What to Know About Depression
In the mind, we ponder fond memories that can make us smile. In the mind we can problem solve. We can daydream. But in the mind, we can also battle thoughts of loneliness, shame or fear of failure. The mind holds what the heart feels.
When a person is struggling with depression, many times the mind deals with more than your typical battling. It's more like an all-out war and you feel like you are on the losing side.
The What's of Depression
If a heart feels like they are broken, worthless, no good for anyone and it meets with a mind of a person struggling with depression then the outcome can be tragic.
You may think that is a little too drastic to call it tragic...but have you been there? I have.
I have not only been there, but I've also been there to listen to countless humans struggling with depression that pour out the devastation they are going through, baring their heart and soul.
Our individual bodies play a role in this subject of depression. There are many studies to support the fact that depression is an illness. There is so much to the causes of depression but I don't want to make this post about the why's of depression but instead the what's of depression.
What depression feels like. What we can look for as symptoms of depression in our self or someone else. What we can do for ourselves and for those in our lives struggling in this war on the heart, mind, soul and body.
So basically ALL OF YOU is fighting. Some are fighting and some have just about given up.
- Depression wants control of your life.
- Depression twists your way of thinking.
- Depression is exhausting.
- Depression causes you to live in a state of fear.
Depression is a Bully
It is a bully that wants to win at ruining your life. A bully that affects young people and adults. Both male and female.
Those of us that are Christians, followers of Jesus.....you then bring the spiritual aspect into the equation. The enemy Satan wants to have free access to play in the mind.
Depression wants your mind but so does the enemy. So now it's 2 against you.....yeah you're right, I know what you may be thinking
"No, if you are a Christian you have God on your side. You are on the winning side of this and you just need to connect with Him more. You just need to have bigger faith to give you the confidence that you can win this war in the heart and mind."
You're right God absolutely helps us win our battles, but when you are being bullied by depression you feel like it is ONLY you and you are losing strength....and fast.
Loneliness of Depression
In depression, you feel like you are fighting something you'll never win at. You are very lonely, even as you sit surrounded by all the lovely humans in your life.
You're lonely because depression also makes you feel like you can't tell on it. Like all of a sudden, we feel like we'd be a tattletale if we were to tell someone we are being bullied by depression.
We are unsure of what someone might say to us if we tell them about our bully. For instance we worry they might say things that hurt. Such as...
"Well just pray about it and do things that will help your mind focus on the good things in your life. Do things that help put your focus on God and not your problems."
“I'm sure this will pass, everyone is a little discouraged every now and then, cheer up, it will all be ok.”
"Why in the world are you feeling depressed? Surely you know how much you are loved. You really have no reason to feel depressed, you're just not thinking positive enough."
These are just a few that we fear, but trust me, those being bullied by this mental illness will many times have depression's irritating buddy tagging along and its name is anxiety.
Anxiety Brings Racing Thoughts
Anxiety brings along racing thoughts that seem to never stop. So, therefore, we think a plethora of daunting, overwhelming and shaming scenarios of what someone might say to us if we bring up a conversation about our bullies.
Racing thoughts are miserable, they cause you to lose sleep. They cause you to make it hard to focus on any task at hand.
Depression and anxiety are most definitely bullies that no one ever wants to be up against. Bullies make a person miserable. Just like a bully, they will taunt you. Beat you down mentally and emotionally to which makes your soul feel crushed. Yet it also beats you down physically as well.
Yes, depression and anxiety can affect you physically. Take a look at these links that share some of the physical symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Now, if you don't struggle with depression I hope that I have given a description that gets your attention. If not then maybe sharing the next point will.
Depression left untreated can end tragically. Not all people with depression have suicidal thoughts. However, more than you probably realize actually have suicide cross their mind and multiple times.
This is the darkest place. By far it's the loneliest stage of depression. This form of bullying is like taking a beating that knocks every bit of breath out of you. Leaving you feeling like you are lifeless so you will just hope to die.
Stand in Prayer
If you have read up till this point. Thank you for staying. If you are a part of the body of Christ, realize this....the enemy is taking advantage of those that have a weakness in their mind.
The devil will always attack where we are weak. If you suspect or know someone struggling with depression....start today, right now and stand in prayer fighting for them!
If you are the one struggling, then you also need to realize this very important point. Call the enemy out, over and over. Asking the Lord to disarm him and kick him out of this war. If you are a child of God, no matter the state of your illness, the enemy has no right to your mind.
Don't Be Afraid to Use the Word Depression or Suicide
If you've been concerned about someone in your life who may be struggling with depression....don't wait for them to come to you.
Don't be afraid to use the word depression or suicide as you lovingly ask a family member or friend if they are ok. Here are a few suggestions on what to say...
"If you have been feeling like your struggling with depression, it's ok to tell me your not ok and I will stand with you in any way I can. I mean it, I'm really here for you."
"I'll help you find a counselor. Whatever you need me to be, in that moment I'll do my best because I love you. Nothing you say will make me think less of you."
"I will pray hard, standing in the fight with you. I will never give up on you and I want to help you to not give up on yourself."
"If your depression ever makes you feel like giving up this fight, you can talk to me about those thoughts too."
"If suicide is something that ever crosses your mind, you can talk to me about those feelings"
End the Judgment Towards Depression
There needs to be no judgment towards someone struggling in depression. If you pray for your loved ones when they have been diagnosed with diabetes, cancer, or any other illness, then treat this in the same way and pray.
We must help get our family and friends to the feet of Jesus. Carrying them, their thoughts, their pain straight to the feet of the One that cares most. Loves most. To the greatest Healer that ever walked the earth.
We also need to help in other areas by not only being there for them but finding resources or helping find counselors. Chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine for resources. I work with TheHopeLine and they have access to many resources to help you find the help you need for your loved one.
If you have been silent while being pushed around and bullied by depression...I want you to know that there are people that want to help you. Talk to those in your life that you trust the most. You are not alone. Chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine that will help you find the resources you need for depression.
Take Charge of Depression
I am putting a few resources at the end of this post that will help you in the area of taking charge of this bully in your life.
Take in this thought....really stop to soak it into your heart. You are so loved by the King of Kings. His name is Jesus and He willingly sacrificed His life, His own breath for you. You are wanted. You are worthy. You are precious to God and to others in your life. There can be reprieve. There can be healing.
Church, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus....take note.
Depression has a loud voice and we must unite together to have a louder voice, to help those that are being tormented by mental illness.
We must be love. We must love. We must join in this fight to help save lives from the bully. I stand up, calling out this bully named depression that is chasing down those in our life, making them feel like helpless prey.
Will you join in their fight too, so they know that they are not alone in their fight?
Free Resources for Depression and Anxiety
I am not a professional. I am not licensed. I received training in suicide prevention through my work in a faith-based crisis line.
The things I share on this post are from my own personal experiences and in learning through the years as I have talked with those that struggle with many different issues including depression and anxiety.
Scriptures of Hope-sections for your specific struggle.
Focus on the Family -free call to speak to a trained professional.
Chat free with a HopeCoach-plus many more online resources. Sign up for a free email mentor.
April is a wife, mom and nana who is a child of God. Through her own past experiences with being both emotionally and spiritually wounded, she felt God calling her to expand her reach in giving hope and encouragement to others through her Healing in Heart blog. It is her #1 hope and prayer that He will be glorified through her blogging ministry. #2 that He will continue to allow her to share hope, healing and encouragement by pointing others to the truth in His word. This article was originally published here.