3 Ways to Fight Depression
Depression is a complicated mental illness.
However, most believe depression to simply be a deep sadness.
This is true, however that’s only telling part of the story.
To define depression as a deep sadness would be like saying Jesus was just a great guy.
It’s true, Jesus was a great guy, but that’s not the whole story and we are missing the big point.
Depression is crippling as it brings about persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
It is a constant uphill battle; a war being waged not only on the mind, but also on the heart.
Depression gets us to believe the lies satan constantly feeds.
Depression seeks to get us to believe the lie the world doesn’t need us and that we aren’t normal.
Depression floods our minds with self-deceiving questions and lies, while inviting us into the darkness and tells us the light doesn’t want us.
Depression tells us we are weak and failure is our name.
So, what do we do with our depression?
I have three suggestions for us:
Honesty isn’t easy and is often quite uncomfortable. However, honesty was never meant to be comfortable. Yet, When we are honest we are able to take steps towards healing.
Honesty allows for us to open up the conversation. By placing the truth on the table we are taking a huge first step in announcing our need for help. This isn’t us giving up, but it is us admitting something isn’t right and that’s okay. Through our honest we are turning our hands up and inviting other people into our lives to help.
King David did not shy away from speaking honestly about how he was feeling.
He was a warrior and writer, but also a king who suffered from depression.
Through his writing of Psalms we see how he suffered from Depression.
He says this in Psalm 6:
“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?. … I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.” — Psalm 6:2–3, 6
In order for us to be honest we need other people.
Our honesty shouldn’t be brought to just anyone, but to someone who has willingly and lovingly turned their ear to us, like a close friend, family member, mentor, or professional counselor.
Honesty requires community.
Community fights depression.
The church and your friends may not have a cure to depression, but we have each other.
The goal of a community is not to fix people, but to love and care for them. When we surround ourselves with others we begin to see how beautiful the world we live in is.
Honesty is most effective when spoken within a trusted community. The impact of our words is much greater when found within a close knit group.
Community teaches us that we are together for each other.
Depression tells us we are alone, but community shows us we aren’t.
One of the most beautiful things about community is it allows us to be ourselves and to breathe. The world demands much of us, but community lets us be ourselves.
Seek the Lord.
We know depression is not a sin of and in itself, but it often feels like we are living against God because of the feelings brought on by depression.
In times of depression we aim for restoration.
We seek the Lord, our greatest hope and Comforter.
Our struggle shouldn’t hinder us from praying, rather lead us to pray.
And that isn’t easy.
Depression isn’t easy to deal with.
But when we open the Bible we see when we pray, He listens.
David reminds us of this in Psalm 17:6:
“I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.”
I believe God hears us when we pray, but I don’t believe there is a quick fix to depression.
I don’t believe God is punishing us for not having enough faith or for not praying enough.
I do believe, when we turn to our God who loves and cares for us, we are bringing our struggles to a place of acceptance and gentleness.
I do not believe these three things can eliminate our depression, but perhaps, they will make today better.
We can be honest, surround ourselves with community, and seek the Lord and still struggle with depression.
There are more than 3 ways to face depression, but I wanted to offer these three to begin. Wherever you are and whatever it is you are struggling with, please know this:
You aren’t alone.
Hope is real.
Good is on the way.
You’ve not been forgotten.
We are together for each other.