Many people experience economic failings, marriage breakups, and plans that just don’t pan out. Perhaps the worst kind of setback, though, is the emotional type. I am not a counselor nor a psychologist. This is about an experience with a family member that no doubt can be of help to others.
Emotional downs can start whenever a person fails at something and there seems to be no way up. Then they see their failures as a reflection of their own personal deficiency. No separation is made between their loss and who they are as an individual. If this kind of thinking is not nipped in the bud and stopped dead in its tracks it can lead to destructive behaviors.
Some kind of intervention is required. When a person shows through conversation and general demeanor that they are at a low emotional point and makes a statement like, “I am the problem,” that should be a red flag. Whatever is necessary needs to be done to prevent the individual from sinking lower emotionally. This can be especially prone to occur when a person has no income, or a career path fails, and they have a lot of free time on their hands. Everything they are doing with their life, or plan to do, seems to be a dead end road. They don’t see themselves good at anything. Nothing is going right. Low self-esteem and depression can be linked to failure.
Assuming the individual is taking some responsibility for seeing his or her life turn around so that they are not being enabled, specific steps should be done to help. Assist them in finding work. Pay for counseling if feasible. Be a friend who will help guide them into a new positive direction.
The person whom you are helping still must decide on their own, how to respond to their emotional state. Often people turn to destructive things or just sit around the house, wasting time, allowing negative thoughts to pervade their thinking. In this case, staying at home is not an option. They must get out, do something, and mingle with people.
There is a better way to deal with emotional lows. When people begin to see a string of successes their self-esteem rises. There is nothing wrong with healthy self-esteem, even for a Christian, as long as a person does not “think more highly of himself than he ought to think,” and to “not be haughty in mind”(Romans 12:3 and 16). We need to assist others who are down emotionally experience success, to help stop the downward spiral of depression. They will begin to see themselves as a person of worth, and that they can support themselves and a possible future family.
Today, my family member has a steady part-time job, and is on a positive career path. He is engaged in purposeful activities. I found out later that he asked God to give him something of which to be proud. He turned to God and I am proud of him for doing that! Psalm 145:14 says the Lord “raises up all who are bowed down.”
God desires all people to be saved and come to know the truth. He also wants each person to identify their own individual uniqueness and value, and to live a life of purpose and meaning. If you know of someone who is going through something similar to what is described in this article, what can you do to help them pull out of their “pit?” What can you do to help them experience success and have an “emotional makeover?”