© 2017 by IFP

Depression Is Depressing

December 4, 2018

 

7 Steps Anyone Can Use To Cope with Depression

 

 

At any given time, an astonishing 300 million people around the world are experiencing symptoms of depression. [1]

 

 

 

Depression is a “serious medical illness that negatively affects how you FEEL, how you THINK, and how you ACT.  It causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It also can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.” [2]

 

In Other Words - It Can Control Your Life In a Negative Way!

 

Some Basic Truths About You and Depression

 

Truth 1:

Depression is more common than you realize.

 

*About one in 15 adults experience depression each year. 

 

*One out of every six people will experience depression at some point in their

   lives.

 

*At any given time, 9 of every 100 women are experiencing major depression

 

*The same is true of five of every 100 men

 

[Note: Depression, as used in this article, is more than just feeling down or blue.  True depression (for lack of a better term) exists on a continuum (range) from mild to severe.  It has diagnosable symptoms which must be present for specified amounts of continuous time.]

 

Truth 2:

You Are Not Broken, Inferior, or Less-Than Because You Are Depressed.

 

Depression is a response to something either INSIDE of you (e.g., genetic vulnerability, hormones), or OUTSIDE of you (e.g., trauma, loss, stress).

 

Each of us is unique in how we respond to the factors that can cause  depression.

 

Truth 3:

You Are Not Alone in Your Depression.

 

Depression is very effective at making its sufferers feel all alone.  It does so by causing us to turn inward and away from people and social activities.

 

The truth is there are people all around you who care about you – but depression can blind you to this fact.

 

 

What Can You DO To Deal with Your Depression?

 

Here are 7 Effective Suggestions - Based On the Research - To Proactively Deal with Your Feelings of Depression.

 

Remember – no matter how small the step – Doing Something Is Better Than Doing Nothing.

 

 

1)  Get Better Sleep

 

While depression can make you want to sleep, that sleep is often an unhealthy,  depressed sleep.  Depression causes other people not to be able to sleep at all (insomnia).

 

Here is a helpful article on how people can improve their sleep when depressed.

 

 

2)  Eat Healthy

 

Depression can make us crave the very worst foods in the world.  Sugar filled, simple carb sweets and pasta beckon us to indulge.  These foods raise our insulin levels and can make us feel groggy and sluggish.

 

Consider this advice from Harvard University on how to eat to control your depression.

 

 

3)  Reduce Your Stress

 

Common sense alert!  The problem is we sometimes find ourselves in situations where we cannot control our stress due to outside factors.  Other times we may not realize just how stressed we are.

 

Regardless, stress must be recognized and managed, or it will continue to feed our depressed feelings.

 

Some good information on this topic can be read here.

 

 

 

4)  Learn to Control Negative Thinking 

 

A lot of research has been done on the relationship between negative thinking and depression. The evidence is strong.

 

Negative thinking causes depression.  As well - depression causes negative thinking.  It is a vicious cycle.

 

I previously did a series of articles on how to control your negative thinking.   Negative thinking is 'stinking thinking' and needs to be overcome.

 

These articles can be read here and here.

 

 

 

5)  Create a Wellness Box

 

A wellness box is a pre-identified set of behaviors that you keep in your head.  When feeling depressed you reach into your box and choose a behavior that you can use to feel less depressed.

 

These coping behaviors are particular to you.  What activities work best for you to make you feel better whenever you are depressed?

 

Examples might include:

 

*Listening to your favorite upbeat music

*Taking a warm/hot bath

*Taking a walk through the woods

*Cuddling your pet

*Exercising

*Going out to eat at your favorite restaurant with a best friend

*Reading a good book

 

This is your list.  What works best for you?  What do you enjoy doing that always makes you feel good?

 

When you are feeling especially down pick one or more activities from your list and DO THEM!

 

 

 

6)  Create a Support Network

 

This step is the second most important of the 7 Steps We Are Discussing.

 

The worst thing you can do when depressed is withdraw and remove yourself from other people.  Yet, this is the very thing depression compels us to do.

 

Put together a strong social support group.

 

This group is a list of people you can depend on to be there for you.  Family and friends is a good place to begin. 

 

Which family members and friends do you feel closest to?  Who are the ones who have encouraged and supported you in the past?

 

Do NOT include critical, judgmental, and nonsupportive people in your group.  They will likely make you feel more depressed.

 

Many cities/towns have a depression support group.  You can remain anonymous in these groups (first name) and are not forced to share if you don’t care to.

 

Do a Google search to see if there is one in your area.

 

 

 

7)  Most important – SEE YOUR FAMILY PHYSICIAN. 

 

They are trained in dealing with depression and can make treatment recommendations if needed. 

 

Or - Visit your local community mental health center for an evaluation.

 

 

****************************************************************************

 

 

Christianly Speaking

 

Some great people in the Bible experienced depression. 

 

The prophet Elijah was so depressed he became suicidal.  

 

I have had enough Lord, he said. Take my life, I am not better than my ancestors.”  (1 Kings 19:4)

 

Job suffered unimaginable loss and pain.  In response, he said,

 

Terrors overwhelm me…my life ebbs away, days of suffering grip me. Night pierces my bones, my gnawing pains never rest.”  (Job 30:15-17)

 

Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?”  (Job 3:11)

 

 

Followers of God Get Depressed! 

 

Writing in Christianity Today,  Lily Burana describes how she overcame serious depression.  [3]

 

“[A] few years ago, when a dangerously deep and rocky depressive spell had me in its grips, I teetered on the brink of suicide. Even with…a full and happy life—husband, family, health, career—I felt desperate, alone, scarred, stained, and worthless.”

 

Lily says about the same time, she became involved in a local church.  She writes that the biblical teaching and fellowship she received there brought her to the realization that God not just loved her, but accepted her, even in her depression.

 

Today, Lily uses medication to help control her sometimes dark moods.  But, she knows from where her true strength comes. 

 

“I can’t lay full credit for my well being at the feet of Big Pharma, for nothing has helped me recover more than receiving God’s grace.”

 

 

The truth is Christians Have the Power and Promises of God To Help Us Fight Our Battles!

 

The Bible says:

 

For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’”   (Hebrews 13:5-6).

 

"Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you."   (1 Peter 5:7)

 

-and-

 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."   (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

And many Believers find great strength in these words,

 

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13)

 

As children of God we are so blessed to have resources from our Father God that nonbelievers do not have.  Marshall Segal writes: [4]

 

“While many are lost to their depression—helplessly wandering in their own darkness—Christians have somewhere to turn, truths to rehearse until our hearts catch up with the faith in our minds. Not only did Christ save and deliver the brokenhearted, but he experiences all the pains and temptations we face and more.”

 

Followers of God and Christ have a special power from above to deal with depression. 

 

As well, we must not forget that God wants all nonbelievers to become believers so they can receive His blessings.   

 

The Bible says, "God wants everyone to be saved and to fully understand the truth."  (1 Timothy 2:4)

 

We need to do everything we can to help nonbelievers become children of God.  Then, they too will have these same heavenly resources we have to battle the trials of life, including depression.

 

 

The Bottom Line

 

Depression is a fact of life.  While not every person will experience significant depression in their lives, many people will, including people you love.

 

Those that do experience depression are NOT weak.  They are simply responding in a particular way (depression) to something that is happening either inside or them or outside – or both.

 

Depressed people need our support – not judgment.

 

 

 

WARNING!

 

If you or anyone you know is experiencing feelings of suicide, PLEASE TAKE ACTION.

 

HERE ARE FREE HOTLINE NUMBERS AVAILABLE 24/7

 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
    1-800-662-HELP (4357)

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)

           [Chat & Hearing Impaired number:  1-800-799-4889]  

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

  • National Youth Crisis Hotline:
    1-800-448-4663

This resource provides brief interventions for youth who are dealing with pregnancy, sexual abuse, child abuse, depression, and suicidal thoughts. They also provide referrals to local counseling, treatment centers, and shelters.

 

 

 

 

Before You Go

 

Thank you for reading this article.

 

As always - Can I ask a personal favor?

 

Without your help, this article will disappear from FaceBook about as quickly as it appeared.  The result is very few people will have the chance to read it.

 

I think there are many people among us dealing with depression - either in themselves or in a loved one.

 

Perhaps they would benefit from the information contained in this article.

 

So, please, help me get this message out.

 

A simple click to 'Like'/Comment'/'Share' on your part may make all the difference in helping someone deal with their depression.

 

 

For the Family,

 

--dr. bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Reference

 

[1] http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

 

[2]  https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression

 

[3]  A Punk Rock Rebel Returns To Church

Lily Burana| Christianity Today | October 20, 2017

 

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/november/lily-burana-grace-amateurs-punk-rock-rebel-returns-church.html?start=1

 

[D] Marshall Segal   https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/too-depressed-to-believe-what-we-know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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