Clinical Depression – a state of depression that has become so severe that normal life functions, like work, relationships, study, even personal hygiene, have been affected.
Depression might be called a disease of the moods or emotions. It sneaks up on its victims very gradually. It is devious.
Symptoms or Characteristics of Depression include:
A complete inability to imagine what it was like to be “normal”
Persistent sadness, an “empty” mood
Feelings of hopelessness
Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
Fatigue – everything is too much trouble
Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Appetite or weight issues (weight loss or overeating)
Thoughts of death
Persistent physical problems
Sensation of utter despair
Withdrawn – “aloneness”
Causes of Depression include:
Existence – “Stuff” happens
Early Childhood Traumas – Abuse
Most people feel depressed after a great loss (like that of a child.) When this leads to a pattern of negative thinking, then we can arrive at clinical depression.
Turning Depression Around:
Being sad, crying and feeling depressed is part of the grieving process. But falling into the pit of depression and STAYING there is not. Depression can happen in the grieving process, but the key is to get yourself out of that “pit” as quickly as you can. At some point after a loss, most of us had the thought cross our mind that it would be less painful if we could just go with our babies to heaven. The thought might have crossed our minds, but usually we move on from it. God has a plan for us here on this earth, and we need to grab His hand and hold on for dear life until we can stand on our own two feet again.
Here are some ways to turn depression around:
– Coddling depression — Coddle, care and nurture ourselves.
Choose to focus on something that makes us feel better (music, massage, exercise).
– Feeding depression — Feed ourselves positive self thoughts.
Choose to move forward and put something beside our problems at the center of our day. Avoid stressful/ negative situations & people.
– Allowing depression to become habitual — Alter your actions & activities.
Choose to take actions that form healthy habits, like exercise.
– Self-pitying — Have self-respect.
Choose to think positively about and pamper ourselves.
– Attending to depression — Attend to life.
Choose to get back to “living” one step at a time. Turn to God for help & support.
As you can see, it’s a choice. It’s an active process of choosing to counteract depression. And, you can do it with God’s help. Someone said to me once, “Depression is having a routine that keeps you trapped.” Don’t stay trapped!
Below is my “I CHOOSE TO” Covenant with myself:
I promise to take steps to help myself either steer clear of the depression pit or get out of the pit if I have slipped in.
I CHOOSE to focus on the following things that make me feel good:
I CHOOSE to avoid the following situations or people who stress me out:
I CHOOSE to start doing the following things that make me feel healthy:
I CHOOSE to think about the following things that are positive in my life:
I CHOOSE to take time every day to have a quiet time with God to:
A Christian counselor I knew said it this way, “Rest in the wings of the Most High above the waves of depression.” And, she drew this picture with the wings looking like the sea gull wings we drew as kids, and the waves looking like ocean waves.