7 Tips to Help Manage Depression
he last few weeks, the subject of depression keeps coming up. I know a thing or two about that, having struggled myself. If you're depressed, I want you to know:
1) You're not alone.
An NIH study estimates 17.3 million US adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2017. We live in a fallen world. It's stressful. Our bodies & minds suffer for it.
2) Being depressed is NOT a sign of weakness.
It's a sign of being human! There are many causes of depression. Your body chemistry might simply be out of whack. Our hormones do all sorts of things, and stress can really do a number on them. Depression can also be situational. Of course, it may be a combination of these.
3) You can be a Christian & be depressed.
Depression isn’t due to a lack of faith. Some mistakenly believe being a Christian means having an easy life. The Bible doesn't promise an easy life. It promises God is with us in the struggle:
☑️ David was troubled & despaired.
☑️ Job suffered & wished he’d never been born.
☑️ Jeremiah struggled so much he’s known as the “weeping prophet.”
4) Getting support is critical!
I don’t know where I’d be without my support system! I went to a counselor & prayer ministry to deal with childhood pain. I relied heavily on family & friends. It was a relief to let people in & they were glad to help.
5) Give yourself permission to wallow in it a little -- then set aside and go about your day.
Acknowledging the pain helps. But dwelling on your feelings doesn’t make things better. Set a timer to limit it if you need to.
Cope with your pain in ways that soothe you. I prayed, read, walked my dog & talked with loved ones.*
6) Don’t be afraid to take anti-depressants, if recommended.
Ignore the stigma. If you believe meds might help, try them.
I resisted for a long time. Ate healthier. Exercised more. Etc. But it was all I could do to get out of bed. I wept. I fought the urge to crawl under my desk at work. (I kid you not.)
So, when I was in my 30s, I began taking antidepressants. I felt better! Know that meds don’t make everything rosy. I have highs & lows, but the lows aren’t as low.
7) Focus on what’s true.
In my depression, I feared I’d always feel that way. My Mom & sister reminded me it WOULD get better. They stood for me & believed when I couldn’t.
Reading scripture aloud brought me a lot of comfort. I wrote verses on note cards & read them at least 3 times a day.
A few favorites: Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 58:11, 2 Timothy 1:7, John 14:27, Philippians 4:19.
Friend, if you’re struggling, know that God has good plans for you!
*For more information about coping with depression, click here: