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Depression is a constant feeling of loneliness, sadness and worry. It is characterised by living in fear, doubt and unhealthy habits. If it isn’t nabbed early, it can lead to severe health issues or death. Depression is not limited to a particular age group or gender. The rate of depression among teenagers is increasing and alarming. In this article, I shared my story and how to overcome depression.
Let me tell you my experience.
When I just got married, I was so confident I’d have a child within the first year. I was already planning my life as a mother. I feel pregnant every month, but it was always in my head. My hope gets shattered when my period comes. I started counting months, then years. I remember crying my eyes out every month, and anytime I remember. I became a shadow of myself. I stopped taking care of myself. I lived every day like it meant nothing. I was under pressure, and this led me down the road of DEPRESSION.
I began to withdraw from friendships and relationships with people. Most people thought I was behaving because of pride. I was indeed devastated. Unfortunately, people who I thought would be supportive were tormenting me with negative words. Sometimes when I remember those times, I wonder how I survived.
Depression is a terrible road to walk. It robs you of joy, leaves you ungrateful and makes one feel useless and sad. Its victims are a danger to both themselves and the people around them. Life becomes meaningless when depressed, and this is why it can lead to suicide.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)JOHN 10:10 (amp).
The devil is the greatest enemy of man, but he is invisible. He uses tactics like depression because he knows that our mind is our greatest weapon. He makes us feel sad because of the things we do not have, rather than being grateful for what we have. He whispers saddening thoughts, which reminds us of our desires and needs. That is why the bible told us
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]? 26 Since you cannot do this tiny thing, why do you worry about the rest.
Signs of Depression
- Constant Sadness : Constant sadness is not the kind of sadness that comes occasionally. It is a continuous and regular feeling of sadness. This feeling is just overwhelming.
- Feeling of hopelessness: Hopeless thoughts are characterised by never seeing any positivity in the future.
- Anxiety (constant fear of the future): Thoughts that make one feel as if you have nothing and the future is bleak without hope.
- Uncontrollable emotions: Sometimes victims of depression have no control over their feeling. Sometimes, it manifests as a sudden outburst of anger.
- Suicidal thoughts
Causes of Depression
Depression doesn’t happen suddenly. In order to overcome depression, the cause of depression must be known.
- Loss of a loved one
- Traumatic events
- Pressure from friends, family, etc.
- Failure / Unmet Expectations
- Low Self-esteem
- Peer pressure
- Health issues
- Social factors
- Toxic Relationships
Biblical Characters who struggled with depression
David was a strong Man. A man who killed thousands of enemies. He was decorated and celebrated by his people. He is still one of the most respected and exalted biblical characters.
David also experienced depression in his lifetime. He once had to flee his own country because his son was after his life. (2 Samuel 15:1-19). He wrote this passage when he faced this situation (Psalm 3). He eventually had to sort things on the battleground, which resulted in Absalom’s Death. David mourned his death for days.
Another time was when David went to war, and his village was looted before he came back. He was devastated and sad. His men thought of stoning him, but David rose courageously and sought the Lord. (1 Samuel 30)
Elijah is one of the fiercest prophets in the bible. He is a model to many believers. He heard God clearly, and he was God’s mouthpiece to Israel. In a day, he killed over 300 prophets of Baal, restoring the confidence of the people.
Shortly after he achieved this feat, Jezebel sent him a message. She informed him of her plan to kill him. He fled for his life and took shelter in a cave.
He prayed to God and wished for death! He did not see an escape from this trouble, but God came through for him. (1 Kings 19)
Job’s story is that of a man who served God faithfully. He lost all he had in one day! His children, Cattles and wealthy. Shortly after, he got a serious boil disease, and he wished for death. He was depressed, hurt and unhappy with life. (Job 3:26, 10:1, 30:15-17). He also survived and recovered all.
Steps to Overcome Depression
The good news is that no matter how depressed you are right now, there is hope. You can overcome! The struggle to overcome depression is a journey that requires determination and courage. I believe you can overcome depression by doing some of the things I did.
Next time the devil comes to take you down the road of depression and anxiety, try these things;
- Admit your struggles
The first step to break free from depression is to admit it. It has a way of helping you seek. The fact that you are depressed does not mean that you are a terrible person. It happens to the best of us. Examples are some of the highly exalted biblical characters mentioned earlier.
- Seek Counsel
Receive instruction, and accept correction that you may be wise in the time to come.Proverbs 19:20 (Amp)
Depression grows in negative and a toxic environments. Pour out your heart to a trusted counsellor who is ready to walk the journey with you. Don’t be afraid to seek Counsel.
- Meditate on the Scriptures
The bible is a great book that has answers to all life worries. Find solace in reading the bible. You will be surprised to discover you are not the first person who struggled with some of your fears. The bible is indeed complete.
I will meditate on your precepts and (thoughtfully) regard your ways (the path of life established by Your principles).
- Make a Change
Some of our thoughts are a reflection of the environment we belong. We sometimes need to change our settings, friends and habits. These ensure we find peace. Do not be afraid to make a necessary change in life for the sake of your mental health.
- Set attainable goals
Set your goals based on what you can achieve. Break those goals down and follow them one after the other. Don’t set goals that are overwhelming and difficult for you to complete. Some may look difficult but attainable, while some goals are not attainable. (10 days Journey to Self-Discovery Plan)
- Be grateful for every win
Reward and celebrate yourself anytime you succeed at something. Try not to focus on the things you didn’t achieve; value what you have achieved. This boosts your self-love and confidence. You become optimistic that you can do what you set your heart to do.
- Listen to edifying Music
Music is a way to revive a dying spirit. It permeates the soul and implants itself in the heart. Listen to edifying songs that will uplift your mood. I have some that boost my faith in God when I am feeling sad. Those songs help me remember that God is indeed faithful and whatever I’m going through is temporary.
- Pray Always
Prayer is the rod of every Christian. Speak out your talk to God as if you can see him in person. Hannah cried unto God, pouring out her heart like waters before him. (1 Samuel 1). David, after he got to Ziklag, turned to God in prayer for direction.
While we walk the road of life, it helps us connect with God. Like going skiing, the rod helps in understanding the soil. With it, it is easy to navigate the ground structure. When I pray at these times, I speak as if I’m pouring my heart out to a friend. I say things the way I feel.
“Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I’ve made that commitment for my life’s sake and for the sake of those who love me.”Susan Polis Schutz
Bible Verses to Overcome Depression
The bible is very clear about depression. God loves us and he never wants us to be enslaved by the feeling of depression. There are many bible verses in the bible that serves as comfort during this lonely times. I believe these bible verses are good for overcoming depression.
- Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
- When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles (Psalm 34:17).
- 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 affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
- It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”(Deuteronomy 31:8 )
- But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 )
- Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.(Isaiah 41:10 )
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 )
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 )
- I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 )
Finally, let this scripture always be in your heart as a tool to overcome depression
For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice]. I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:11-13 (Amp)