Depression is a problem that cuts across all class of people. A lot of people have died as a result of depression. Some people have even committed suicide, as a result of depression. Depression is a very sad feeling that makes a person feel rejected and lonely. This feelings from time to time comes to everybody. But the deference is in the way we react to it.
Depression is a psychological problem. Depression without doubt is one of the problems we have in the society. Severe depression is one of the most common factor for suicide.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
The merriam-webster's dictionary defines depression as (1) : a state of feeling sad : DEJECTION (2) : a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies c (1) : a reduction in activity, amount, quality, or force (2) : a lowering of vitality or functional activity.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
1. Lack of desire and pleasure for things once enjoyed.
2. Feeling of total worthlessness
3. A feeling of unhappiness.
4. Sleeplessness (insomnia): Dificulty to combine an early night sleep and an early rise. Poor or excessive sleep.
5. Feeling of total hopelessness. You just feel that things are bad and there is nothing you can do about it. And that it will never get better.
6. Fatigue: Absence of physical strenght. You are unable to even complete the smallest task or duty.
7. Self-withdrawal from normal life activity.
8. Lose of appitite or over eating.
9. Feelling of inferiority complex or self-reproach
10. Change in bowel habits.
HOW NOT TO REACT TO DEPRESSION
1. COMMITING SUICIDE: Most times when people are depressed,the thing the devil whispers to their ears is "It's no use living.The best thing to do is to commit suicide". He will tell you to just die and leave the world. There is no hope and that your situation will never get better. Especially when you have a prolonged depression.That is a lie of the devil! Suicide is never and will never be the best option.There is always a way out.
2. VIOLENCE: Violence is never a good way to react to depression. Some people think that they can have some relief, when they act violently. This will rather leave you more depressed than you ever were.
3. SEXUAL IMMORALITY: Some people that think that endulging in sexual immorality can relief them of depression. I had a friend several years ago,because he was feeling lonely and depressed, he decide to look for a lady to sleep with.He went out to he road and suceeded in bringing a prostitute home but after sleeping with here, he felt worse and guilty. So he gave her the amount of money they agreed on, and drove her away that same night.
4. ALCOHOLISM: Some other people try to take solace in alcohol when depressed. They believe that they will find some kind of happiness by drinking themself to stupor. This kind of happiness is artificial. It dose not last a long time. Very soon the person will come out of his drunken state worse than ever.
5. DRUG ADDICTION AND SMOKING: Some people try to take solace in smoking or doing drugs. They think that by so doing they will find some kind of happiness. This kind of happines is pseudo. It does not last. That is why such people rely heavily on them from time to time. It is only Jesus that can give true and lasting joy and happiness.
6. KEEPING IT TO YOUR SELF: One of the worst ways of reacting to depression is to be self withdrawn and keeping it to yourself.This is because when you try to keep it to yourself,you feel more depressed,rejected and angry.Whatever must have been the root cause of your depression,starts eating you up gradually.
7. CULT AND OCCULTISM: Joining a cult or practicing occultism, will rather destroy you instead of bringing you joy and happiness. No matter who must have hurt you or caused you so much pain, joining a cult to revenge or practicing occultism is never the best option. They will leave you in worse conditions.You will end up being more depressed than ever.
8. PORNOGRAPHY: Some young people turn to pornography in search of happiness and excitement when they are depressed. Expecially when they've been jilted by someone they love.But I tell you, that will also lead to more depression and guilt if you are a child of God.
9. HAVING BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT: On some instances, people become bitter towards those who might have made them feel depressed. But being bitter and resentful towards people will also leave you worse.So don't react that way when you are depressed.
10. MASTURBATION: Some people try to get into masturbation whenver they are deprssed. This too is not a better option. Because the result will be guilt and deeper depression.
HOW TO DEAL WITH DEPRESSION
1. Find out the root cause of your depression. Try to find out why you are feeling depressed. This is because you can't solve a problem that you've not diagonized the root cause.This is the first step in dealing with depression.
2. Talking to others and pouring out your heart is one of the best ways to cope with depression.Talk to somebody you can trust.It is said that a problem shared is half solved.Tryiny to keep it to yourself will rather worsen your condition.So try and share with somebody whatever is making you feel depressed.
3. Doing things for others, other than yourself will go a long way to remedy the situation.A young man some time ago lost his job, his visa expired and so many negative things were happenning in his life at the same time. He became so depressed that he even thought that he might soon go crazy, but he decided to go and work in an Non-Governmental Organization (N.G.O.), just to get busy since he had no job. After one month of working with the N.G.O., the depression left him. He later got a job, cleared his pappers and became very happy again. So doing things for other people can bring healing to somebody who is depressed.
4. LAUGHTER: Healthy and spontaneous laughter is incompatible with epression. Find places and people who can help you be in a good mood. Whenever you have the opportunity to laugh, please do it. Laughter is therapetic, it is medicinal. It can bring healing to a wounded and broken heart. Laughter releases and eases tension. "PLEASE HELP YOURSELF BY LAUGHING FROM TIME TO TIME". Don't go about looking so depressed and frowning your face, it will not help you. It will rather worsen your case.
5. EXERCISE: This is one things we hardly find time to do. Especially, those of us in Africa. Exercising yourself from time to time will help relieve you of depression. So try and creat time for exercise. It has been proven to be a way of relief to depression.
6. DEVELOPING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Developing a positive attitude is also one of the ways of dealing with depression. Don't think negatively of yourself. You are the product of your mind. The bible says "AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART,SO HE IS". Develope a positve attitude towards yourself.
7. MEDICAL CHECK UP: A medical check up might be necessary since some cases of depression are symptoms of physical illnesses. Most medical experts advice that victims of major depression should recieve professional help because of the danger of suicide. E.g. There may be a need for medication that can only be despense by a medical professional.
8. GOAL SETTING: Set realistic and attainable goals for yourself. This is because the setting of unrealistic goals by so many have made their goals unattainable and also left them depressed. This have eventually resulted to depression and suicide. When you set realistic goals it is obvious that you can achieve those goals. An achieved goal brings joy and fulfillness to a person. This also drive away depression.
9. ACCEPT DISAPPOINTMENTS AND FAILURES AS PART OF LIFE: Accept the fact that disappointment and failure is a part of life. Some people find it very difficult to accept disappointments and failures, this usually result to prolong depression which eventually become a clinical depression and even bring about a psychological problem. Disappointments and failures are part of life experience, you must have to accept this fact and move ahead with your life. Disappointment and failur is not the end of life. There are better things and better days ahead of you.So stop living in your yesterdays experience, its not worth it. Move on with your life.
10. AWAYS ENCOURAGE YOURSELF: Always encourage yourself in the LORD. In 1 Samuel 30:6 the bible records that David encouraged himself in the LORD.When you have nobody to talk to , talk to yourself. Preach to yourself. Tell yourself what God says about you. Tell yourself that you can make it. Tell yourself that you are a victor and not a victim.Asure yourself of God's promises that cannot fail. Tell yourself that you are more than a conqueror.Thats what you are. Encourage yourself!Speak to yourself! Preach to yourself!
11. LOVE YOURSELF: Loving yourself and loving the way you look is very important. Some people feel depressed because they don't love themselves or the way they look.If there is anything you can do to improve your look, there is nothing wrong about it. But for you to grieve over how you look is not necessary. Psalm 139:14 says "I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made". Stop try to look, talk, walk, and act like someone else. Be different! You are unique! You've been perfectly design by God. You are God's master piece. Celebrate yourself!
12. EAT SOME THING YOU LOVE: Eating something you love and also eating a balance meal can be of great help. This is because there are some kind of food that leave people feeling depressed after it has been eaten.
13. ENGAGE YOURSELF IN MEANINGFUL ACTIVITIES: Don't be idle. "An idle mind," they say,"Is the devils workshop". Doing good things can help build up your self-esteem.Getting involve in recreational activities with others such as sporting activities can be an antidote for depression.
14.PRAYER: Whenever you are depressed, you can pray to God to deal with whatever that is causing you to feel depressed. If you are a born-again child of God and you are filled with the Holy Spirit, this is the time to pray in tongues, untill you are able to pray though.
15. READING AND MEDITATING UPON GOD'S WORD: The word of God is so powerful that it can bring relief to someone who is depressed. When you read the bible and meditate on it, there are promises in the bible that can bring hope and encouragement to your heart.
16. ADOPT AN ATTITUDE OF HOPE: Hope is an important factor in living a happy life. The absence of hope in someones life, produces a risk of depression. Having a hopeful attitude helps you in overcoming life challenges. It helps you break through barriers and scale through walls that looks gigantic. A hopeful person is never defeated. He or she keeps bouncing back, believing that no matter what happens, there is still hope.
17. DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY: A lot of time, we worry too often over every little thing that happens to us or around us. Without doubt, worry is one of the agents of depression. I've discovered that worrying over issues of life does not change the situation. It rather leaves us more depressed and shattered.
18. INTERACTING WITH OTHERS: Interacting with other people will help you shift focus from yourself to others. Interacting with others by taking part in church activities such as evangelism, prayer meetings,singing in the choir,etc.can bring relief to a person who is depressed.
19. LEARN TO RELAX YOUR BODY: Learn to relax yourself from time time. Stressful situations lead to stress, and stress no doubt is an agent of depression.Take some time off to relax yourself;it is very important. You can relax yourself by going for picnics, going to a quite environment to spend some time looking and appreciating nature, listening to good music,inspirational and motivational tapes and Cd's.
20.ASK JESUS INTO YOUR LIFE: If you are not yet born again, I think this is the first step you need to take. This is because Jesus can take care of everything that is causing you depression. So ask him to come into your life now.I believe that if you give your life to Him,He can take care of you.
In conclusion, I want to say that God understands everything we go through in life. And He cares about us. The bible says, He will not suffer the righteous to be moved. God has not forgotten about you, neither has he forsaken you. In fact, He promise to be with us always. In Isaiah 42 He gives us an assurance that when we pass through the waters, He will be with us and when we pasS through the fire, it will not destroy us. God is able to give us victory over life challenges and over every depressive situation.
My prayer for you is that God's best should happen to you. It is not yet over. As long as there is life,there is hope.