How to Survive Depression

How to Survive Depression

Many people are overwhelmed due to a personal or a loved one’s depression. Learn how to seek biblical wisdom and helpful assistance during times of anxiety or depression. 

INTRODUCTION

  • Many people suffer from depression.
  • “It is common for spiritually mature men and women who feel depressed to think that they are doing something wrong. After all, Scripture is filled with words of joy and happy hearts. When they aren’t feeling happy, they feel that they must be missing something or that God is punishing them until they learn some hidden lesson” (Welch, 2011, p. 5).
  • It is important to keep in mind that any form of suffering, depression, anxiety, etc. is a result of The Fall found in Genesis.
  • “Since sin entered the world, our bodies gradually weaken and waste away. Diseases, deterioration, side effects from medicines, etc. can all affect us” (Welch, 2011, p. 27)

DEPRESSION 

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.” (Mayo Clinic Online)

Biblical Characters Who Suffered From Depression

  • Moses (Num. 11:14)
  • Hannah (1 Sam. 1:7, 16)
  • Jeremiah (Jer. 20:14-18)
  • Elijah  ( 1 Kings 19:1-18)
  • Job (Job 6:2-3, 14; 7:11)

Characteristics of Depression

  • A sense of inner emptiness and barrenness, rather than general sadness, as a dominant emotion.
  • Energy levels become noticeably depleted.
  • The normal sense of humor is vastly diminished, being replaced by self-pity.
  •  Negative thoughts and feelings predominate, concerning self, others and the future.
  • Renunciation takes over, involving the giving up of responsibility for self, any desire to get the best of life and eventually, hope for the future. In serious cases of psychosis even the ability to discern reality is lost.

Causes of Depression

  • Genetic-Biological
  • Spiritual
  • Psychological-Cognitive

Depression and Life Burdens

  • Psalm 13:2  “How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all day? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” 
  • Psalm 88:1 “O Lord, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you”
  • Psalm 109:22 “For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me”
  • Proverbs 18:14 “A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”

God Understands Despair 

  • Psalm 38:9 “O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.”
  • Job 23:10 “But He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”
  • Matthew 26:38  “The He said to them, “my soul is very sorrowful, even unto death; remain here and watch with me.”
  • Psalm 18:28 “For it is you who light my lamp; The Lord my God lightens my darkness.”

God Is Our Answer

  • Psalm 43:5 “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”
  • Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

God Provides Hope

  • Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Can Depression Be Prevented?

“The answer is “not completely.” There is no evidence that we can prevent many of the biologically produced attacks of depression, and at times, the pressures of life are certain to plunge each of us into deep sadness, if not depression. Disappointments, losses, rejections, and failures come to everyone and these lead to periods of unhappiness and discouragement. Even so, there are some ways by which we can prevent or soften the blows of depression” (Collins, 1988, p. 115) 

How To Survive

  • Depression is hard on relationships.
  • “If you are depressed, you need relationships” (Welch, 2011, p. 197).
  • If you have a loved one who is depressed, sometimes you will grow weary in loving. Persevere and keep in mind that your love makes a difference. 
  • “To help a depressed person, you don’t need expert knowledge. You do need an awareness of your own spiritual neediness, a growing knowledge of Jesus, and an eagerness to learn from others including the person you would like to help” (Welch,2011, p. 203)  

Conclusion

  • 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
  • Habakkuk 3:17-19

Resources 

  • Gary Collins, Ph.D      Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide
  • Ed Welch, Ph.D          Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness
  • David Murray, Ph.D   Christians Get Depressed Too 
  • Christian Counseling & Education Foundation   ccef.org