“It’s a dark room that locks the sufferer inside, whispering through the bars that they will never escape — that no one cares, that you deserve to be there, and it’s all there ever will be,” he describes.
With September being the National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, it’s important to not only acknowledge the reality and hardship of depression — but also to discuss how families and friends can support their loved ones that feel trapped.
“As a loved one, you don’t necessarily have the key to the prison,” Paul says. “It’s not a condition that you can hug or reason away, and it can feel incredibly helpless to not know how to help someone.”
So what can you do?
Paul is available to give practical and compassionate advice on how to care for your loved one suffering from depression, and he can speak on what it is like to step into a seemingly hopeless space and find strength through Christ.
What works and what doesn’t when speaking to and encouraging someone with depression
What environmental factors can feed into depression — and how can you watch for warning signs that your loved one might be struggling
How to lean on Christ and seek hope when loving someone with depression
Does church even matter anymore? I’m not talking about believing in God, “religion” or “being spiritual” but does getting together on Sunday morning in a building matter? Is that still relevant in the 21st century?
In this episode I’m talking with Zachary Mettler. Zach is a staff writer for Focus on the Family’s Daily Citizen. He recently wrote a piece for the Washington Examiner titled 'Digital religion' offers new opportunities — and threats — for believers.
We discuss the relevancy of church in modern life, and some of the impact the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 had on children, their development and mental health. Mettler is working another article which speaks to the harmful impacts the lockdowns had where he discovered the lockdowns resulted in:
91% increase in self harm in children
300% increase in children seeking medical help for self harm
63% increase in overdoses and a large spike in emergency room visits because of that.
We also talked loneliness in adults.
One recent surveyfound that the number of Americans who say they have no close friends rose to 12% in 2021 from 3% in 1990. Among young men, especially, that number is higher. Fifteen percent of men report having no close friends, according to the poll.
So IF church matters, is on-line church a suitable replacement?
A large number of young adults are turning to “digital religion,” according to a studyfrom the University of Waterloo.
“We’ve found that while digital religion isn’t necessarily attracting a lot of new millennials to participate, it is making the experience of those already involved richer,” Wilkins-Laflamme said.
Another recent surveyconducted by the American Enterprise Institute found that younger people are experiencing a “loneliness epidemic.” They are “lonelier in general than older people because most of them are not as rooted in particular relationships and communities,” the research found.
One of the activities associated with a reduced feeling of loneliness was frequent church attendance. “Americans who are members of religious congregations are less likely to feel lonely,” the survey found.