emotional maturity and depression
Continuing the series on “Developing emotional maturity – part 6 of many”. [cf. part 1: what is emotional maturity? part 2: how to develop emotional maturity; part 3: spiritual maturity; part 4: emotional intelligence; part 5: emotional immaturity]
Rhett Smith is putting together a great series of blog posts about depression. Not just depression in general, but taking a closer look at depression, burnout, and ministry.
- Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Deciding to Get Honest About Our Journeys
- Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Anne Jackson Interview, Part 1
- Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Anne Jackson Interview, Part 2
- Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Assessment
[note: this is my personal opinion] What does depression have to do with emotional maturity? It’s about being emotionally honest. We all have struggles and difficulties in life — I don’t recall ever hearing someone exclaim, “Oh, life is so easy, it’s a cake walk!” Each one of us need a safe place to talk about the issues and burdens of life. Depression is one of those issues. Unfortunately, many (most?) cultures and contexts stigmatize these kinds of emotional and/or psychological issues, so that it is difficult to go for help and healing. As if the emotional issue wasn’t tough enough to manage already.
[continuing with my humble opinion] What is unfair (not that life is supposed to be fair) is that people with depression are forced to deal with their issues and work on better healthy self-care, while a person with anger doesn’t necessarily have it. Depression forces a person to “say uncle” and debilitates to ask for help. Without help, the person cannot productively function (to varying degrees.) As Rhett rightly notes, “[this is not] a substitute for professional help or advice. Please consider seeking out professional help if you consider yourself to be at risk for depression.”
On a personal note, in a 2007 blog post titled, “deconstructing depression,” I described my own journey and understanding, and also linked to the DTS Chapel message from Pastor Tommy Nelson (Denton Bible Church) about his experience.