Category Archives: Depression

Toxic Friendship

Sometimes in our lives, we have to make choices. Choices that are very difficult. In fact, to us it feels like we are cutting off our right arm. That is how I felt about a certain relationship. I had become so entangled in that relationship that I had lost myself. I no longer knew who I was. I had become this other person. Oh, do not get me wrong. I remembered the things that I personally enjoyed, but I had no time to do them. I loved to read books, and do research online about the Bible. I loved studying history—especially about European countries. Unfortunately, I did not have the time. I I loved to paint, but where could I find the time.? I was consumed with this thing—this relationship. This “thing” that moved from friendship to counseling to moaning to heavy load…to dread…to wanting to hide in my room and not come out! I did not want to talk to anyone. Tears were my words instead of laughter and enjoyment. My face showed my inner sorrow and agony. Everybody but me saw what I was going through. People waited wondering how much longer I would take it before I splattered the walls of the halls with agony and pain. One day it began to happen, and try as I might I could not be the brave soldier I had put on for years to be. I lost control of it all as it all came flowing out of me like Niagara Falls. People were not surprised, but I was when I found out that I had their support.

I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was finished. I was at the end of my rope. Do you get what I mean? Have you been there? Do you know what I mean? Do you really know what I mean? If you do not, I understand. Let me explain it to you. It is a deep dark place where you wake up one day wondering how you got there. You want to know how you get out of this deep dark STINKING HOLE OF A PLACE!!! Is there any hope at all? Does anybody hear me at all in this DEEP DARK LONELY PLACE!!! Can you hear me calling? Does anybody care at all… Whew!

I needed help, and I needed help fast. Where could I go? Who could I turn to and unload this heavy burden to? Who could I bear my very soul to? I was not the kind of person to trust anybody with myself–that is my inner self to. You see I do not want to get hurt. I am already hurt. I do not want to bear hurt on top of hurt. I am already bleeding all over the place. I am hemorraging profusely. I do not need kind words of sympathy or empathy! I need a surgeon, and just any surgeon. I need a specialist in the field of emotional healing. By the way, do you know of one who specializes in this field? It is a very specialized field, and there aren’t many doctors who have studied in this field. In fact, I don’t even know if I can pay their fee.

Then one day I met this woman who was temping while a woman was having her baby. She said something that made me think abou my “friendship” with this individual. I did something that I had never done before. I wrote it down in my diary on my computer. I read it and pondered it almost everyday, and prayed about it too. Funny thing is now that I’m free from that toxic relationship, I have forgotten the security code for the diary. So I had to delete the diary! Isn’t that something?  There was only one problem with her advice. I didn’t follow through…

I started going to a new church in Bolivia, NC. They took me in. They loved me and cared for me in a way that was amazing! I thought I was dreaming. I had never felt such love from a church like this before. I had no idea that this connection would bring the deliverance and emotional healing I needed in my life.

I became friends with one of the women from my new church. I realized how true she was, and how much she really loved me. She would stop by and bring a snack or some food. Sometimes she would call and ask if I had eaten dinner. She let me know that she was on her way with my dinner or lunch. Sometimes she would call and we would talk for almost an hour. We became very good friends. We stick closer than brothers. When I think of her, she is thinking of me. She is more than precious to me!

I shared many things with my newfound sister in Christ. I began to tell her about this “friendship.” She called one time, and I was crying. She asked what wrong, and I bore my soul to her. She started telling what I should do. I knew she was right, but in my heart and mind I did not have the strength to tear away from this toxic relationship.

Then I wept many days in the solitude of my room. Alone with Jesus. Understanding that this was a thing between Jesus and me. You see I still loved this person. Yes. I had poured my very soul into this person. I lived for that person. Toxic relationship. I had to face reality. I had to really face myself. I had to face the fact that I needed to break away in every sense of the word. What would I do with all the time that would now be free? All that I had known was this person. Whom would I eat with? Who would I have coffee with? Who would I talk to? Who would I laugh with? Who would I do anything with? Who? Who? I was like a lost puppy… I realized for three years my entire life had been centered on this person…

I found liberty by realizing who I was in Jesus Christ, and great friend in Christ Jesus. After I asked for a meeting with the person, slowly I began to find myself. Of course, I was too nervous to meet them alone. I knew I could not meet them alone. They would have out talked me because they were so self-centered. I would not have been able to say one word. They would have commandeered the entire meeting. Therefore, there was a mediator in the meeting. My sister-friend in Christ agreed with me that I should make a list of what I wanted to say in the meeting.

Well the day of the meeting came. For me it did not completely go as planned. This person let me speak up to a point. They thought we should have been able to come together alone and speak. They thought because we were Christians, that we could have handled it in that manner. No way possible because I knew this person would take over the conversation and not hear a word I was saying. That was how they were in the meeting! I ended up being so upset and frustrated because this person started saying “wait a minute.” The individual started interrupting me. I folded my notes, and left the meeting room in tears. It was the only way to save myself from getting sick.

The outcome of the meeting was good for me. It was decided that we would still be friends. We would not be BFFs (Best Friends Forever). Besides that kind of relationship would no longer be possible because that person had become engaged. I needed and wanted to be separated from them. Another thing that I got tired of was how the individual spoke to me, and how rude they were to me. Now I did not have to deal with them. Whew! I could go on, but I think I will stop here.

How am I now? I am enjoying the freedom I have in being myself. I enjoy talking and being with different people each day. If I want to be alone and do things I want to do, I have the freedom to do it. I can watch what I want to watch. Thank you Jesus! That Christian girlfriend of mine is the best friend I have ever had in years! She does not smother me. She lets me be. We encourage and pray for one another. We call one another. She is seriously concerned about me. Can you believe it? She prays that I feel better. She prays that I sleep at night. She prays when I have to go to a doctor’s appointment. She just calls to say hi! Wow! She shares with me, and I share with her. A two-way relationship. Do you see what I see? Isn’t it wonderful? God sure did come up with a great idea when He wanted us to walk along side one another. To be real and true. To carry one another’s burdens. To weep with one another. To laugh with one another. Wow! You know what? It really does work.

 

Check out this verse:

Romans 12:15 (KJV)
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

 

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The Struggle Within and Without

stuck-at-a-dead-end

In the search for wanting to know whom they are, humanity seeks for guidance from anything.  In an attempt to fill this hole, authors make money off this desperate need. They give their steps or methods knowing that people will buy their books. They are right. People will see the title, and run to the book registers and pay the exorbitant price for the book. They will sit down and consume the ink on the printed page in hopes that they contain the answers they are searching for. The purchaser religiously follows the directions given in the expensive manuscript.  They become habitual in the desperate need to become what they think they should be. They need to know what they should be in this world, and the book they hold in their hand will give them the key. They will finally find the answer and they will be happy with themselves.  All will be right with the world. On the other hand, so they think. Many, unfortunately, will be severely disappointed. They will toss the book aside or in the trash. They will visit the bookstore or another bookstore. They will look for another book purchasing it, and start the process again. The journey will begin with the same result. The cycle will be endless. They will be like Israel. Israel was in the wilderness for forty years circling and never getting anywhere.  Man can never get anywhere with the guidance of another man.  That other man only knows just so much. In reality, they are in the same boat circling the same mountain.

Who or what book does have the answer? Simple. The Bible. What you say? Yeah. The Bible. Give me a break you say.  I am sorry my friend, but that is the truth. No. Wait a minute. I take that back. I am not sorry. You need to realize that the Bible contains the answers to life itself. How? God the Father has the answers to all things because He is all knowing. He knows the end from the beginning. He is the Alpha and the Omega.  Really. I kid you not. Please do not leave me now. Stay with me a little longer. Let me prove what I am saying. Hear me out before you leave me. Okay? Then you can say hogwash if you want. That is your choice. We all are free to make our own choice. I have made my choice. Just hear me out.

Okay. In order for you to understand where I am coming from, let me tell you my story. I hope that will help you understand what I am saying. As I grew up, I found that I never fit in anywhere. I was shy for one thing. Another I just did not like some things that others my age did. I did not talk and wear clothes they did. My mother did not dress me like they did. She did not raise me to say words like they did. Even if I thought of some of the words they said, I would be embarrassed.

I was a lonely young woman. I was living during the time when the afro was in style. I had long silky hair. In an attempt to fit in, I went out and bought a black afro wig. I would wear it in an attempt to fit in. I also bought altar tops that were in fashion at the time—an attempt to fit in. I felt uncomfortable wearing it. I did it in order to “fit in.” I also started wearing “Indian” makeup in order to make myself darker because I am more on the fair skin. People did not think I was black. They thought I was Puerto Rican. I strove very hard to be black in every sense of the word.

No.  I did not buy a book, per se to seek my identity. I took myself through all the above chances to fit into the world’s standards. Was I happy? No. I hated myself even more. I hated being a phony. Every day was a time of misery. I went to my doctor and feigned depression so I could get some pills. Then I would sit in my room with the door closed, take more than needed, and listen to a blues singer. She sang a song called “Good Morning Heartache. What’s New?” Yeah. That was my theme. Until I found that Jesus like me just the way I was, and I had identity in Him alone.

I am going to stop here. You see I found out that His love was real with no strings attached. I found out that He did not enslave me. His relationship with me had benefits instead of chains. His relationship broke chains of darkness and brought liberty I had never known. Oh yeah. I said I was going to stop. This time I mean it. See you soon.

Peace and blessings my friend!

 

Depression The Solution

The news did a report on Andrea Yates and her subsequent killing of her five children. America was shocked concerning this news report. One of the many questions that arose from the report was: “Did her family know the seriousness of her depression?” The public also asked “Did Andrea’s husband do enough to ensure his wife’s safety and the safety of their children?” When it went to trial, the proceedings revealed that Andrea had been hospitalized for severe depression several times. Two times she was released prematurely. Her husband, Rusty, had appealed to her last doctor. He stated that Andrea needed the medication that had proven successful in the past. Andrea was left alone with the children for one hour every day. During that one hour on June 20, 2001, Andrea drowned her children.

 

The question is: “Could this have been avoided?” “Could the family have taken steps to help Andrea move from despair to the light of hope?” If they knew of the coming danger, could they have more discerning stance about her?

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” Proverbs 1:5

 

Key Verse to Memorize

 

If you are experiencing depression, recall God’s heart. Repeat the following scripture to yourself each day…

“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

 

Key Passages to Read and Reread

 

We cannot choose what we inherit genetically. We can choose what we dwell on cognitively. Brain scans of those suffering with depression often show marked improvement when words of

 

-hope

-affirmation

-purpose

 

are continually reinforced. Life is a series of choices. An individual can choose today to put the Word of God into action. Note the following truths found in I Thessalonians 5:16-24:

 

-Be joyful always…Choose to write down and continue to focus on the positives in your life…v. 16

-Pray continually…Choose to talk to God about everything…v. 17

-Give thanks in all circumstances…Choose to thank God for what you are learning right now…v. 18

-Do not put out the Spirit’s fire…Choose to change when God’s Spirit convicts you to change…v. 19

-Do not treat prophecies with contempt…Choose to take God’s Word seriously…v. 20

-Choose to ask, “Is this right in God’s sight…v. 21

-Hold on to the good…Choose to do right, even when you are tempted to do wrong…v. 21

-Avoid every kind of evil…Choose to turn immediately from temptation…v. 22

-“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through…Choose to see how God has “set you apart” (sanctified you) to be what He intended you to be…v. 23

“May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless.” Choose to commit your whole being to doing what God created you to do…v. 23

“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”…Choose to rely on God’s power to do what you are called to do…v. 24

As I stated earlier, ask God for revelation concerning what is in your heart. Then you will know what to pray for. Note the following prayer:

 

“Oh, Father, I come to You as Your child for help. Calm my heart. Enable me to see what I need to see. Make me aware of my need for healing, and show me Your truth. Bring to my mind any hidden hurt in my heart and the exact circumstances that caused it. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.”

 

Spiritual Contributors of Depression

It has been discussed that there are physical, emotional, and mental reasons for depression. There are also spiritual reasons for a despairing heart. Disobedience and guilt provide enough fertile seed to turn any white cloud into a dark storm. A person cannot harbor the guilt of displeasing God and still experience the full joy of His salvation. A person also cannot withstand the schemes and attacks of the enemy against one’s mind without knowing and appropriating the Bible into one’s life. Disobedience and guilt are inseparable. Unless you apply the remedy of confession and repentance, (this means a change of mind and direction). In this respect, an individual may find depression sweeping over one’s soul and spirit. The individual suffers like the disobedient Israelites…

 

“You will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart.” Deut. 28:65

 

 

Emotional Contributors of Depression

In order to discuss the physical contributors to depression, it is necessary to give a working example of it. A woman named Andrea Yates had been suicidal and hospitalized. She was taken off her medications. They had been of help to her. Because of the wide hormonal changes in her body after delivery, that deficit contributed to her plunging head first into what is called postpartum psychosis (a break with reality).

 

Unfortunately, many mothers with this psychosis are consumed with thoughts of death to their babies and destruction of themselves. Note the scripture concerning this:

 

“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.” Psalm 18:4-5

There are six physical contributors to depression.

 

#1 Hormonal imbalance

The question arises as follows: “Can depression be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?” This frequently asked question is answered with an unquestionable yes! Hormonal changes during puberty, postpartum (after childbirth) and peri-menopause (around menopause) can lead to depression.

 

#2 Medications and drugs

Certain legal and illegal drugs can cause depression, such as analgesics, anti-depressants, steroids, contraceptives, and cardiac medications.

 

#3 Chronic illnesses

Medical problems such as a thyroid deficiency and even a bout with the flu can cause chemical imbalances in the brain, which, in turn can cause depression.

 

#4 Melancholy temperaments

Orderly, gifted, and creative, the person with a melancholy temperament can be moody, overly sensitive, and self-deprecating. Because of those with this temperament are analytical, critical, and hard to please, they can take everything too seriously or too personally, quickly become depressed over circumstances or the slightest imperfection in themselves or others.

 

#5 Improper food, rest, exercise

A deficiency in the physical basics of life can contribute to a chronic sense of fatigue, lack of energy, and social withdrawal.

 

#6 Genetic vulnerability

Based on statistical data, those with depressed family members are two times more vulnerable to depression than those with no family history of depression. Likewise, “50% of those with bipolar have at least one parent with the disorder.

 

“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

 

Question: “Why do twice as many women have depression as men?”

 

Women produce only one-half the amount of serotonin as men; however, estrogen in women multiples the amount of serotonin to equal the level in men. The challenge occurs at three specific times–prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle, after childbirth, and around menopause–when estrogen levels drop, sometimes severely. If a woman’s estrogen level is not sufficient to multiply serotonin, she experiences a depletion of serotonin, which can cause depression. This is one reason why many women receive Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and why other women consult their physicians in order to feel “whole” again. Jesus said,

 

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Matthew 9:12

 

Physical Contributors to Depression

In order to discuss the physical contributors to depression, it is necessary to give a working example of it. A woman named Andrea Yates had been suicidal and hospitalized. Eventually she was taken off her medications. They had been of help to her. Because of the wide hormonal changes in her body after delivery, that deficit contributed to her plunging head first into what is called postpartum psychosis (a break with reality).

Unfortunately, many mothers with this psychosis are consumed with thoughts of death to their babies and destruction of themselves. Note the scripture concerning this:

 

“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.” Psalm 18:4-5

 

There are six physical contributors to depression.

 

#1 Hormonal imbalance

The question arises as follows: “Can depression be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?” This frequently asked question is answered with an unquestionable yes! Hormonal changes during puberty, postpartum (after childbirth) and peri-menopause (around menopause) can lead to depression.

 

#2 Medications and drugs

Certain legal and illegal drugs can cause depression, such as analgesics, anti-depressants, steroids, contraceptives, and cardiac medications.

 

#3 Chronic illnesses

Medical problems such as a thyroid deficiency and even a bout with the flu can cause chemical imbalances in the brain, which, in turn can cause depression.

 

#4 Melancholy temperaments

Orderly, gifted, and creative, the person with a melancholy temperament can, at the same time, be moody, overly sensitive, and self-deprecating. Because of those with this temperament are analytical, critical, and hard to please, they can take everything too seriously or too personally, quickly become depressed over circumstances or the slightest imperfection in themselves or others.

 

#5 Improper food, rest, exercise

A deficiency in the physical basics of life can contribute to a chronic sense of fatigue, lack of energy, and social withdrawal.

 

#6 Genetic vulnerability

Based on statistical data, those with depressed family members are two times more vulnerable to depression than those with no family history of depression. Likewise, “50% of those with bipolar have at least one parent with the disorder.

“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

Question: “Why do twice as many women have depression as men?”

Women produce only one-half the amount of serotonin as men; however, estrogen in women multiples the amount of serotonin to equal the level in men. The challenge occurs at three specific times–prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle, after childbirth, and around menopause–when estrogen levels drop, sometimes severely. If a woman’s estrogen level is not sufficient to multiply serotonin, she experiences a depletion of serotonin, which can cause depression. This is one reason why many women receive Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and why other women consult their physicians in order to feel “whole” again. Jesus said,

 

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Matthew 9:12

 

Can Sin be One of the Sources of Depression

This question does not have a yes or no answer. Some believe it is always a yes. The more accurate answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.

 

1.                 Depression is not a result of sin when…your heart grieves over normal losses. The Bible says…“(There is) a time to weep…a time to mourn.” Ecclesiastes 3:4. Your body experiences natural deterioration due to the passing of years. Your body chemistry can change and be compromised. The Bible says,

 

“Outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

 

2. Depression can be a result of sin when…You are depressed over the consequences of your sinful actions, and you do not attempt to change. You do not take the necessary steps for healing (seeking biblical counseling, memorizing Scriptures, reading Christian materials, getting medical help when appropriate). You hold on to self-pity, anger, and bitterness when you have been wronged, instead of choosing to forgive.

 

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17

 

You use your depression to manipulate others. You continually choose to blame God and others for your unhappiness. You are depressed because you choose to let others control you instead of choosing to obey Christ and allow Him to be in control of you.

 

The Three Degrees of Depression

can occur when your body chemistry does not function properly. Some people experience both. During these heavy-hearted times when hope seems elusive, emotions feel flat and the heart feels sick. Solomon, the wise author of Proverbs explains it in this manner…

 

“Hope deferred makes the

heart sick, but a longing fulfilled

is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

 

The following four types described below are listed in diagnostic order. They show the increasing negative impact of depression.

 

1.                 Normal Depression…It is sometimes called Situational Depression or Reactive Depression. It is an involuntary sadness based on a reaction to painful life situations. Normal problems of life press down the heart for a short period of time (for example, rejection, failure, illness). Transitional stages of life often press down the heart (for example, adolescence, empty next, midlife crises, major moves, menopause, retirement. [American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text revision (Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association, 2000), 679.]

 

When severe troubles fell upon God’s servant Job (the death of all his children, the destruction of all his possessions), one of his friends observed Job’s understandable depression.

 

“Now trouble comes to you,

and you are discouraged; it

strikes you, and you are

dismayed.” Job 4:5

 

2.                 Masked Depression…It is hidden depression (for example, repressed memories of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse). It is a state of enduring sadness based on unresolved, buried conflict. Painful feelings are denied or covered up; therefore, recovery takes longer because of failure to work through the pain. Relief from such emotional pain is unconsciously found in excessive busynes, activities, addictions, or other alternatives.

The Bible describes how hidden hurts still result in heartache…

 

Even in laughter the heart

may ache, and joy may end in

grief.” Proverbs 14:13

 

3.                 Neurotic Depression…This is a minor mental and emotional Depressive Disorder classified as Adjustment Disorder with Depressive Mood. [DSM-IV TR, 679.] This means that the depression results from failure to adjust to a distressing situation. A person with neurosis has a disorder, meaning that normal activities of daily living are impaired. A person with any Depressive Disorder has “clinical depression”–the need for diagnosis and treatment based on direct, ongoing observation. It is a prolonged state of sadness lasting longer than the normal time frame expected for emotional recovery–based on “stressors” (for example, loss of an endeared relationship, a financial or work crisis, retirement). Symptoms interfere with normal work and social functioning. The cause can usually be traced to an identifiable, precipitating event.

 

The Psalms reflect the pain of prolonged sorrow…

 

“How long must I wrestle with

my thoughts and every day have

sorrow in my heart? How long

will my enemy triumph over

me?” Psalm 13:2

 

The World of Psychology

The earliest reference to what is meant by our word depression was the word melancholia, which literally means “black bile.” The assumption is that if the melancholy person had an excess of black bile, it would result in depression. In the second century AD, the physician Aretaeus referred to his melancholy patients as “sad, dismayed, sleepless… They become thin by their agitation and loss of refreshing sleep… At the more advanced state, they complain of a thousand futilities and desire death. [H. Norman Wright, Beating the Blues: Overcoming Depression and Stress (Ventura, CA: Regal, 1988), 9.]

 

Today melancholia is defined as “a mental condition characterized by extreme depression, bodily complaints, and often hallucinations and delusions.” [Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, s.v. “Melancholia.] For those suffering during this dark night of the soul, it could be said…

 

“For all of them, deep darkness is their morning; they make friends with the terrors of darkness.” Job 24:17

 

Depression is the psychological term pertaining to the mental, emotional, and behavioral characteristics of a depressed person. (Psychology is the study of the mind as it relates to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, focusing on why people think, feel, and act as they do.) [Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, s.v. “Psychology.” An example of this can be shown in the following manner. Those engulfed in the dark waves of depression feel desperately alone and often blame God for their plight.

 

“You have taken my companions and

loved ones from me; the darkness is

my closest friend.” Psalm 88:18

 

Depression is a psychological state in which the heart is pressed down and unable to experience joy. Those suffering with depression feel trapped underneath a dark, pervasion canopy of sadness, grief, guilt, and hopelessness.

 

“Darkness comes upon them in the daytime;

at noon they grope as in the night.”

Job 5:14

 

Depression is a psychological condition that affects the whole person: body (the physical, soul (the mind, will, and emotions), and spirit (the source of our deepest inner needs). Many who are depressed feel as though this verse describes them…

 

“All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.”

Ecclesiastes 5:17

 

Depression is an umbrella term that covers feelings ranging from discouragement to despair. [Stephen A. Grunlan and Daniel H. Lambrides, Healing Relationships: A Christian’s Manual for Lay Counseling (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1984), 121] No matter the degree of darkness, the Lord wants us to rely on Him to provide light.

 

You, O Lord, keep my lamp

burning; my God turns my darkness

into light” Psalm 18:28

 

Definition of Depression

Back on June 20, 2001, the entire nation was shocked by the actions of a mother who drowned her five children in their bathtub. The world asked the question: “what would make a mother kill her own children?” What would have caused her to commit such a heinous crime–on all five children? The answer is depression. In this case, it was psychotic depression. This major depression caused this mother to break with reality. [Archibald D. Hart, “The Psychopathology of Postpartum Disorders,” Christian Counseling Today 10, no. 4 (2002): 16-17]

 

Was there nobody who could have rescued this mother and her five children? The answer to this is yes. For this reason, we need to gain an in-depth understanding of depression. The Lord admonishes us all to…

 

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” Proverbs 24:11-12

 

The above verse calls our attention to the fact that we should care about our fellow individuals in every way possible. We should understand depression, which includes the following: its definitions, signs and symptoms and help needed. Although we cannot treat them professionally, we can help them through this situation with our prayers.

 

What is Depression?

 

Note the following example:

 

If you place a heavy iron on a heart-shaped pillow filled with foam rubber, the buoyant pillow will become pressed down–“de-pressed.” The next day, if you remove the iron, the pillow will pop back up to its original form. If you wait six months to remove the iron, the pillow will not pop back into shape. It will remain flat and depressed.

 

The same is true for the human heart. When “pressed down” due to normal pressure from normal situations, which is known as situational depression, it has the possibility of bouncing back. Your heart is designed by God to rebound once the pressure is removed. If you live under the weight of heavy pressure for long periods, your heart can enter into a state of depression. Realize Jesus cares about your heart and knows that you are especially vulnerable when you are heavy-hearted. Here is a word of caution from God.

 

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon your unawares.”

Luke 21:34 KJV

 

Dissipation, drunkenness. Anxieties of life

 

It literally means a condition of being “pressed down” to a lower position (as in a footprint). It can refer to a state of decline and reduced activity (as in an “economic depression.

 

It can describe an emotional heaviness that weighs down the heart. The apostle Paul used the Greek word bareo, which means, “pressed or weighed down,” to describe the immense emotional pressure and severe hardships that he and Timothy suffered at the hands of those who opposed Christ.

 

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9