Learning my lines . . .
. . . discovering what it means to follow Jesus, seeing my story swept up into his . . .

Teen Depression: A Helpful Infographic. . . .

This week I’ve had some conversations with friends who are engaged with teenagers they know and love, all of whom are dealing with depression. That’s prompted me to share this infographic from Rawhide.org. In addition, I want to mention two helpful book resources that I’m recommending to youth workers and parents: When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression by Richard Winter, and Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains, and Pastoral Counselors by Karen Mason.

To the “How” section at the bottom of the infographic we would add as a first priority getting help from a competent, well-trained, and experienced Christian counselor who understands the dynamics of depression. In addition you want to secure the services of a counselor who sees the Christian faith and the Scriptures as the place for answers and solutions, rather than as a part of the problem. And remember, all-too-often we are quick to medicate as an only treatment. While medication is certainly justified and needed in many cases, we believe that a competent (and I can’t emphasize the word “competent” enough!) Christian counselor must be a starting point.

TeenDepression-Infographic-20150820 (1)




4 Responses

  1. Walt, I appreciated what you said in your last paragraph regarding the scriptures. This info graphic is disturbing to me. It leaves that out as the most important solution. As I read the scriptures it tells us things like, God has provided us everything pertaining to life and godliness. It tells us things like, scripture is adequate for every good work. I understand that there may be some cases in which medication can be helpful. But medication will never “cure” depression. Only trusting in God and His word will give someone victory over such things. Clearly our society and medical community have lost their way on this matter. They call depression a disorder or disease. They have absolutely no evidence to support such a claim, though they spew it out there as if it is. The real fact is this, we know that without the word of God people lose their minds. It is no wonder, since people have rejected that for so long, especially in “Christian” communities, that we see these kinds of problems increasing. The enemy we face wants to kill us. And he has been able to deceive people into thinking that taking a pill will solve their spiritual problem. So, it’s not a surprise that there is so much so suicide. Paul tells us that our battle is not against flesh and blood, right? Therefore the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are spiritual in nature founded on the word of God and prayer. You mention “competent” counselors. We have in our church, trained “biblical” counselors. These people have worked with so many others who have deep depression and they have amazing stories of victory through the power of God’s word. I believe that what makes a person competent is when God views them as competent, because they know His word and they are able to help others know it and trust it. This world believes that when someone has a title that makes them competent. That was the same thing in Jesus’ day. The Pharisees thought they were competent. But Jesus called them a brood of vipers. Paul called his own pedigree in all of that training, rubbish.

    Now I’m not suggesting that you are saying something wrong here. In fact, Walt, I love your blog and I use it regularly in my youth and college ministry. You sir, are a blessing! I’m just adding some suggestions to anyone who might read this very misleading infographic, that there is hope always in Jesus and His word. If not there, then we have nothing, right?

    1. Randy, I agree that God’s word is powerful and essential to our lives. However there is a biochemical component to some types of depression which medications can help stabilize. No, medication does not “cure” depression, but neither does insulin “cure” diabetes and I most certainly would not instruct a diabetic to rely fully on the word of God to treat their Diabetes. In addition to their spiritual life they also need to adhere to diet, exercise and medications for management. The same is true for Depression, yes they need a relationship with Christ, but therapy, medications may also be necessary for healing. Downplaying the importance of medication can be a dangerous/life threatening error for someone with depression. As the graph indicates untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide. As a health care provider, I can tell you the stigma that depression carries as well as the reluctance of individuals to take medications for it. Suicide is too great a risk-we need to support them spiritually, physically and emotionally while they struggle.

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