Depression

Severity of the problem

Britain consumes more antidepressants than antibiotics.

Nearly three million people or 5% of the population in Britain is diagnosed as suffering from some form of depression.

Symptoms of depression

All these things happen to us at various points in our life but a combination of them occurring together is an indication of depression.

Lack of interest in anything

The things you are normally interested in are suddenly of no interest to you.

Lethargy

A depressed person is always feeling tired.

Feeling of emptiness

The person feels that life is not worth living.

Self-pity

Nobody in the world cares for me.

Inability to concentrate or make decisions
Irritability
Changes in weight
Excessive and inappropriate guilt

What depression is not
Ordinary unhappiness

We may become unhappy due to our circumstances but this may not be depression unless many of the symptoms of depression exist.

Mourning

Temporary mourning over the loss of a loved one is natural. It is not depression unless it is protracted and does not make any progress.

Appropriate sense of guilt

Sin can cause us to lose joy and enter into a depressed state. An example could be found in the life of King David.

This is not depression but merely the work of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and turn us to the right path.

Causes of depression and their cure
Physical sickness

Such as anemia or malfunction thyroid gland

Getting an examination from the physician may be the first step

Unrealistic expectations of ourselves

People who set unrealistic targets for themselves often get depressed when they can’t meet such targets.

Overemphasize size of issue

Some people make mountains out of molehills and get upset for every small thing.

Pessimism

If you think of the worst possible outcome in every situation, you will naturally get depressed. We often find that our greatest fears don’t come through but we suffered nonetheless because we have assumed that scenario and got depressed because of it.

Demonic

General tips in helping someone in depression
Do not ignore suicidal comments
Recognize that a person in depression is not in the state to help himself
A depressed mind does not respond readily to reason or scriptural exhortation
Encourage the person to talk about his problems

(1 Ki 19:9-10 NIV)  There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" {10} He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."

No matter how distorted a person’s view is of his problems, it helps to talk about it to someone. This gets a load of his chest.

Some people think that it is better to let “sleeping dogs lie” and not to remind the depressed person of the trauma. However, problems do not disappear simply because you don’t bring it up. It surfaces in one form or another, sometimes subconsciously.

Encourage the person to be honest to God in prayer

When you read the Psalms you will discover that the writers were transparently honest to God about their feelings. They accused Him of forgetting them (Psalms 13 and 42), deserting them (Psalms 22), rejecting them (Psalms 44, 60 and 74) and ignoring them (Psalms 28 and 55). Clearly, they had no qualms about pouring out their true feelings to God.

It’s better to dump all your depression and despair on God than not to pray at all. He knows how you feel anyway, so you’re not fooling Him by not praying honestly.

Use Music

King Saul found music to be a helpful way to calm a depressed mind. Every time he gets depressed he would have David play the harp for him. (Sam 16:14-23)

Rest and nourishment

Retreat to a quiet place

When Elijah plummeted to the depths of depression after the enormously stressful encounter with the prophets of Baal, he fled alone to the desert (1 Kings 19:3-4) and found healing there.

God’s recovery plan for Elijah was simple. He sends an angel to give him a meal and lets him have some rest.

Many cases of depression are the result of sheer fatigue and lack of nourishment. Even if that is not the cause, those two things can greatly help in the recovery process.

Get support to help you to cope

(1 Ki 19:15-16 NIV)  The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. {16} Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.

God had support for Elijah to help him to cope with the job.