Learning How To Handle Depression
Depression is a physical and psychological condition in which we feel a deep painful sense of hopelessness and lack a love for life. Depression can be caused due to a chemical imbalance in our bodies as well as a belief imbalance in our souls. It is the most common “soul sickness” found among Americans. Everyone knows what it is to have the “blues” and when the “blues” last for more than two weeks, you have experienced depression.
Can depression be handled? Yes, when we use the right tools the success rate at depression becoming substantially better is over 90%. The first thing every depressed person should have is that their depression will not be permanent.
What to do?
1. Take the Beck Inventory to see if you are depressed and the type of depression you are struggling with. http://zipdf.com/beck_depression_inventory_questionnaire
2. If you are depressed see your doctor and get their help, advice, and any medication they would recommend.
3. Learn to provide yourself with physical, emotional, social, mental, and spiritual nurturing that will build up your “soul strength”.
a. Exercise even when you don’t feel like it
b. Eat fun and healthy food
c. Take a walk to reduce stress
d. Journal your emotions and thoughts
e. Meet with a friend to have a refreshing drink or dinner
f. Spend time in meditation on some great truth
g. Read the Scriptures slowly and write out what you read in your own words
h. Pray the Scriptures back to God
i. Release your anxiety to God
j. Listen to calming music
k. Expose yourself to beauty
l. Make a list of every person who has ever sacrificed for you or helped you. Don’t deny they exist.
m. Whatever good, healthy, and moral thing you can think of that would help you
4. Stop negative “self-talk” and replace it with “truth talk”
a. Negative talk – I am stupid ; Truth Talk – God is greater than my mistakes
b. Negative talk – I wish I had never been born; Truth Talk – God has a purpose for me
5. Depression, despair, and hopelessness can be handled if we decide to not feed the depression and make is stronger but instead to starve it by creating an environment around ourselves and within ourselves in which depression cannot easily grow.
As one who has suffered from a tendency to be depressed since I was seven I understand to some degree how bad it can feel. I also have seen God give me hope in the middle of very hard times. So I believe that the God of all comfort and Father of mercies can also give you support as well. I believe that the Living God found in the person of Christ Jesus can provide us a solid, rational, and steady source of hope even when we live in a wounded world, “East of Eden.”
Five key truths that I use to help center me at my worst times are:
1. God is good – God’s character can be trusted
2. God is great – God’s competence can be trusted
3. God is full of grace – God is giving me a better life than I deserve
4. Life “East of Eden” is hard
5. God will use all my pain for gain – God will use even bad event for ultimate good
By reminding myself of these five truths it helps me to put my current pain in a different context.
So don’t think that your depression cannot be managed and overcome. There is hope regardless of what your depression tells you.