I don’t know if you have been there – feeling truly depressed or even wanting to die?
And in my job in prison, I speak to men every day who are suffering from severe depression and often, they truly see “no point” in trying again, in working on overcoming their issues, in “bouncing back”, mustering up the strength for a fresh start, in even wanting to stay drug free so that they can create a life that’s not just circling around where they can get the next “bag of brown” and how they can pay for it.
Some of them even see no point in staying alive at all.
And I notice a lot that in custody, when pretty much all they had has been taken away from them or you might as well say, when they’ve made themselves lose everything, that this often becomes a situation where death is very close.
Death and wanting to die can cross their minds very easily – it can even be a matter related to the question whether or not they get the job they wanted and applied for in prison.
It may seem like a small matter to us, as they are in prison already, and a job can only get them out of their cells a bit more during the day, but to many of them, it means literally the world in that situation. You may have read my article about it when I had a client facing that issue…
Yesterday, I spoke with one who had been assigned what they call a “medical single cell”.
Obviously, it isn’t hard to understand that sharing a tiny space, a cell, with a stranger is one of the most challenging aspects of being in prison.
And it will surely not surprise anyone to learn that every prisoner wants a single cell and they are all literally fighting to get one.
There are 2 ways to reach this goal:
either, they have to be assessed as unable to share a cell with someone due to their risk being too high (as in to be considered as too likely to pose a danger to their cell mate), or the medical route, where a doctor or a nurse will have to decide that this man cannot share his cell for medical reasons – depression or mental health issues is one of those reasons, however, if someone is suicidal, they are more likely not to put him in a single cell, so that someone else can watch over him…
But when someone is being assigned a single cell, since all prisons are overcrowded, both types of single cell assessments and classifications are being reviewed on a regular basis and due to space problems, there is a lot of pressure to reduce the number of prisoners having to be in a single cell…
The last time this client asked me for help in this matter, a few months ago, because his status was threatened, I managed to help him by speaking to a nurse I work well with, and she issued a new letter for him stating that he still needs to be in a single cell.
I then went to the wing governors and gave them the new letter – and they were fuming!
They tried to doubt the diagnosis and the assessment, but they didn’t dare to overrule it, so my client was able to remain alone in his cell.
However, this week, he has been taken off the list of people who need to be in a single cell for medical reasons.
By a nurse.
So there is now nothing I can do to help him, as he has had a review and a nurse, a medical professional, has decided that he is no longer eligible.
My client is now panicking, as his single cell was his refuge, his sanctuary, the only way he believes he was able to cope with being in custody.
He is very sensitive and yes, he also struggles with depression.
And they haven’t even given him a cell mate (yet), but the mere fact they took him off the list was causing him to feel SO low and I think he is contemplating to end his life much more than he would ever admit towards me.
I mean, I get it!
This has been the only good thing for him within the horrible situation he is in.
And he is holding on to it, wanting to maintain this privilege – as if it was a matter of life and death!
We spent 2 hours together – I tried to help him prepare for the worst and still get on with what he actually needs to do – as he needs to write a letter to the judge in his case, so that he can give his side of the story and advocate for himself. But he feels too stressed to do that…
During the conversation and now afterwards, it was so easy for me to see what is going on here – and what’s generally going on when depression is at work:
As if a dark cloud is hovering over the person, literally clouding their mind and thougts and vision, they are unable to think straight and to see any good thing or solution – as if their thoughts would all be tied to weights pulling them down, making them sink and becoming too heavy… nothing they think can possibly go in any positive direction!
It’s even tiring and frustrating to speak with them or listen to them.
They will not be in the space to take any advice, will not be able to make any positive plans or even to set the smallest goals can become impossible for them – and all they ever do is think about dying or “what’s the point” or “why me?”…
The spirit of heaviness.
It was never so obvious to me as today that this man is being completely possessed by the spirit of heaviness.
When you look at psychological or any therapy related literature, they recommend all sorts of therapeutic interventions, gazillions of different drugs (by the way, a very large portion of the men I speak to are self medicating when they are using illegal drugs!!), and they have the greatest variety of explanations for it’s origin or reasons.
Some people say there is such a thing as the “resilience”-gene and it’s all genetically caused when people don’t have it, others say it depends on our attachment style if we are prone for depression and one type of depression is said to be caused by major unsettling life events like illness, the death of a loved one, divorce etc.
Just like there are myriads of theories about how and why some people become addicts and some don’t, me, I very much prefer the concept of these things having spiritual roots.
Not only because it’s in the bible, but also because it works when tackling it from this angle – and it also makes perfect sense!
When we remember the story of the demoniac in the bible in Luke 8:26-39, we understand how JESUS dealt with insanity, depression, suicidal and self-harming thoughts:
HE dealt with it by treating it as a spirit and casting it out!
How could we possibly improve on GOD’s way?
How can we even be tempted to believe what the world says about this?
Well, it’s because the devil is good at what he does – he is no idiot and as the bible says:
1 John 5:19
19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
Even if the entire world says that GOD cannot deliver you and that you need to go and see a therapist, that doesn’t mean it’s true!
The enemy is just so good at spreading all his lies and distractions – and the “Mental Health illnesses” are a HUGE industry for the devil and his minions to feed off from – all the therapists, mental health practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists, the pharma industry… can you imagine if the whole world knew that GOD can deliver you?
Nobody wants THIS TRUTH to be out there!!!
However, the truth is still the truth.
And it’s all in the book.
Accessible for everyone who can read all over the world (at least in most parts of the world where it’s not forbidden to read the bible).
All we need to do is read it, believe it and apply it!
But of course, it’s not that easy for most people – especially when or as long as they are in bondage.
My client whom I was just talking about is not a believer.
I keep trying to suggest to him to start praying and asking GOD for help, but he’s not interested in that option (yet) – he will rather keep suffering – but again, this is not him, it’s the spirit in him which doesn’t want to leave!
And although I am a trained therapist and I have done what I could in these 2 hours to give input and help my client overcome his barriers and break the destructive thought cycles, there hasn’t been a lot of progress with him and for him on this occasion.
I am even concerned about him, that he may truly take his life!
How small his world has become!
Over the fact if he, whilst in prison, which is clearly temporary, can or cannot have his own private space – this is “big” enough to make him want to end it all…..!
For someone seeing it from the outside, there’s no doubt that this is not an issue worth dying for, but he cannot accept that at the moment, because he has already been so weakened and demoralized by all the other stuff he had to go through.
This is how the devil works!
He puts on as much pressure as he can in as little time as possible.
Everyone has a “breaking point”.
And yearly, there are 700 000 suicides worldwide – I am convinced that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Me personally – and this is only from what I have seen and heard from the people I have met and from my own experience – I believe that feeling depressed and even feeling suicidal is part of life.
Part of every life.
I believe that everyone will have a time (at least one!!) in their life when they will feel like ending it all due to having to go through a terrible time – when they are ill perhaps, or when they lose a loved one, and then, it can become hard to keep going on and the thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and sadness and wanting to give up will come.
Thoughts and feelings always come and go!
We all feel all kinds of feelings all the time: we feel happy, frustrated, angry, lonely, overwhelmed, tired, hungry, content, victorious, triumphant, joyful, jealous, bubbly, alive etc.
They are feelings – nothing more and nothing less.
Feelings can be very strong.
Feelings can make people commit crimes, even kill someone, like jealousy/rejection for instance.
And feelings are not what GOD wants us to be ruled by – however, unbelievers cannot help it, because they don’t have anything stronger available to rule them!
The devil doesn’t ever want them to know that there is power available which can eliminate, overcome and rule ALL feelings!
So the concept of these feelings being spirits makes so much sense!
And when the SPIRIT OF GOD is in control, feelings are becoming completely irrelevant.
And only GOD’s PEACE, the peace in the middle of the storm, the peace that surpasses all understanding, THE PEACE OF CHRIST will rule us – regardless of our outer circumstances! And regardless of our feelings.
THIS IS what GOD can do for us!
If we let HIM.
HE can change our mourning into dancing, can give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy of mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
As the bible puts it:
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Depression is a spirit.
And we as Christians have dominion and power over it – because GOD has given us this power.
Once we understand this, our lives can never be the same again!
It is not the feelings that rule us and our lives – it is THE SPIRIT OF GOD.
And this spirit is the strongest force in the universe, stronger than ANYTHING or
I wish I could have reached my client and could have gotten through to him… perhaps he will reflect on what I’ve been trying to teach him – and the rest is up to GOD.
I told him that I will pray for him when I left him, he knows I am a believer, but he doesn’t want to pray as he doesn’t believe in GOD… however, GOD can touch anyone anytime and perhaps he will touch this one as well – just as he has touched my other “challenging client” who now wants to give his life to JESUS!
Friends, what I am trying to say is this:
If we are struggling with emotional issues, depression, anxiety, even ADHD, PTSD, whatever label they’ve put on it – we mustn’t give ourselves into the hand of therapists.
And I am saying this very deliberately, as I myself, am trained as one!
The better way to heal from emotional / mental diseases is to give GOD a chance to deliver us and to seek out deliverance, not drugs and therapy.
GOD can help us!
As you may know, I used to have my own business as a therapist and nowadays as a Drug Worker, I am still supposed to deliver “interventions”, which is my job officially.
If you want to put it that way, I am somehow an “undercover missionary” disguised as a Drug Worker – and I test this out almost every day!
I try the interventions I have learned with my clients all the time!
To absolutely no avail!!!!!!!!!
Not only do they not work on most clients anyway, but especially not on this type of clients, where most of them have “heard it all before” and they still came back to prison and are unable to break out of their cycle of using drugs and offending.
However, I do have many, MANY cases where a change can be brought about and a breakthrough happens in the 1-2-1 meetings we have!
BUT, what brings about these changes and breakthroughs is NEVER, EVER therapeutic interventions.
What brings about change in the cases under my care is prayer and GOD moving in their case and on their behalf.
Even when I pray during the sessions, the atmosphere completely changes every time!
And there is a soft, soothing love coming upon them, I can see it in their faces, I see it ALL THE TIME!
Their faces become less like a grimace and more like a baby – no matter how old they are, not matter what troubles them – they look more at ease, more relaxed, more nurtured, even their skin changes – as if they had been to a spa and had a facial – lol!!!
It’s so amazing to see!
The glow in their eyes comes back.
Their thoughts and speech and focus changes – even the tone of their voice!
And they are suddenly more positive, no matter what their situation is like, they are more able to look at the bigger picture and make plans for after their time in custody will be over – regardless of when this will be…
The clients I pray for are the ones who are changing…
I often pray for my clients and I pray for most of them…
And I SEE GOD deliver them all the time, get to see them when they had just wanted to die and then they are telling me about the plans they are making or about some activities they have started or some other positive things and I get to see them smile…
It is only GOD that can deliver us and heal us.
Why else do you think some people do get healed and some do not?
Even if they had the same illness and the same doctor?
Why do some people live the healthiest lives and die at 41 and some have 92 years on this earth – regardless of their lifestyle and their health even?
There is no rational explanation for it.
Science cannot explain the topic of a lifespan or of life itself.
Because life is a creation by THE MAKER… and we are all in HIS hands – all about us, the people, “stuff” and blessings we encounter – it’ s all up to HIM!
Some of us need one prayer and the matter is settled.
For some of us, there will be a long journey of seeking GO, praying, fasting, learning and growing necessary in order for us to get to a better place. And some of us will – for reasons only GOD knows – not be healed or delivered…
But what the most important thing is is this:
none of us can make it without HIM.
Nothing we could possibly chase after or desire or want to create will be coming forth without GOD allowing it – just as all the negative cannot come to us unless it is GOD’s will for us.
GOD is always in control of our lives – of all of it, every aspect, every second!
Even if we don’t believe in HIM, HE is still OUR CREATOR and HE is still in control.
So if we seek for solutions without GOD, we are only limiting ourselves, limiting our results.
And when it comes to depression or any other mental health struggle, which are in my opinion all spiritual issues, we are missing out if we don’t give GOD a chance to heal us and deliver us.
HE can turn around every situation – no matter what it is.
JESUS is the way, the truth and the life. HE died on the cross for your sins, yes, that’s right, for yours and mine… it is all such a fascinating and yet true story. JESUS CHRIST came to earth as the SON OF GOD to save us all from the devil. And HIS works are still relevant today, HE is as alive today as he was more than 2000 years ago. And if you are not saved, HE wants to save you today, right here and right now: please don’t stay under the power of the king of darkness, please join us and give your life to THE LORD.
Here is an example of what you can pray in your heart right now, if you want to make JESUS LORD over your life:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I acknowledge and confess that I have not lived my life for YOU to this day, but have been living for myself and in sin and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need YOU in my life; I want YOU in my life.
I recognize the completed work of YOUR only begotten Son JESUS CHRIST in giving HIS life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart JESUS is LORD and that HE was raised from the dead and ask for YOUR forgiveness, which YOU have made freely available to me through this sacrifice.
Come into my life now, LORD!
Take up residence in my heart and be my KING, my LORD, and my SAVIOUR!
From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow YOU all the days of my life. Those days are in YOUR hands.
I ask this Jesus name.
If you have just prayed this prayer, you are now part of GOD’s kingdom and family and I heartily welcome you, my dear brother or sister!
The next thing to do is get a bible and find a church where you can receive further instructions, so that your new life in THE LORD may prosper and that you will become who HE made you to be.
GOD bless you and if you have any questions or need any assistance, please get in touch.
I hope and pray that this will encourage, bless and inspire you.
And that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life. That HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and give you PEACE. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.