Depression is a very real issue in our society today. I would start this post by sharing my journey out of depression.
I remember being an angry child. Not because my parents were or anything was dysfunctional about my family. I just didn’t feel myself. To be honest, I can’t place my hands on why I was almost always on the edge. I remember feeling so sad at some points. I didn’t know about depression then and so I’d really just wallow in it and wait for it to pass. Thankfully, it was never so severe, it always passed.
As I grew older, I started learning about God and how it is God’s will that we be in perfect health. I believed and still believe in the fact that we as believers should be joyful come what may as joy is our nature and should be independent of our situations. I would always say: “It is well” when something ill happens. Then, the big blow came.
I lost a very close relative of mine. In my entire family, I would say as at then that he was the closest to God. At first, I did try to be strong, I had to be. I had to be strong for my mom and siblings and for every other person (except me). I was the strong daughter, prayer warrior, bible teacher – I was expected to “get it”.
I would say “It is well” every time I have a conversation about him and I absolutely refused to think on it. I refused to enter his room for months. If I came near the room, I’d break down but again, I had to be strong – so I’d wipe my tears and move on.
Depression and confusion set in as expected. Then anger and more confusion… I could no longer say ”Amen” to prayers said in Church, my face started draining of color, I no longer clapped and sang at church. I just kept waking and sleeping. Those were really dark days for me. I had been in and out of depression before and after this one. But this one was profound because for the first time, I had to face a fact: I WAS SUFFERING DEPRESSION EVEN AS A BELIEVER!
Thankfully, I found healing. God did bring me healing. My healing story, I would share if God permits me another time.
For today, I’d share major lessons from the depression I suffered.
First and foremost, Depression can happen to anybody. Depression isn’t a respecter of race or gender or age. We need to be aware of this fact. Contrary to what some people believe, depression is a medical condition. Now I know as believers, we believe sickness is not the will of God. And I doubly agree. I however do not believe in the fact that seeking medical help is equivalent to distrust in God. There is a reason why those herbs were placed on the earth and why God gave doctors the knowledge and skill that brings about healing. I do not subscribe to refusing to seek medical help. I do believe that as we pray for God’s divine healing arm to reach our sick, we seek medical help and do our best humanly possible to live healthy.
I do not know why it is different with depression.
Many people tend to cover it with “It is well” especially in the church. And yes it is well! But people suffering depression need help – professional help. Click To Tweet I recall going to a friend’s house who was suffering from depression. I had been so worried about her because she was going through a lot. I was at rest when I got home and I saw anti-depressants and a book on dealing with depression. She was seeking help even as she trusted in God.
Many bible people faced depression. People like Moses, Elijah, David and Job. These people were not small boys in the faith. So, do not feel like you have lost your salvation when you face depression, you are not alone and you would be just fine 🙂
So when you face depression as a believer, when you go to see your pastor for counselling, please also go to the clinic. Except of course your pastor is a doctor. Click To Tweet The real cause of depression seems vague as depression is very complicated. However, some factors are known to trigger/be linked with the occurrence of depression. Some factors include: genetics or family history, unpleasant life occurrence (death of a loved one, unemployment, rape, academic failure, etc), hormonal imbalance, alcohol and drugs.
Now the trigger factor may be different for people. And circumstances are beyond our control sometimes. But you would be fine… Once you start feeling depressed constantly, do not allow it consume you. Please speak with someone. See a professional. Pray with the brethren. Seek strength and your healing would come.
It is not every time treatment of depression would require drugs. Sometimes, it just involves talking therapy, other times its drugs and some other time, it is a combination of the both. But then you’d never know except you reach out.
Some believers are fond of sweeping things under the carpet and that is so unhealthy. We ought to learn to deal with issues as they come. Click To Tweet An open wound would only get worse when it is covered. It is very important you let your family, friends and the brethren know what is going on. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. They would offer you support and keep you safe.
If you are facing depression, no matter how tempted you are to isolate yourself, please do not isolate yourself. Reach out for help and remain connected. Click To Tweet Also, hard as it may seem, do your best to remain healthy. Eat well, have adequate amount of sleep daily, exercise often, do not stay indoors, get some sunlight.
Always remain positive. This isn’t the time to stay in bed all day crying and listening to sad songs. I remember replaying funeral songs and crying till my head hurt. I had to stop as I started to heal. I still cry when I hear some of those songs play but I’m healed. I do miss him but I cry more out of thanksgiving to God and those around me who made it possible for me to smile again.
So dear brother/sister, This too shall pass! These scriptures would help you on your journey: Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5), Psalm 40: 1-3, Psalm 42:11, John 16:33, Romans 8:38-39, Isaiah 41:10
If you aren’t passing through depression, please you also can help another brother or sister. Reach out and keep checking on people even when you get a negative vibe. Love even still. You never know who your smile would encourage. Furthermore, pray constantly for God’s people, that they are preserved body, soul and spirit. There is so much ill in the world today, yet your love and prayers can and would make a difference.
I love you! 🙂