Are you suffering with depression? There is hope!
Depression affects many people around the world. We all have ups and downs and struggles. We live in a damaged world where families are people feel fractured and broken. Other times people are depressed because of things that have happened in their lives. Still others have clinical depression which needs medical support and treatment.
But what happens when we just can’t seem to get rid of depressing thoughts or attitudes?
“When I was younger I felt times of real depression. There was an emptiness inside of me that I couldn’t shake off. I felt rejected and that life held no purpose. It got to the stage where I considered harming myself to numb some of the inner pain.”
Your story may be different to this person’s true story. But it may be similar to how you feel or have felt. But depression is not the end of the story and there is always light at the end of the tunnel. There is always hope.
Another true story is of a man whose girlfriend had broken up with him and he wasn’t doing well at University. His girlfriend had become a Christian and he wasn’t interested. He drove around not knowing what to do and eventually decided he was going to commit suicide. He decided on a number of cars and at the set time was going to walk in front of that car. When it came to it, he saw it was a lorry. But just before he was going to do anything he saw a vicar with a dog collar and it stopped him. This man went on to become a great worker in his community, worked with hundreds of children and became a vicar himself!
Dr Caroline Leaf, a world leading neuroscientist is an expert at helping people control their mind and find ways to ‘detox’ their brain and grow their brain in all kinds of ways. She writes this:
“Depression is an emotional warning signal that something big is going on in your life, and that you need to face it and deal with it, kind of like how feeling ill after eating rotten food is a signal that something bad is going on in your digestive system and you need to get help.” (accessed 7 June 2020)Dr Caroline Leaf, https://drleaf.com/blogs/news/how-to-recognize-the-early-signs-of-depression-how-to-recover-and-how-to-help-someone-who-is-struggling-with-depression?_pos=1&_sid=96916b194&_ss=r
It’s good to recognise that depression, like anything, is good to get out in the open (although don’t focus on it to the exclusion of everything else as that becomes unhealthy). It’s OK to not be OK and know that many people face the same struggles, even those who look like they’ve got it all together. Be prepared to take action and that true healing can take time, just as in any other area of life or health. It may be that you need to see a doctor or find someone to help you identify the causes.
But beyond our own capability to deal with things, it’s good to know that we have help from a more powerful source and that is God. He knitted you together and designed you and knows how you work! He always wants to get involved in helping you and to bring hope and health and wellness to all of you. Here’s one thing Jesus said:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”The Bible, Matthew 11.28-30 (NIV version and The Message version)
God also has lots to say about your mind, your emotions and the state of your heart. He wants to give you a ‘sound mind’, ‘self-control’, ‘love’, ‘joy’ and ‘peace’.
God wants to help carry your burdens and take away heaviness. He longs to bring ‘joy instead of sadness’ and, ‘beauty instead of ashes.’ Ask God for his help and healing as you work to deal with and hopefully overcome your depression. Nothing is too big or too small to ask for God’s help. You never bother him, he’s always available and always wants to speak to you and set you free from the things that hold you down.