100% Pure Depression

depression

 

“Lord, answer me quickly, because I am getting weak. Don’t turn away from me, or I will be like those who are dead. Tell me in the morning about your love, because I trust you. Show me what I should do, because my prayers go up to you.”

Psalm 143:7-8, NCV

I am not a psychiatrist or a licensed therapist. I am just an ordinary man serving God’s flock. Yet if I were to speak I would speak on the subject of clinical depression. The stats are pretty grim. Depression affects 16.1 million people, or 6.7% of the population every year, age 18 or older. The median age is 32.5 years old. (These are just U.S. stats only.)

I’ve come to understand this much through my own struggles. It seems that there are three types of depression to consider.

These ‘big three’ seldom stand alone; they mix or overlap each other to make diagnosis difficult. Only a doctor can make that, but we can at least know that these three are most likely behind our issues. You can have these three working against you at once.

The are the big three:

1) Guilty depression- when our behavior hasn’t been what it should be (sin), this is the source of condemnation. Jesus forgives us, so we should forgive ourselves. Guilty depression is very hurtful and damaging to our spirits. Often our healing will come when we draw close to the Lord Jesus.

2) Organic depression- when it’s built into our DNA and part of our very being; it becomes fundamental to your personality. You can compare it to  someone who has diabetes or MS. We live in a fallen world and genetics affects us at this core level.

3) Reactionary depression when we react to some bad news or injury, or working too much with no time off. We react to difficulties in this way when outside forces infringe upon our inner heart. Often God sends us an elder or a mature believer to come and help us out.  This is fortuitous indeed to have someone to speak through our confusion.

Each of these are different, but identifying them could help you move through them more gracefully. These three can overlap. Perhaps it’s helpful to see reactionary depression as the most common, while guilty depression can be the most hurtful to the believer’s heart.

Satan is involved in the intensification of each– he creeps in and slowly strangles all hope. Worship and the Word is critical and necessary weapons for us out us to walk-out clean and clear. We must defend ourselves (and others) with these weapons that the Father has given us.

Knowing the type of depression will give you understanding and perhaps this will help you defuse the situation. These things have helped me personally to work through my own issues.

“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.”

Proverbs 12:25

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Statistics in opening paragraph from Anxiety and Depression Assn of America. These numbers are just for the U.S. Here is their website: https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

Lonely, or Just Alone?

“Loneliness was the first thing that God saw that was not good”

John Milton

Are you lonely? It really doesn’t matter if you are married or single. Frankly, those who have a spouse can be powerfully affected by a sense of loneliness. (They obviously are pressured to suppress this.) But they truly feel very much alone.

When we find ourselves affected by this issue, we think a lot about being alone. We become an ‘island,’ isolated and separate, and the intense figure of this is the ‘castaway’ of those who, somehow end up completely alone on a deserted beach. 

There is nothing ‘romantic’ or ideal about this experience.

After a week, we start to feel the isolation. It creeps in on us, expands, and begins to ‘feed’ on our perceptions. And that can poison us.

To define it, to be lonely is the absence of human relationships. But to be alone is to be without connections.  They can overlap sometimes, but they are very separate issues. The unmarried 40-year-old could be free from loneliness, and the person who is married (with several kids) feels quite lonely.

We cannot attribute our ‘heart issues’ to our response to isolation.

Some will thrive, and others chafe. Many derive a sense of well-being by becoming married. Essentially they choose the fallacy that this may just solve their feeling of loneliness.  If I cut my hand, a band-aid will not heal the wound, it can only help (on a superficial level,) but the healing comes from within us.

There is a definite need to see the unique situation and understand how it does fluctuate. Things will move and our attitudes may change. We can cross back and forth, and that is quite understandable. But embedded sadness over being alone can be disastrous to a full and amazing life with Jesus.

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.”

John 14:16, NASB.

We certainly need each other. That is ‘how we roll.’ But what is necessary and for certain is, “We are not alone, never.” The deep presence of Jesus can be profoundly close, and all we need is His nearness and our awareness, and it’s going to be ok.

There is so much we can do.

The first is to get real about the issues that are involved.  Go ahead and acknowledge the struggle you encountering.  Secondly, we need to admit the sin of harboring this, and even letting it to take control of our thinking. Thirdly, to actively turn away from sin, and then focus on Jesus as our dear companion and friend.

These three are just focal points. They will often take very different adjustments for each person. But they are definitely a starting point. Even as you work through this, allow the Holy Spirit to be your faithful guide.

 

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