Thursday, January 7, 2010
I received so many personal messages today about my blog on depression that I decided to do part 2 tonight. It’s a little detour from what I normally write about in this blog, but I feel it’s important, so I’m continuing.
Starting tomorrow, I will be adding something new to my blog. I will be posting a Tip Of The Day with simple changes we can make with our diet and exercise to become healthier this year. I hope that you will try some of the suggestions.
Now for part 2.…..
Depression is a difficult subject to talk about especially for Christians. We can sometimes feel that something is wrong with our relationship with Christ if we are depressed. Sometimes that is the case, but sometimes it's not. Hormones and lots of other things going on in our bodies contribute to depression.
I found an incredible website that talks about what the Bible says about depression. It is so eloquently written that I don’t want to do an injustice by trying to sum it up in my own words. I’m posting the link and copying it verbatim for you to read: http://http://www.gotquestions.org/depression-Christian.html
“Question: "What does the Bible say about depression? How can a Christian overcome depression?"
Answer: Depression is a widespread condition, affecting millions of people, Christians and non-Christians alike. Those suffering from depression can experience intense feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, fatigue, and a variety of other symptoms. They may begin to feel useless and even suicidal, losing interest in things and people that they once enjoyed. Depression is often triggered by life circumstances, such as a loss of job, death of a loved one, divorce, or psychological problems such as abuse or low self-esteem.
The Bible tells us to be filled with joy and praise (Philippians 4:4; Romans 15:11), so God apparently intends for us all to live joyful lives. This is not easy for someone suffering from situational depression, but it can be remedied through God's gifts of prayer, Bible study and application, support groups, fellowship among believers, confession, forgiveness, and counseling. We must make the conscious effort to not be absorbed in ourselves, but to turn our efforts outward. Feelings of depression can often be solved when those suffering with depression move the focus from themselves to Christ and others.
Clinical depression is a physical condition that must be diagnosed by a physician. It may not be caused by unfortunate life circumstances, nor can the symptoms be alleviated by one's own will. Contrary to what some in the Christian community believe, clinical depression is not always caused by sin. Depression can sometimes be caused by a physical disorder that needs to be treated with medication and/or counseling. Of course, God is able to cure any disease or disorder. However, in some cases, seeing a doctor for depression is no different than seeing a doctor for an injury.
There are some things that those who suffer from depression can do to alleviate their anxiety. They should make sure that they are staying in the Word, even when they do not feel like it. Emotions can lead us astray, but God's Word stands firm and unchanging. We must maintain strong faith in God and hold even more tightly to Him when we undergo trials and temptations. The Bible tells us that God will never allow temptations into our lives that are too much for us to handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). Although being depressed is not a sin, one is still accountable for the response to the affliction, including getting the professional help that is needed. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Hebrews 13:15).”
There are so many different directions that I can go from here, but I think that for someone who is suffering from depression, there is nothing like time spent alone with God and scriptures to read and speak aloud daily to help you to overcome the state you are in. Here are a few that have helped me during moments of intense sadness and depression:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. …For You are the God of my strength…” (Psalm 42:5, 43:2 - NKJV).
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."
-Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13 - NKJV)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:4-8 - NKJV).
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
"We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18 - NIV).
One more thing that I want to talk about is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. It is a real disorder with sometimes debilitating symptoms. I want to dedicate one more day to giving you information about depression and I will be talking tomorrow about SAD. Please read tomorrow to see how you can overcome this disorder if you suffer from it and how you can help others as well.