The past 2 months have been the scariest time of my life! The unknowns of walking with my hubby who faced a breakdown for major stress. What is it called so much now hit by many, many folks? Yep…mental health. What we faced was much more than just depression. It was a chronic mental state I have NEVER witnessed before let alone watching someone I love so deeply be affected by simply believing in lies and allowing the spiral effect that led to his breakdown.
He Guided Me
“I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” Ishaih 42:16. Holding onto this verse over and over as our adult kids and I waited patiently for the Lord to heal our loved one. Many days of darkness just scared us to the core of what we were seeing and hearing from him. His unrationalization of simple things. Not being able to do simple tasks and little things set him off into fear and flight. I felt I had a new colt in training and trying to find the spot of calmness and peace became a moment by moment test and trial.
Talk about unfamiliar territory…we were in the middle of it!
Mental health is scary because of the stigma I held in my own head. What I saw in movies, or read in other stories, or even the many I have ministered to in the past. I never really took the time to understand why the brain reacts to trauma, how it happens, and the symptoms that appear because of the trauma. When someone is stressed for a long period of time and not dealing with it by taking time to truly rest-stress symptoms will appear. Warning signs really. For my hubby it was more tired, short-tempered, anxiousness over small things, overthinking small things, little eye contact, not really listening, not doing the FUN things once done before, never taking time to “take a break”, and many more. Becoming familiar with symptoms or signs of depression and anxiety would have helped me be more in tune to him needing help sooner.
Smoothin’ out the roadYES, the Lord smoothed out the road! HOW? With many who came alongside us and helped us. First, learn what he was facing was ok. One therapist stated it’s ok to not be ok. Next, support therapist, support groups in our area, books like Turning Toward Joy, this was huge for us to find joy again. Learning from the Giants wonderful book by John Maxwell. And another one good for Dan was Experiencing God’s Forgiveness. If you have a loved one who has gone through abuse, addiction, divorce, or the many other life issues and has had difficulty forgiving someone especially themselves, this book is great!
We also sought out natural ways to begin healing the brain. Fight the moods, anxiety, and of course the joint pain that comes from being on meds. Being on meds to stabilize his state was needed. But along with that, we are doing supplements as well. In time, we hope to eliminate the meds as they have many side effects where natural supplements do not. Be proactive if you are facing the road of depression or know you may head into a season like winter. Taking some of these has made a world of difference. For me as well because with this trial I learned I need to take of myself as well in the area of mental health.
Here are some I found out from Jonathan Otto’s series on depression. Wonderful experts who have seminars on the very issues we faced.
Anti-inflammatory supplement so important to take daily, Glucosamine with Chondroitin Turmeric.
And from Global Healing, Lithium Orotate
Connect with natural healing doctors in this area as they can best help you and your situation. Everyone is so different it is always best to consult with your own resources in the medical field and natural medicine.
Hope in the Unfamiliar
Hope is on the way. One of my favorite songs and so true. The Lord will lead you. He will show HIS pathway to better health and out of the darkness that floods our world in the area of mental health. He has all the answers! Seek HIM…be in the Word daily, ask for prayer warriors as days can be hard for you to think, and most of all know, you are loved by a Mighty Savior who sees YOU and knows what you are facing. HOPE is on the way. He made a promise…He will do these things and not forsake you! Amen to that mental health!
Peace to you,
Love deeper, talk sweeter, and KEEP IN THE WORD