal anyone of anything.
Grief therapy is traditionally known for helping individuals and families when a loved one passes away. Pastors know this process well with funeral arrangements, coordinating food for after the service, and discussing proceedings while the loss is fresh and painful.
But grief therapy includes so much more than after someone dies. We want to explore specifically how pastors and mental health professionals could work together when crisis events like Hurricane Harvey come about.
Several news organizations are reporting that Google is currently beta testing a depression screener for people to take if they are Google’ing ‘depression’ or ‘clinical depression.’ After several attempts in Chrome and Edge browsers, I was unable to find it, but if you look on the right-hand side where it talks about what depression is, what the symptoms are, and treatment options that are effective, it has a non-invasive button to look for it.
Professional: As a counselor, we constantly talk about self-care to our clients, even being ethically required to take time off if we are not in a good space. What happens if a pastor is not doing well with self-care?”
I began working at a church plant a few years ago with the intention of becoming full-time eventually. I felt called to ministry and wanted to work at a church that was going to make a difference in the world! When the church started, we obviously did not have any funds so I had to fundraise 100% of my “part-time” salary and also work another job. While I understood this would be difficult, I knew in the long run I would eventually become full-time (hopefully).