TIPS ON DEALING WITH DEPRESSION IN BIBLICAL APPROACH
By Dr. John B.
Depression is often referred to as the common cold or flu on one’s mental illness.
One source estimates that depression disease disrupts the lives of 30 to 40 million people in the United States. According to depression statistics, these numbers are growing significantly every year.
Garry Collins in Christian Counseling for depression: A Comprehensive Guide mentions the existence of seven types of major causes of depression and a six-way approach to deal with it.
Each kind has several ways of handling. In addition, people often use the word “depression” to cover a disappointment, ranging from the consequences of defeat in a baseball game up to cases that can trigger suicide.
The Bible does not use the word “depression” even to people we can say they experience it. The Bible also does not mention any cures for depression.
However, I can recommend some basic ways to deal with, namely:
- Point and fix the cause of your depression and not on symptoms. Scriptures point out much about sin or conflict that can affect your emotions; most spiritual counselors agree that depression can arise from other causes. Do not concentrate only on the depression itself, but try to check what problems in your life that need attention.
- Realize that you can not live only on your emotions. Basic life of Christianity is truth and not feelings. Philippians 4:1 commands us to rejoice (though we like it or not the situation we’re dealing with). James 1:2 says, “Consider it all joy when ye fall into various trials”. Note that James does not say to us to rejoice, but he says to us to count, choose to think about the facts that we experience as the difficulties in which we can experience joy.
- Faith. Choosing to believe in the truth rather than feelings. You probably will need a great faith. And if this is what we mean by asking for the gift of faith to deal with depression, so maybe this will work in some cases. More faith in what God says rather than how we feel is a realistic approach in life.
- Paying Attention to the Advice of the Lord. But many people who talk about faith and just have a small hope that God will help them. This is too vague as a concept that we can trust. Many people who say they have faith in God, but they disregard God’s principle for healthy living. If we believe in the word of God, then we also must be ready to bear the consequences – so if we use our faith. Is it right if we use anti-depressant drugs? Or simply by faith alone we can solve the problem?
- Chemicals imbalance in the body. Some cases of depression can be caused by chemical imbalance in the body. In these cases antidepressants are the answer. God allows mankind to learn medicine and medical equipment, even He also used medical equipment to heal. There are also several cases of severe depression requiring intensive care for a short time. I do not see any prohibition in the Bible that prohibits this.
- Problems that can not be resolved. The root cause of the problem. Anyhow, every treatment should be handled with great care. Virtually every drug will have the side effects. Drugs will cause you to temporarily forget about the problem. Some people even use anti-stress drugs to avoid their problems. It is apparently a shortcut. In principle something like this should not be done, unless the person is able to undergo other remedies and therapy or act in safe manner.
Depression covers an area of complex and serious problems therefore depression deserves the attention of pastors and counselors.