Five Simple Truths About Fighting Depression

jesuspaidtheprice asked a question:

What would you do to overcome depression?

Hey dear friend, thank you for your honesty in asking. I was actually struck with a heavy episode this week. While there’s no easy formula to just “overcome” depression, here are a few firsthand thoughts. Please know that this isn’t a comprehensive list that will cover every angle, and if you need help, please seek it immediately, anywhere that you can.

1) Depression is not your fault. It’s not because of a “lack of faith” or unconfessed sin or unclaimed promises. Most cases of depression have no rules or rhyme or reason. We can’t just choose our way out or recite some magic incantation.

2) Define depression. There’s a huge difference between self-pity and clinically diagnosed depression. It’s completely unfair when someone uses “depression” as a mantle of pride, as if it’s a trend or an outfit. At the same time, it’s just as unfair to dismiss someone’s depression as a “phase” or a first world problem.

3) Do everything. I really mean this. If you need help, go find help. Be willing to seek help, no matter the cost. There are counselors and social workers and certified Christian psychologists who will charge very little, or even work for free. Your health insurance can obtain medicine. Ask a trusted friend to be available. Hang out in groups. Attend social functions. Get the hamburger and the nice shoes. Grab ice cream. Serve at the shelter. Make a schedule. Talk with your pastor. Find someone, anyone, to talk it out. Keep trying.

4) Watch your intake. If you’re listening to sad songs, reblogging dark stuff, and reading Greek tragedies over and over: please back away. I know there are different opinions about triggers and environmental stimuli, but when we strip away all the back-and-forth debating: it’s just smarter to avoid certain media for a while. It might not harm you, but it won’t help you.

5) Dear Christian: Preach to yourself. The Bible tells us multiple times to “recall” the truth to ourselves (Psalm 42, Lamentations 3, Isaiah 44, 2 Peter 1). It’s because we’re forgetters. God knows this about us and He understands it. In the heat of the moment or during a long season of pain, we enter a fog that dims the ultimate truth of our beloved status in Him.

Even if it’s by a tiny shred of next-to-nothing faith, we can still recall, I am loved. It feels impossible, and even cheesy. But it’s often just enough to get you through the next minute, the next hour, the next day. At the very bottom of ourselves, when there’s no tangible help and no one else – we must be reminded of what we are. I am loved. As difficult as it is, it’s no less true, and such truth can carry you through. You are so very loved, and His love is wholly complete.

– J.S.

One thought on “Five Simple Truths About Fighting Depression

  1. Love this post! Thank you for sharing! I have been noticing a lot of problems in the Christian world with depression. A lot of people believe depression can only be helped by God, and it is so refreshing to hear a Christian say “get help!”. A lot of Christians are scared to get help because people might think they are not “spiritually strong”. Christians need to hear that it is okay to ask for help, God gave us others for a reason. Again, thank you for sharing 🙂


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