This is the final part of Seeking Balance in Managing Depression.
Build a healthy support system. This may involve setting boundaries on others who are toxic and do more harm to you than good. Since “no man is an island”, we do need other people in our lives. Building healthy relationships is essential in overcoming depression. Overcome any tendency to be passive-aggressive or hostile and remain friendly with those who are your true support system.
“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Avoid spiritualizing the problem. Many people of faith beat up on themselves for not having enough faith, or praying enough, or doing some other spiritual discipline or exercise. This only makes the depression worse. Focus on the emphasis of grace in your faith-tradition and seek strength to deal with the areas of life where different choices can help you.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Get medical tests. In some cases, depression is due to medical conditions which precipitate depression and must be ruled out. This is particularly true when there is no clear situational explanation for the depression. Adrenal insufficiency, diabetes, thyroid problems, Lyme disease, anemia, sleep apnea, and lupus are just a few examples. Ask your family MD.
“Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;” Proverbs 2:2
“As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they were going, they were cleansed.” Luke 17:12-14
Get professional help. There is no shame in obtaining help from a professional who has studied depression and understands its dynamics. They can help with various approaches to breaking free from its clutches. Different areas of focus in counseling may be working through the grief of past losses, identifying and addressing unhealthy thought processes, and building healthy communication patterns with others. To augment the benefits of psychotherapy, medication can be of help to some people.
“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 11:14