I am not sure if I have ever blogged on the subject of depression, but it is a very real emotional state that many people face. I am not sure if you’ve ever heard it said that “suicide increases over the holidays” but that is actually not true! The opposite is actually true … “Suicide rates DECREASE over the holidays”. Why?
- People gathering together with friends and family.
- Christmas celebrations evoke a sense of hopefulness and a renewed outlook on life.
- Community awareness of reaching out and loving and caring for hurting people.
I’ve personally never been “depressed”, but I have been tempted to allow feelings of depression to creep in and take over my life… I think most everyone has faced “opportunities” to be depressed.
I have not read anything recently on depression so what I am going to say next is just from my gut … so I hope it can help you (if you are facing feelings of depression) or equip you to help someone you may know facing depression.
I realize there is medical and chemical side to depression that I am not knowledgeable of … though can I say that “food” is a chemical, so I would encourage anyone facing depression to eat healthy. (Like cut out all sugar, junk food and fast food … drink water only and eat lots of veggies!)
I do want to address depression from a spiritual perspective; depression is a feeling, or various feelings of (i.e. loneliness, failure, sadness, pessimism, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss, pain, etc.) and when we give into those feelings (allow them to dictate to us what we will and will not do) we further perpetuate the “feelings” of depression.
This is why I’ve encouraged those who are depressed to get out and do the things they WANT to do but the depression won’t let them do. Many times when someone is depressed they engage in activities that only feed their emotional state of depression, when what they should do is what would feed a positive mental state.
For example when someone is depressed they remove themselves from friends and family, they sleep a lot, watch TV a lot (that in itself is depressing to me!) they don’t get out, and sometimes they don’t clean themselves up … wearing sloppy clothes, and not wearing makeup, etc. Again, these are all things that further FEED the mental state that they want to beat.
*please understand that my heart goes out to those who are facing depression ... I have family members who are facing depression issues ... so I pray you, or those you know facing depression find the answers to make them alive again! I of course believe the answer is found in Christ ... a long with practical (and sometimes medical) things as well.
Feelings follow action … more on that in Depression pt 2