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Do you struggle with depression?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Do you struggle with depression? Someone asked me how I've dealt with depression in my own life.

My younger brother David, on January 19, 2000, took his own life as a result of depression. My mother struggled with depression all her life as a result of bi-polar disorder.

When I'm feeling depressed, I keep these things in mind.

1. God loves me no matter how I feel. There are days when I feel unlovable and depressed and it seems nothing will ever work out. On those days, I need to remind myself that "I am accepted in the beloved (Jesus)" and God loves me as much when I'm depressed as when I'm happy.

2. Depression doesn't last forever. Things DO get better and the things I worry and obsess about rarely happen. Since I've learned by experience that depression is temporary (although recurring), I can cope better by reminding myself of that fact.

3. Don't make major decisions when you're depressed. If I try to make a big decision while I'm depressed, I end up making the wrong decision. I've learned by experience to defer decisions like quitting a job or dropping a friend because most of the time, the depression is making the decision, not my real self.

4. St. John's Wort, an herbal remedy, sometimes helps mitigate depression, without the negative side effects of psychotropic drugs. I've never used psychotripic prescription drugs for depression because the side effects seem worse than being depressed.

Of course, depression treatment is not a one size fits all proposition. Prescription drugs may work great for some people.

5. I've learned that God is faithful even when I'm depressed, but He will not give me everything I think I need. This is important because depression can cause us to doubt God's goodness. But think about it, if we could pray and get anything and everything we ask for, it would ruin us.

Many of the good things in life, like long-term friendships, specific job skills, creative abilities honed by years of practice and exercise, would never develop if we could use God like a genie in a bottle and get everything we want without work and effort, thought and planning.

If you're struggling with depression, seek help. See a counselor, a pastor, a psychiatrist or psychologist. Depression can be conquered and you don't have to struggle alone.


Anonymous said...

Thanks man! I've been struggling and I know God would lead me to were I need to go and read what I needed to read to feel better about myself.I know what to do now before I make the big step!

Rick Brentlinger said...

God has much good planned for your life if you'll trust Him one day at a time.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." -Ephesians 2:10

Much love,

Rick Brentlinger

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