Depression is a season of lowered happiness or morale. A period of unhappiness. A time of low spirits. It’s a time when one feels pressed down; sad; bored; or reduced in spirit; or experiencing lowered enthusiasm or energy, low mood, or low feelings.
I call it a season and not a state or condition, as Science puts it, because it is temporary. That’s the first thing to acknowledge about depression – it’s not permanent.
Secondly, I used the word _feel_ to show that it can be edited.
Depression is when your soul feels sunken. Like it’s being pulled down. It is humbled, prostrated, reduced, weakened, or bowed down. It is cast down or despairing.
Depression is not explicitly talked about in the Bible but it is derived. It is represented by words like _downcast, brokenhearted, troubled, miserable, despairing, mourning,_ etc.
To a person experiencing depression right now, I’d like you to know this:
Depression is common to man.
It’s not something you alone experience or go through, it is something normal human beings go through from time to time at different times. It’s not special to you. Not specific at all. Some just have a better way of dealing with it while others know how to do their best to avoid it. But it’s a very human experience. You’re not alone.
In fact, a number of people in the Bible experienced depression. Moses did when the children of Israel rebelled against God, David did and he expresses it in the Psalms, Elijah did after the threat from Jezebel, Job (no secret) did, Jeremiah did, Jonah did, even Jesus himself. Great men and women of God experienced depression, and they overcame it. So can anyone else.
Depression usually comes after a great exertion. Could be a great move of God, could be a great personal project; at the end of the day you are emotionally drained and fatigued in your soul. This is a normal thing to happen. How do you react though?
Depression causes different reactions from different people, but all related. One thing noticed is that depression causes suicidal thought. In fact, it is said that two out of every three cases of suicide every year is a result of depression. Two thirds every year!
Let’s see how our heroes fared; Suicidal thought got to Moses (Ex. 32:32, Num. 11:10-15). David was so depressed (2 Sam. 12:1-23) that he did not eat or commune with his kin, or sleep, for a week; that’s the time that he wrote Psalm 51. Elijah got suicidal too (1 Kings 19:4). Job cursed his birthday and longed for death (Job 3). Jeremiah also cursed his birthday (Jer. 20:14-18). Jonah also suicidal (Jonah 4). Even Jesus, described as a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3), also got sorrowful to death (Mark 14:32-34) except that he sorted to prayer (:35-42) (Matt. 26:36-46).
How Jesus responded is the pacesetter for how to deal with depression.
Step one is to tell your friends. Isolation is not the issue when you’re depressed. Jesus told Peter, James and John – his inner circle. He didn’t keep it to himself. He shared how he felt with his friends.
Secondly, he did not just stop at telling them, he took action. He asked them to pray with him. He didn’t ask them to pray for him while he wallowed in sorrow. He too was participating. He took action. Step two is decide on a way forward and take action with your friends.
Step three is progress report. You gotta check whether your friends are still on board helping you from time to time or they’re sleeping on you. Either way, you push on with the plan, do your part and pull them along.
Overcoming depression involves a number of pointers:
First is acknowledging that God is there with you in that valley of depression. With all these people, God was always in the picture. In fact they knew it, and that’s why we see them directing all their responses to God.
Are you depressed, or is someone around you depressed? Encourage them with Deut. 31:8. The Spirit didn’t abandon our heroes, neither will He abandon you. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit when he went through depression.
God is nearer than one feels when one is depressed – Ps. 34:17-18.
Recognise that God is with you and for you – Is. 41:10. Ps. 37:24. Ps. 3:3.
That God loves you dearly even during your depression – Rom. 8:35-39.
And then, start working on your thoughts – Phil. 4:8.
Talking to yourself is not madness. It’s therapy. Do it. Ps. 42:11.
Surround yourself with the right people. You need joy-givers and hope bringers in your life. You should get a friend who cracks jokes, or makes you laugh, or takes you out for a good time, or is always jolly. You need such friends during the time of depression, hang around them. Prov. 12:25 kind of friends.
Or you might need to be such the friend to someone else, that you comfort them through their season like 2 Cor. 1:3-4 intimates.
Another thing to do is get active. Practise an active love for God and others. Engage in a ministry activities. Help someone else out of a fix. Assist a friend fix a problem. You need the distraction.
Is anyone around you going through depression? Be a joy-giver and a hope giver. Choose to be the encourager. The world needs more of such.
Are you depressed? Hope is the solution. Hope in God (Ps. 42:11).
Turn to Jesus because He cares for you – 1 Pet. 5:7.
Jesus is the answer – Matt. 11:28-30.
By Larry Mwalye
Woop!! Woop!! A round of applause please. This is the kind of post you read with your Bible close by. Personally I am all kinds of blessed. My favorite part is the constant sound of hope throughout the writing. It is not permanent, it is not exclusive to you, it is not something you stay it, you are simply passing through it.
Allow me leave you to let all this sink.
Otherwise we are still going strong on this depression series.. Well because Mental health matters and above all you matter!!
Bellows of love
©Tales of a curious mind