by Stephen Rigdon
Jehovah’s Witnesses, United States of America
Shortly after giving start to her second youngster in September 2019, Laura McKeown felt one thing was very incorrect. Her life had turn into overwhelming, a marathon crammed with exhaustion, dread and what she described as an irrational worry for her child’s security that despatched her coronary heart racing.
“You simply really feel such as you’re preventing to maintain your head above water,” she mentioned, describing a sense that many with postpartum despair perceive. “Essentially the most minute of duties simply really feel overwhelming.”
Such psychological and emotional misery haunts hundreds of thousands. A latest authorities survey confirmed a doubling since 2019 within the proportion of People reporting anxiousness or depressive dysfunction signs.
Throughout this time, an elevated quantity have turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms, reminiscent of alcohol and substance abuse. As McKeown confronted rising emotions of isolation and misery, this Orcas Island resident turned to her religion for assist coping.
“I appreciated a lot going to jw.org and having the ability to kind the phrase ‘isolation’ into the search bar,” McKeown mentioned, referring to the official web site of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “That alone supplied such a wealth of articles and movies that I may simply learn time and again.”
Receiving a medical analysis of postpartum despair gave McKeown an added sense of aid. “I lastly felt like I had a leaping off level now for issues getting higher,” she mentioned.
Sticking to a constant routine has been important for McKeown whereas coping with her despair and the pandemic, as has the nice and cozy help she receives from her household of religion. Her routine consists of becoming a member of fellow believers just about to share her Bible-based hope with others in the neighborhood and revel in optimistic affiliation.
“I do know I’ll see joyful faces,” she mentioned. “I do know there can be encouraging issues to speak about, to consider.”
McKeown’s journey from despair to hope isn’t any remoted phenomenon. Religion and the help of a congregation have helped many others address extreme despair or flip the nook of their restoration.
“Whereas the Bible doesn’t point out that spirituality cures medical issues, many have derived consolation and power from what the Bible teaches and the sensible steering it supplies,” mentioned Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Hope, help and optimistic coping abilities assist psychological well being — whether or not these are constructed up by skilled or faith-based sources, famous Lawrence Onoda, Ph.D., a medical psychologist based mostly in Mission Hills, California.
Even these with severe psychological well being situations could discover some facets of non secular participation assist them address their signs, he mentioned.
This has proved true for McKeown, whose hope means greater than ever earlier than. “I’m trying ahead very a lot to the day after I can take pleasure in my household from the state mentally and emotionally that I do know I should be in.”
Extra data on the actions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, together with assets for dealing with psychological sickness and emotional misery, could be discovered on their official web site, www.jw.org.