Depression (and Anxiety) and Help For It

Alexis Malek

3/24/2016

Depression and Anxiety, and Help For It

Depression is an invisible disease not enough people are properly informed about. Often, people judge a person with depression and say hurtful things because they don’t understand the daily struggles and wars within the mind that are being fought by the silent sufferers.

There are different types of depression and different stages. Some are temporary, or last as long as a difficult trial someone is going through and ends when the person is brought the blessings from God needed to change their situation, or living environment, or both. It can be caused by loss of a loved one and can either be brief through the grieving stages of a healthy person with healthy mindsets, or can last a long time and become chronic because a person gets stuck in grief and thinking how better things would be if the loved one who passed away were still alive. Similar with relationships: If there is unrequited love or a relationship ends, if the person experiencing one-sided love, or one or both people in the ended-relationship are insecure, their depression may last longer than the time it takes healthier people (mentally and emotionally, but also spiritually and physically) to get over a relationship ending.

Of course there is a type of depression that is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and is chronic, but can be treated with medication or building an eternal right relationship with the Lord and His supernaturally healing you because of your faith, and faithfulness to Him. And the same can be true of all of these other types of depression. Jesus can heal all types of depression by forgiving your sins (but you have to accept His forgiveness into your heart and believe you are forgiven), and healing your broken heart, crushed spirit, wrong mindsets (or other emotional or mental damage to your mind), with His love and with His healing power. You need to open your heart to His love though, and believe he can and will heal you, and you have to be willing to let past hurts and pain go and trust that God will work it together for your good somehow, even when you don’t see how.

Letting go, however, is easier said than done. It takes determination, persistence (in prayer and in wanting to be free from the pain, unforgiveness, and hurt and any other damage caused by the person or event that happened to cause the pain and hurt/other damage), and deciding that forgiving the person, possibly forgiving yourself if you need to, and letting the situation go is vital for peace of mind and heart and to move forward, and is more important than holding on to the pain, hurt, trauma, and anything else caused by it. It may take months, or it may take years, but if you bring the situation (and person(s) involved) to the Lord in prayer and pray to forgive, let go, and move on, and are willing to do what is necessary to do so, then you can let go and move on.

You can try writing a letter to the person (or yourself, or both if there is more than 1 person you need to forgive, and one of them is you) telling them respectfully how you feel, and have decided to forgive them/yourself, not to condone what happened, and not saying what they did was OK (or what you did was a good decision), but saying that you refuse to let what happened steal your peace or joy any longer, and refuse to let it hurt you and prevent you from moving on and living life to the fullest, in peace, joy, and love. You do not need to send the letter to the person (if the person is not you), unless you want to, but just writing it down could help get it off your chest. If you don’t want to send the letter to the person, try freezing the letter in your freezer (no joke, I have tried it and it worked) or tie it to a balloon and send it up to the Lord and if that helps, then great!

Another thing you could try is telling yourself (out loud when alone, otherwise in your head to yourself, and/or write it down) that “I refuse to let what happened (insert what happened here if you need to) continue to weigh me down in depression, pain, hurt, or anger. I will no longer let it steal my peace or my joy.” If you are unable to forgive yourself, you may add something like, “What happened is not my fault, someone else made the decision to do something hurtful, and there is nothing I could have done to prevent it.”

You also need to learn when to depend on others for help and when to stop waiting for others to help you feel better, but to instead depend on/lean on the Lord. If you don’t learn when to lean on the Lord instead of people, you may find yourself awake and not even trying to sleep, or tossing and turning while trying to get to sleep, at 3am, 4am, 5am…you get the picture. You may also be delaying a resolution from God by waiting for another person to help you instead of leaning on Him. If the three steps listed above (write down how you feel, bring it to the Lord in prayer, and open your Bible to read peaceful passages/passages related to your situation that can bring you peace about it) are not enough, try listening to mosaic (music without lyrics like Mozart, Beethoven,  or other classics) or worship music, or an app or music video playing the sound of ocean waves crashing (or a machine with that and other soothing sounds)/or a sound you find calming and soothing). You may also try listing in your mind, out loud, or writing out things you and thankful to God for (roof over hear, food to eat and water to drink, clothes to wear, good family and/or good friend or friends, and anything else you have because of the Lord’s love and His mercy and grace.

And people who do not suffer from depression need to learn what it is and how to act around people who suffer from it so you do not end up hurting the person or making their depression worse with insensitivity or carelessness in your speech or actions. And know this: Nobody chooses to be depressed or enjoys being depressed. People who suffer from any form of depression (no matter the cause, or if it is temporary or chronic), need people to show understanding, compassion, respect, consideration, and thoughtfulness/mindfulness. Think before you speak, and consider whether your words will be helpful and build the person up, or cruel and tear them down (Ephesians 4:29)

If you suspect someone you know/care about may be suffering depression, research the warning signs and also research ways to help alleviate the depression and show them love and compassion, and understanding. Learn what things to never say to someone suffering from depression, and things that could be helpful to the person to say or to do for them. They need to know you care and will stand by them no matter what.

One thing to never say is that “depression is a sin against God,” because chances are that either the person already knows, or they have no idea what you are talking about. Things like that are between God and the person, and as mentioned earlier, no one chooses to be depressed. Instead, pray for them to God that He will bring comfort, peace, healing, and restoration to the person and that the person will feel God’s love for them and know they are forgiven, redeemed, and loved dearly by the Lord.

These guidelines are also helpful for people who suffer from anxiety, or if you know someone who suffers from anxiety (no one chooses to have anxiety either). People who suffer from anxiety (or both depression and anxiety) need your love and care too, and your thoughtful prayers to the Lord. Anxiety can be caused either by a traumatic event, stressful situations, or a chemical imbalance. There may be other causes too and researching it may be helpful if you or someone you know suffers from it. The Lord is the solution either way though (or, the most important part of it anyway), and learning to trust in Him (or helping someone else with their faith in gentle, kind ways) will allow Him to bring the healing and also the solutions to your problems that previously eluded you.

Some comforting Scriptures for the sufferers may be as follows:

Philippians 4:6-8 Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (This is NLT version, but no matter which version you have, hopefully it provides comfort and peace)

1 Peter 5:7 Give all of your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.

Zephaniah 3:17 For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all of your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

I may also suggest going back to Jeremiah 29:11, which promises that God has a good plan (to prosper you, not to harm you) and to give you hope and a future. (I put emphasis on “not,” “hope,” and “future,” but to give you hope in knowing God has an amazing plan for you and for your life, and wants to prosper you, not to cause you grief or sorrow/cause trouble. Psalms 31:7 assures us all that God cares about the anguish in our soul, and that He cares and loves us with unfailing love.

Apart from the above Scripture, whatever is causing the anxiety and depression, there is Scripture that will talk to you/your situation and there is a promise (usually of better things to come, like in Romans 8:37 which states that despite troubles, calamity, and other stuff (mentioned in verse 35, 2 verses up), overwhelming victory is ours through Christ because of His love for us) in them meant to bring comfort and peace of mind and heart.  Pray to God with your bible closed in your hands and ask Him which Scripture to read to bring comfort and peace about whatever is weighing on your mind, or causing you pain or hurt. You could also try looking up Scripture by words.

May God bless you and bring peace of mind and heart, no matter what is going on in your life. And may your hearts and minds be open to receiving God’s love and forgiveness, and the peace only He can give you when you lay your burdens down at His feet and leave them there, without taking them back by thinking about them again and trying to fix it yourself. Read the story of Abraham, who had to wait 25 years to see his promise of the child God promised him because Sarah did not believe she could become pregnant so late in life and tried to get Abraham to make the promise come true on their own. It had disastrous results that could have been avoided, if they hadn’t felt a need to help God bring their promise to pass. God needs no help, for He is God, and has supernatural abilities that can make things happen 10 times or even 100 times faster than if you were to try to do it yourself. God also makes the impossible things by human ability alone, possible with His supernatural abilities. It is easier said than done to keep your problems at Jesus’ feet and to not take them back, but it can be done, especially with practice. If in doubt whether you need to act, or wait, pray to God to help bring you peace (or serenity, aka the “serenity prayer” about things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can change, and wisdom to know the difference. Reading Matthew 11:28-30 may also be helpful.

If you don’t believe in God, or Jesus, then you are missing out on eternal love and eternal blessings that start now during your lifetime, and I or someone else who believes can pray for you. If you do believe but don’t think (or are unsure if) God/Jesus love you, then know He does. God loves you so much He sent Jesus to die for your sins and raised Him 3 days later so you could have a right relationship with Him through Jesus, by believing/faith and acting on that faith (repentance, confession of Jesus as Lord and Savior, baptism, and daily taking up your cross to follow Jesus, that is, to live life the way Jesus tells us to and live for Him instead of doing whatever you want and suffering the consequences). God and Jesus both love you unconditionally and nothing you say, think, or do can change that, and only one sin is unforgiveable, and that is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. So no matter what, know God and Jesus love you, always and forever, for all eternity. (Read Isaiah 54:10, Matthew 28:20 for assurance of Their unconditional and everlasting love, as well as rereading Jeremiah 31:3, and I also encourage you to read Psalms 103 and 139).

 

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