Recent news from the US of the suicide of mega-church Pastor Rick Warren’s son, Matthew, puts the challenge of mental illness front and centre once again. As Adrian Warnock, not a man I’m usually tempted to quote, points out, being a Christian is no guard against suffering from depression, and other mental illnesses – I should know, I’ve written before about my own battles with the Black Dog. But as Richard Hall points out, even having to ask the question of whether Christians can suffer depression points out how badly the Church has dealt with, and continues to deal with, mental illness, including depression.
Finally, I’m not the only one to call it the black dog, other sufferers refer to it that way too. I think the following video is a wonderfully made comment on what it is like to suffer depression, and also on ways of moving forward if you do suffer from it. It should also prove informative for those who know people who are, or they think may be, suffering from depression – help, as with so many things, is key to finding a way through but because one thing being depressed does is make it seem like seeking help will not be any use it so often needs someone else to reach out first. As Matthew Warren’s sad death shows, sometimes help, as much help as anyone could ever give, is not enough, but often it is. So, please, watch, learn, and then, where necessary, reach out a hand: