Dealing with Depression Part II
by Filoiann Wiedenhoff
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In part I, I addressed how to deal with depression spiritually with the main concept of believing that Christ lives in your heart by faith and is right there with you, helping you and giving you power and strength to keep moving forward and persevere through the trials.
Before I do, if you are suffering from deep or severe depression or suffer frequently, I encourage you to see a doctor and get a doctorís diagnosis on your condition. It may be treatable with hormones or medicine for chemical imbalance. Itís best to find out for sure.
So how do we apply believing Christ is in us to this trial or any trial? This knowledge is very important to our foundation because it builds on the fact that we canít but God can. That though we are new creations we still need Christ power to experience any real change. So when we are at our weakest we can believe that God is at His best and we can turn to Him daily and moment by moment to give us strength in our hour and time of need.
In this article I am going to address how to use that knowledge to put it into practical use in dealing with depression.
Here they are as follows:
1. Spend Time with God: During our hard times we need to draw near to God and the bible says He will draw near to us. Spend daily quiet time with God and allow Godís Word to encourage your heart.
2. Read Psalms and Proverbs: During your quiet time read some extra verses in Psalms and Proverbs. Reading on Godís Faithfulness and His love for us is always encouraging to the soul.
3. Spend Time in Prayer: I usually like to pray silently through out the day, especially starting in the mornings before my quiet time and ask God to strengthen me and help me persevere through my day when Iím having a hard day.
4. Talk about It: Talking to someone and expressing how you are feeling inside is always helpful to getting our feelings out and not keeping them bottled up inside. Donít be ashamed to ask someone to pray for you. Having someone pray for you is always encouraging.
5. Take a walk: Getting out and taking a walk releases endorphins that energize the body and make you feel happier. You can exercise also to release stress or anxiety too. (Read my Dealing with Anxiety article)
6. Get out of the house: Take a drive or visiting with a friend or family member is always a good idea, especially when you feel like you want to isolate. Isolation can lead to deeper depression and morbid thoughts so stay conscience and aware of isolating and try to avoid it as much as possible.
7. Journal your thoughts: If you are restless or need help releasing your feelings or emotions try to journal. When you spend quiet time try journaling and write down how you are feeling that day and what scriptures ministered to you and how and even what you need help with from God. Sometimes my best prayers are when Iím being totally honest with God about how Iím feeling and asking Him to help me. Iím always encouraged afterwards because I believe by faith he cares for me and that He heard my cries.
8. Encourage Someone Else: When you are feeling your lowest, take a moment to think of someone you might know that needs your comfort, a phone call, help with something and reach out to them. Sometimes the best medicine is ministering to someone else who could use your help. Not as a works but sincerely. This not only blesses the other person but blesses you also because you are not thinking about yourself but someone else. It takes your mind off of you and on to someone else who needed your help.
9. Pray for Someone Else: Make a list of people you can pray for and begin to pray earnestly for them. This is another form of reaching out but with less physical contact. Praying for others putís your mind and your heart on others and their needs and will take your mind off of yourself. It may not cure you of depression but it will surely give your mind a break and peace of mind with God.
10. Seek out Accountability: Have either your spouse, family member or friend be your accountability partner. What that means is to let them know you are going through this struggle and to have them call you every so often to check in on you and also so that you can call them whenever you need encouragement or prayer. This will help you to not isolate and not feel you are alone in your suffering.
11. Repent if in Sin: I know that it sounds awkward but one of the causes for depression as a Christian is if we are walking in sin. NOTE: Iím not saying all depression comes from sin. But sometimes we will feel depressed or become depressed because of sin. Pray and ask God to reveal if there is any un-confessed sin in your life and repent which means to change your mind about doing that sin and turn back or return to God. Confess your sin and the bible says God is faithful to forgive you and turn away from that sinful act and return back to God as your savior and heavenly father. God is faithful and He will do it.
12. Stay in Fellowship: When we are feeling bad or depressed we also want to avoid groups of people. If you are in a bible study or home fellowship group it is important that you continue to keep going. It will help you to stay in fellowship and also you can have your group pray for you and encourage you. I find that when Iím feeling my worst the bible teaching is always perfect for me that day and I needed to hear it. So go expecting God to bless you because you came to meet Him there.
Keep in mind that when depression overcomes you, your mind is consumed about you and anytime you can refocus your mind onto other things, people, situations it will give you some relief.
These helps will also keep you active during your depression and help you to stay in fellowship with God and with others. Again, continue to go to the meetings, bible studies, activities and persevere through the pain and God will bring you relief as you hang in there and work through it.
I hope these simple but effective tips will give you more food for thought the next time you encounter depression and remember to seek out a doctorís advice.
Whatever you do, Please do not try to numb the depression with pain medicine unless it is doctor recommended. It is important that you face the situation and work through it rather than numb it. Also, numbing can also prolong the recovery process. Give your pain over to God and ask Him to take your burdens and your cares for He cares for you!
Ps 55:22 ďCast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.Ē NIV
1 Peter 5:7 ďCast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.ďNIV
1 Peter 5:8-11 ďBe self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.Ē NIV
Matt 11:28-30 ďCome to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." NIV
Heb 4:16 ďLet us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.Ē NIV
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Everybody says to pray in the morning....but, who's in a good mood at 6am? When I get up, I'm usually grumbling at God. Sometimes, during the day, I make faces at Him. It's not till, maybe, late at night, that I fess up, and tell Him I'm sorry. It's only after about....eh, 10pm, or so, that I've had my nitely snack, and feel like writing....to Him! Who Else? God Bless!
Thank you for your comment. I find that when people are going through a real trial like depression we can easily forget to pray all together, or not "feel" like praying at all,but that is usually when we need to pray the most.