When Christians Get Depressed

When Christians get depressed, there are reasons unique to being Christian, and reasons in common with everyone.  I’ll include eight reasons here.  These are non-medical things and assume one has first been checked out for physical causes of the depression.

1.  Anyone, Christian or otherwise is not thinking clearly when depressed.  Things in life, both good and bad tend to be out of proportion to their actual importance.  Many things, both good and bad are forgotten.  The negative tends to be exaggerated and the positive is downplayed.  A sensitive listener who can interject the positive can help.

2.  Christians who are depressed aren’t on speaking terms with the Lord.  They may be angry with Him, or have the perception that their prayers aren’t being heard.  Faith at this time is very weak and fragile.  Lengthy time in the scriptures, especially the psalms can help.

3.  Christians who are depressed aren’t remembering what God has done.  A simple list of blessings is difficult to compose.  With assistance from a friend in making one, a list may help a depressed person gain some perspective.

4.  All depressed people tend to be separated from nurturing relationships.  The isolation is usually self-imposed, and sometimes difficult to penetrate.  A good friend or two who “keeps knocking” can help.

5.  Depression is often the aftermath of great victory.  It seems the huge expenditure of energy needed to achieve the victory leaves one with a let down.  Reminders that this is normal and will pass, as well as a time of rest can help.

6.  Physical and emotional exhaustion are often components of depression for all people.  Whether the exhaustion is the result of fighting a battle and achieving victory, or fighting anything over time, rest is often a necessary part of recovery.  Depression used to be called “nervous exhaustion” in lay terms, and still is quite descriptive in many cases.  Again, physical, mental and emotional rest help.

7.  Self pity is also part of depression for all sorts of people.  Seeing only the negatives in one’s situation and feeling “life is unfair” are strong contributors to depression.  A good listener who can interject some balance can help.

8.  Comparing oneself unfavorably to others is also a big part of depression, with guilt and a “why try” attitude riding along.   One has to simply give up the bad habit of comparing.  No two people or their situations are alike, and no human is qualified to judge others or even oneself. 

All of us get off track, even Christians, and it takes the time of patient friends as well as time with God in prayer and scripture to regain perspective.  This of course, assumes one has already been checked out medically for something physical or chemical which must be fixed first before the rest will work.

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