Question Submitted: I am a struggling supporter of my best friend who faces various levels of depression because of her barrenness. Do you think there is a time to suggest that my friend get medical advice about the depression?
We asked Pastor Todd Peperkorn, author of the book I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression and pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California, to help us with this question. Here is what he had to say:
The short answer to this question is that if you are concerned about her, talk to her about it. There is no magic “if this, this and this happens, then you talk to them about it.” My rule of thumb is that if someone’s low mood persists for weeks or months, then I would certainly encourage them to seek medical advice.
As her friend, what I would encourage you to do is 1) pray for her and perhaps even with her if you are close to one another, 2) encourage her to get a medical opinion on the matter which may involve either medication or counseling or both, and 3) ask her what you can actually, concretely do to help her. All too often as Christians we take prayer as a last step rather than a first step toward helping those in need.
Peace to you. There are many burdens which we all bear, and by bearing them together, they make a lighter load for us all.
Pastor Todd Peperkorn