Seasonal depression is a very real thing that effects so many every winter. Being that we rolled the clocks back yesterday, I would imagine that for many the hardest months are up ahead with it getting dark in Portland at close to 4pm on some days.
A Fox News article I read described seasonal depression in this way:
“The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include low mood, inability to concentrate, changes in sleep patterns (with people sometimes sleeping much more), changes in appetite (with appetite actually increased, in some cases), low energy and tearfulness. But they can also include low self-esteem, loss of interest in activities that one had found pleasurable and even suicidal ideation.”
The line so many have heard from the church regarding depression of any sort is the comforting “pray more” or “pray harder” line. That line, which I’ve heard said to people close to me, essentially tells a person their depression comes from lack of closeness with God. That is awful.
Given that people have this experience with people in the church regarding depression, I can’t help but think we can do more to support those who are struggling.
How can churches support and give space for people dealing with seasonal depression?
I’d love to hear some of your feedback.