5 Ways To Help Those Struggling With Depression

This is a guest post by my friend Paul Ritchie, who is the pastor of Limerick Baptist Church. Paul’s new book “Is It Unspiritual To Be Depressed?” has just been released by Christian Focus Publications (you can buy it here, or from other online shops). It is a helpful resource for anyone who struggles with depression or anxiety, and for those who are trying to support friends or loved ones. Paul speaks honestly from his own experience, and wisely from God’s truth. I asked him to share a few thoughts about how to genuinely help those who are struggling with depression. Here are his suggestions:

The support group, AWARE, states that in the Republic of Ireland one in ten people are suffering the symptoms of depression at any given time. The figures are likely to be similar in the United Kingdom. That being the case, you can be sure that there are probably more people in your church who struggle with depression and anxiety than you realise. So, how can you help them?

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Sometimes The Best Way To Support Me Is To Thwart Me

Growing up, I was part of a Boy Scout Troop that met in an old converted house. I have a lot of good memories associated with that building, some of which stand out so vividly that I can almost smell the musty walls again—like the time the Scoutmaster told me that I had failed my Board of Review and would not be progressing to the next rank. Meanwhile, my friends passed. I can still taste the embarrassment of that moment, but today I count it as a good memory, along with all the victories and laughter of those years. The fact is, I earned that failure. I went in overconfident and underprepared, fully expecting to be the best of the bunch by just showing up. When they asked me about the things I was supposed to know, I didn’t. So I really did fail, and they let me. They could have bailed me out and given me the rank anyway to spare my feelings, but I’m glad they didn’t.

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