Yesterday the pain was severe and I needed to seek medical attention. Many of you were gracious enough to pray me through that situation. I thought about it while I was there. I waited several days as the pain increased and intensified. It kept getting worse, and worse, and worse until I couldn’t stand it anymore and I needed help.

Things that I was trying at home were not helping, the pain was not getting any better, and even as a doctor, I didn’t have all the answers that I needed. So it was time to seek another’s opinion. So we went to the medical center to try to get some help.

While I was there, I thought about how interesting it is that for the most part, we don’t have a problem reaching out, going to the doctor, and getting help when there is something wrong with our physical bodies like bronchitis, pneumonia, or a broken leg. When we are physically injured or hurting physically, we don’t have a hesitation seeking medical attention.

That was where I was. I was in physical pain, and I had done everything I knew to do without significant relief. At that point it was time to seek a medical opinion.

But while I was there, sitting in the waiting room, and watching the other patients waiting to be called, I thought about the other less obvious issues that people struggle with like depression, anger, anxiety, or low self-esteem. I was thinking about how much shame is still carried with many of these issues that makes it hard to reach out for help to say, “I think I might be suffering from depression and I need help.”

People are ashamed to say they struggle with fear and worry or sadness and depression and need the help of a counselor, therapist, or doctor.

Why is that so difficult? We are readily willing to get help for a medical condition and mental and emotional conditions like depression and anxiety are medical conditions and they are equally as important and as valid as heart disease and diabetes. Yes, they are mental and they are emotional, but our brain is our biggest organ so they are medical conditions as well.

They are not “in your head,” in that they are not made up. There are neurotransmitters (chemicals) in your brain that affect your emotional functioning. You’re not making these disorders up. Nobody wants to have depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder.

And there is no shame in needing help for emotional or mental difficulties. That shame, that guilt, that embarrassment does not come from your heavenly Father—that comes from the enemy of your soul. In fact, it takes a lot of courage to say, “I need help.”

Yesterday, I was in a situation where physically I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I finally had to say, “I need help.”

There is NO SHAME in needing help for emotional and mental difficulties. It takes a lot of courage. Please, reach out. See your physician. See a therapist. Talk with your pastor, or a mentor. Please, get help. #mentalhealth #nostigma

So if you are dealing with one of those invisible illnesses that are harder to see than a broken arm or a broken leg, but equally as valid, there is no shame in saying you need help. Please, reach out. See your physician. See a therapist. Talk with your pastor, or a mentor. Please, get help, just like I did yesterday. There is no shame, and we are better together.

Hope-filled perspective: there is no shame in needing help

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!

 

Hope Prevails Book and Hope Prevails Bible Study {hope for overcoming depression}

Find hope for depression through Hope Prevails Book and Hope Prevails Bible Study by Dr. Michelle BengtsonAvailable now through book retailers!

Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the new companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand: how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.

 

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If you are dealing with one of those invisible illnesses that are harder to see than a broken arm or a broken leg, but equally as valid, there is no shame in saying you need help. #nostigma #mentalhealth

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