Depression is something everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Did you know that many well-known people struggled with depression, such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, James Taylor, and Charles Spurgeon?
There are also well-known characters in the Bible who experienced depression, including the prophet Elijah, Hannah, King David, and the Apostle Paul. As you can see, depression is a condition that is blind to wealth, notoriety, achievements, and beliefs.
Sadly, many Christians who experience depression avoid talking about their condition. They believe that if they trusted God enough, they would not be depressed. That idea might be true, but it is certainly not valid in all situations.
The Symptoms of Depression
How does someone know if they are under the cloud of depression? A person is depressed if he or she identifies with a majority of the following symptoms:
- Ongoing feelings of sadness or irritability.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities.
- Changes in weight or appetite.
- Changes in sleeping patterns.
- Feeling guilty or worthless.
- Inability to concentrate, remember things, or make decisions.
- Fatigue or loss of energy.
- Restlessness or sluggishness.
- Thoughts of suicide.
- Unexplained or heightened physical pains.
- Intermittent or prolonged anxiety.
Besides these symptoms, there are two different types of depression. Simply put, these types are called, “Non-biological” and “Biological.” Let’s take a look at each type.
Non-biological depression can be caused for a number of reasons, such as undergoing difficult circumstances, consistently overworking, attempting to get your love and acceptance needs met apart from dependence on Jesus, performing to measure up in the eyes of other people, being rejected by a friend or family member, unresolved guilt, spiritual oppression, prolonged disappointment, experiencing a failure, unforgiveness, trauma, and more.
What’s the key to dealing with non-biological depression? The best thing to do is resolve any spiritual conflicts within you, most often with grace-based Christian counseling. For example, our staff at Grace Life International has helped hundreds of men and women find healing from depression. When you talk with someone who is trained to guide you out of the fog, lasting change can occur.
Biological depression is typically more serious than the non-biological counterpart. There can be cases where counseling, praying, reading biblical truth are not enough on their own. In other words, you can’t think you way out of this kind of depression. Reasons for biological depression can include but are not limited to side-effects of some medications, drug or alcohol abuse, a stroke, certain illnesses, extreme fatigue, hormone imbalance, blood sugar problems, and heredity issues.
What’s the key to dealing with biological depression? Fortunately, we live in a time when there are both natural and traditional medications to help with this kind of depression. See your doctor to discuss your options for this kind of treatment.
If you are a Christian, there is no need to feel guilty or ashamed if you need to take a medication for depression. For instance, you wouldn’t feel ashamed if you had to take thyroid medication. So, don’t let those feelings prevent you from seeing your doctor.
Also, some people cannot deal with the spiritual and mental causes of depression until they get help from medication to get their brain chemistry back on track. Afterwards, some are able to stop their meds with their doctor’s help. Other people may need to remain on helpful medication for the rest of their lives.
There are many books on biological depression to help you understand the role of brain chemistry, hormones, blood sugar, and medications. One such book, though not a Christian one, is “The Broken Brain: The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry” by Nancy C. Andreasen.
Most of all, pray for God to heal your depression and to guide you to the best counseling or treatment option for you. God does not want you to remain in depression. He loves you, and He is for you. 2 Corinthians 7:6 says,
“But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us in the coming of Titus.” (NASB)
The most important key is to begin your healing is to tell someone about your depression. Keeping it a secret will only work against you. There is healing waiting to happen when you take the first step.
Are you struggling with depression or stress? Let us help you find freedom in Christ. Click on a button below for details about our counseling services or our life-transforming Grace Life Conference: