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After reading Max Lucado’s Anxious for Nothing (review here), I have contemplated a bigger picture lesson of his insight to request help and to specific clear requests. Numerous people have offered their help when they’ve noticed I’m struggling, but neither I nor them end up making specific requests or offers in most cases. As numerous articles about how to help someone fighting depression point out, sufferers tend to not ask for help. So while the person offering to help does so with good intentions, those might not land anywhere without specifics from either party. This also happens in recovery of mental illness and substance abuse if issues remain vague rather than specific.

Much like with relational communication, when it comes to anxiety and depression, vague and unclear assessments make it difficult to move forward. Unfortunately, these symptoms create a cloud that makes clarity difficult. As we can recognize the symptoms and go further to acknowledge the roots, we can make it possible to specify causes, needs and goals. We can recognize anger, acknowledge it and then specify the cause. That makes it possible to deal with it and move on rather than bury it and let it grow roots of bitterness. It also allows us to communicate specifically in prayer. A named person and sin lifted in prayer gives us an opportunity to see grace at work as we forgive and experience peace. We can even learn to specify what triggers anger, anxiety, depression, etc. to face each one with detailed goals rather than a vague hope for improvement. Once we know what ails us, we can work with managing the details.

Anxiety, depression or any other mental health issue has a complicated and difficult journey for healing and management. Yet as we seek more understanding and can see details, we can make specific adjustments and requests. Acknowledging a need for help makes it possible to request it, and recognizing each issue makes it possible to manage it. An experience, feeling or thought noticed, specified and managed rather than buried makes it possible to diminish it rather than grow its own roots and negative fruit rather than let us stay grounded in truth. We have access specific insights into the truth. Therefore, we can conquer specific issues and meet specific goals.