Do Pastors Get Depressed?

3
Jeremiah

I would never commit suicide.

My wife would miss me.

My children still need a father in their life.

My unborn grandchildren need a grandfather smiling at them.

The trauma it would inflict upon those I love would be unfair and heavy.

I would never commit suicide. Yeah.

Have you ever had that conversation with yourself? It felt completely normal to me, and I was having it quite often last summer. Then it dawned on me, healthy people don’t have that conversation. Why am I talking myself out of suicide? Why do I feel the need to list all the reasons why I would never do something? 

Over the previous weeks and months of the summer of 2020, I had become more and more numb. No matter how much I slept at night, I still sleep-walked through my days. Nothing felt interesting. I had nothing to look forward to. The world was simply boring. Food didn’t taste good, sex didn’t feel good, I had lost all joy and pleasure. In the act of encouraging others, I had run out of encouragement for myself.

Then over the summer I felt the last rope snap. I overheard one of my sons describe what it was like to have me as a father. It wasn’t good. I felt like a failure in the one area I had tried the hardest to succeed. I felt like someone had come along and told the world my whole life was a lie. I went to bed and begged the Lord not to make me wake up. I couldn’t go one more day.

Finally, I realized how depressed I had become. That next morning God did wake me up, literally and figuratively. I woke up to the fact that I had to take responsibility for my mental health. I woke up to my need for help. I realized no matter how good my theology was or how eloquently I preached to others, I could not hear my own voice. I got no value from my theology. And I could not get myself out of this hole.

What I plan to do over these next several posts is walk you through how I got so deeply into depression, and how I got out. I hope these posts will help somebody. Help you realize you are not alone. Help you have the confidence to ask for help. And ultimately help you find a healthier mental space. 

3 Comments

You said a small comment last summer about your experience that made me realize how depressed I was and that I needed help. Thank you for sharing. You helped dig me out. Fighting the darkness with you, brother.
Thank you RIcky for sharing this and being vulnerable about your struggle. I praise God for you.
Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more. I will be sharing this with others suffering from depression. I will pray for you and for them.

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