I do know above all else that God is there, and He loves and cares for me.
Bethany began suffering from depression at a young age, and because of that, it was hard for her to make and keep friends. It was hard for her to talk to people so she quickly got attached to the few that she could talk to and easily considered them “best friends,” but time and again they kept walking out of her life leaving her more depressed. As she grew older, she found one particular person that connected well with her and they did everything together. She loved it.
One day when she came back from school, she felt so sad but couldn’t explain why. All she wanted to do was stay in her bed and not do anything or talk to anyone. She tried reaching out to her friend, but she didn’t understand her. Bethany went ahead and told her mom about it so her mother took her to see a doctor and she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. That same day her friend asked her to stop being friends. This wrecked her which led her to suicidal thoughts. She kept asking God why all of this was happening to her, the depression, taking friends from her….she had hit rock-bottom. Through all of this, she never doubted the existence of God but doubted His love for her.
Finally, she reached out to God for help to overcome the challenges, and her prayers were answered. With the grace of God, counseling, and medication, she started feeling a lot better.
Bethany is not completely healed of her depression and anxiety, but with God’s unfailing grace and love, she keeps getting better. She hopes to graduate from school and help others who are going through similar situations to overcome them.
Points to consider if you’re suffering from depression:
- You don’t have to go through it alone.
- Reach out to people whom you know and trust.
- Don’t try to talk yourself out of it.
- Go and see a doctor.
- Surround yourself with quality people who will help you.
Words to Live By:
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” Psalm 42:11 (NIV).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (NKJV).
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV).
Depression is not a rare or unusual experience, but quite common. Persistent sadness, fatigue, and feelings of hopelessness are the more common symptoms of depression. Many times people feel depressed in reaction to a loss, disappointment, or trauma. Depression can also be caused by irrational or faulty thinking. Sometimes we tend to focus on the negative aspects of a situation rather than the positive, for example. Everyone feels sad and down now and then, but when these feelings do not go away, we may be experiencing depression. A qualified mental health professional can help make the correct diagnosis and suggest a course of treatment. Some tips for coping with depression are as follows:
•Identify areas of stress in your life. Feeling overwhelmed, out of control, or stressed out can play a significant role in depression. Sometimes there is a medical cause for these feelings. Recognizing sources of stress, looking for solutions, and rebalancing life’s priorities can go a long way towards solving depression.
•Consider counseling (talk therapy), anti-depressant medications (from a physician), or even a support group. Asking for help is an important strategy to conquer depression. Trust God to lead you to the right individuals and ask him to reveal His sense of purpose and direction for your life. God wants you to win over depression.
•Take care of your physical needs. Get enough sleep, regular exercise, and eat a healthy diet. Try to avoid a lot of caffeine, energy drinks, and junk food. If any of these are part of your daily diet, you may be masking a physical problem.
•Make an effort to get along with the people in your life. Conflict in relationships causes anger and bitterness which can lead to depression. Work to see the good in people and search for ways to help others. In every crisis of life, there is always an opportunity to make something good happen.
Grace Notes by Philip Yancey
“In addition, a relationship with God does not switch on or off depending on my behavior. God does not send me to a vacant room down the hall when I disobey. Quite the opposite. The times when I feel most estranged from God can bring on a sense of desperation, which presents a new starting point for grace” (162).
Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cures – D. Martin Lloyd Jones
When the Darkness Will Not Lie – John Piper