Today, we are talking about depression.
Our topic is heavy, so I hope you are doing good.
It is safe to say that some of you are experiencing depression right now. Do not hide your depression and do not be ashamed of your depression.
Christians tend to avoid challenging topics, topics that the bible does not have a clear direction for, and that is the problem. The church environment can force people to hide their mental health and feel ashamed that they struggle with severe mental health issues. God is NOT okay with shaming people with depression into thinking they can do this on their own.
- God is not silent on depression.
- God is not angry or judging your depression.
- God wants to heal your depression.
I did not struggle with depression.
Believe it or not, God prepared me for the stillbirth of my child. Weeks before, Nila, my daughter, was born, I engrossed myself in the bible, spending two hours a day with God, the Word, and prayer. Not because I knew something was going to happen. I studied the Word to become a better mom. I learned what a biblical mother looked like and tried to implement these teaching into my life. The time I spent with God did not save me from the pain of her death, but I do believe it saved me from depression.
I know God can get you out of your depression. If He can save me from depression, He can get you out of it. There are a few essential items to mention about God before digging into how He can help with your depression:
- God will work within your timeline. He will patiently wait for you.
- God created us for a community, so seeking help outside of prayer, the bible, and worship may be necessary for you.
- God is not against antidepressants. Growing up in the church, I got the impression that mental health medication is unnecessary. God can do all things; therefore, mental health drugs are pointless to take; this is false. God wants you to get the help you need. I believe God does not want you on antidepressants your entire life because He wants to heal and free you but seeking help for a time is a good thing. So, if you need the medication, take it.
- God will not do anything you do not allow him to do. God does not violate our free will, even if our choice hurts us. God wants you to choose to come out of depression.
I wrote point number four a while ago and now have a new perspective on this. I agree with God not violating your freewill, partially, but this topic is no longer black and white. I believe there are times that God intervenes on our behalf without asking us, without our consent. Nevertheless, God wants to help, not hurt. Everything God does, He will do it according to your specific needs and personality. I kept this point as an example of growth in God and perspective.
If you are finding that you are depressed, the goal is to begin dealing with your depression. Here are a few points on how to deal with depression:
- Recognize that you are depressed and that you cannot get yourself out of it.
- Speak with someone you are comfortable with that makes you feel safe about your depression.
- Seek therapy. Speaking to a licensed professional may be right for you.
- Antidepressants if necessary.
- Do not stay isolated.
Complete isolation is not healthy. The need to be alone is understandable if that is how you process and grieve, but too much isolation could cause more mental health issues and delay the grieving process. Even the smallest step out of isolation is progress. Here are some tips for small steps if you find you are isolated:
- Write a letter to someone and let them read it.
- Call someone.
- Be around people even you do not speak.
Hopefully, you have recognized where you stand with depression and are taking the necessary steps specific to your needs. If you are dealing with depression, please know that I am not belittling the possible life-long battle with depression, but I believe God can completely free you from it. And that is my prayer for you.
As you work through depression, I recommend meditating on scripture. Here is a suggestion:
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (NIV)
Until next time.
Disclaimer, I am not a therapist or doctor. If you are considering hurting yourself or others, please seek medical attention. This advice and may not work for everyone.