Depression is every-man’s illness. People experience a loss of interest or enjoyment in life, lack of energy, social withdrawal, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, and even suicidal thoughts (Biblical examples include Job in Job 3:24-26, 6:2-3, 7:7, 9:25, 10:1, 16:16, 17:13-16; and David in Psalms 6:6-7, 38:6-8, 102:4-5). The causes may be varied, including various losses in one’s life, trauma in a person’s past, unhealthy family relationships, or even genetic and generational predispositions.
The following suggestions are meant to inspire you toward successful coping approaches that will help you climb out of those dark valleys which life may push you into.
“Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
Treat yourself with compassion. Self-hate is often your enemy. Seek to show yourself the compassion you would show someone else going through a similar struggle.
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” Colossians 3:12
Tone down your inner critic. Related to the above suggestion, this involves tuning in to what your critical inner voice is saying, then turning down the volume. Simultaneously, you can tune in to the “positive coach” in your head and turn that volume up.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Resist guilt and shame. Actually, accept their existence in your life, but resist dwelling on these emotions. Instead, let go of the root causes of these feelings and focus on what is more important and of value to you. Forgiveness of others and yourself can help you make healthy changes in your behavior that can keep you moving forward.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
Next week we will continue Seeking Balance in Managing Depression.