Eric Dishongh, PhD
Connecting others to Jesus and His church as a husband, dad, minister, counselor, professor and friend
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The sudden death of Robin Williams has resulted in many reflections and opinions about his life, mental illness, personal choice, faith, etc. Although I will not fully attempt to explain my theory of depression, let me just say that depression is something that affects Christians and non-Christians. And furthermore, depression is not always due to a “lack of faith” or “personal sin.” I’m sure you have known of a faithful Christian who has struggled with depression. And, it’s likely that you have known of a faithful Christian who has committed suicide.
Several years ago, country singer Blaine Larsen released a popular song titled, How Do You Get that Lonely? The chorus includes the following:
“How do you get that lonely, how do you hurt that bad
To make the call, that havin’ no life at all
Is better than the life that you had?
How do you feel so empty, you want to let it all go?
How do you get that lonely and nobody knows?”
Sometimes suicide is a surprise; however, this is the exception, not the rule. Usually, someone knows.
If someone has confided in you that they are thinking about committing suicide, it’s not something to take lightly. Although “some people are just looking for attention,” it’s far better to “play it safe than sorry.”
Encourage them to keep talking to you. Encourage them to seek professional help. Encourage them to pray. Encourage them to read Scripture. Encourage them to go to church. Encourage them to spend time with others. Encourage them to enjoy God's sunshine.
Also, pay attention to the warning signs that someone may be thinking about or planning to commit suicide (http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide)...
Finally, if you’re feeling depressed, there’s some things you need to know…
Your God loves and cares for you. Your family loves and cares about you. Your church family loves and cares about you. And, I love and care about you.
My life purpose is to connect others to Jesus and His church by providing a Christian example and by reaching out on spiritual, relational, academic, and community levels.