Dealing With Depression During COVID
Brother Donald Pinnock: Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of The Solution. I’m Brother Donald Pinnock, a minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church of Christ.
Today, we hear from Irish, and no she’s not Irish, she does not come from Ireland, but she does come from an island there in Micronesia. She is a student and elementary school teacher there. She reached out to us with this video, asking for advice on how to stay positive during this pandemic. Let’s take a look.
Irishdale: Something that I’m currently struggling with is the possibility that I might fall back into depression and anxiety that I felt during the pandemic.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I thought I was fine. I was taking care of myself. I was exercising. I was cooking more and I was very productive.
I was a full-time student. I was also a second grade teacher, so I was working full-time, but things really got heavy when the expectation is to stay positive, to keep doing well in school and in classes, and not just continue the standard, but to rise in all aspects of my life.
And it just so happened too, with the economic impact, I also became a provider for one of my family members. So more than ever, I felt that I could not fail or rest when it came to earning a living. So, I was burning out.
I did not want to show weakness and the anxiety that was creeping (up) on me. But it hit me hard. The isolation that I felt was just overwhelming. And I felt disconnected from everything. I also didn’t want to call on my family in this state, to show them that I was stressing out, or that I was really down because of the problems that we were already going through.
I felt like no one could really relate to what I was going through, no one could find; no one could provide the comfort that I needed, or alleviate the stress that I had. I just had to carry—I just had to bear with it, or go through with it.
So, Brother Donald, should I feel the pressure and the weight of everything that I’m experiencing and all my personal issues—what is the solution, so that I don’t fall back into depression and anxiety?
Brother Donald: You know Sis. Irish, what you are going through is in many ways what so many other people are experiencing at this time. The economic, social, and emotional pressures brought about by this unrelenting global pandemic is causing a strain on not only the national level, but also on a personal level for virtually every citizen. Many people are experiencing what is called, “COVID-19 depression.”
But we are constantly reminded that we are not alone to face these challenges. To whom should we turn in times of troubles? The Bible answers here in Psalm 42 and the verse is 11:
“Why are you discouraged, my soul? Why are you so restless? Put your hope in God, because I will still praise him. He is my savior and my God.” [Psalm 42:11 God’s Word Translation]
Brother Donald: Members of the Church Of Christ are continuously being reminded to put all their hope and trust in God. The reason why we should place our wholehearted trust in God is because nothing is impossible for Him. And He can surely grant unto us the following; as we can read here in Psalm 62 and the verses are 5 to 8:
“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; he is my shelter. 8 Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for he is our refuge.”
[Psalm. 62:5-8 Today’s English Version]
Brother Donald: Our Almighty God can definitely protect and defend us. It is stated here, “Trust in God at all times, My people.” So, it is the chosen people of God who, in the Christian Era, are members of the Church Of Christ, they are the ones who they can put their hope in God and deliver them in times of need.
How can we prove, Irish, that we have placed our hope and trust in what God can do for us? In the book of Philippians the chapter is 4 and the verses are 6 and 19:
“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs.”
[Philippians 4: 6 & 19 Today’s English Version]
Brother Donald: You know yourself, Irish that we are always being reminded by the Church Administration to be prayerful. Being cloistered in one’s home due to the restrictions put into place by governments all over the world, can be very, very challenging to one’s emotional and mental state.
But being at home also gives us the opportunity to be even more prayerful, considering that God, and God alone, can help us to overcome all that we are encountering. For God’s servants who place their hope and trust in Him through prayers, they can look forward to experiencing the following; as we can read in the book of Jeremiah the chapter is 17 and the verses are 7 to 8:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
[Jeremiah 17:7-8 New King James Version]
Brother Donald: Our Almighty God is more than capable to enrich the lives of His people, even during a time of drought. And in many ways we are living at such a time, albeit with the scarcity of social interaction. Many are also facing financial worries, and the danger to one’s health brought about by this COVID-19 contagion is a real and present one.
Truly, we need God. And God is more than willing to aid or assist His people. But imagine, the Lord Jesus Christ is also ready and willing to help those who are members of His Church, the Church Of Christ. By encouraging us with the following admonition in John 16 and the verse is 33:
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect) peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation, and trials, and distress, and frustrations; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.”
[John 16:33 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition]
Brother Donald: We should take courage, we should be confident, be certain, and also undaunted. Due to our fellowship or union with the Lord Jesus Christ, being members of His Church, we should be courageous in the face of all the turmoil in this world because we have God and our Lord Jesus Christ to help us, whom we can turn to through true prayer.
For Irish, and for those who may be facing similar circumstances, may we take comfort through these Bible teachings, and implement them in our daily life.
And for those who are not yet Church Of Christ members, we also want you to experience God’s mercies and loving kindness. We invite you to learn more about the Church Of Christ, the Iglesia Ni Cristo.
And for those who would like to share their challenges at this time, please contact us. And with the teachings of God written in the Bible, let’s come to the solution together.
Dear friends, stay safe, stay strong, and stay prayerful