The experience of depression has been referred to as a heavy darkness. Others have described it as falling overboard in a rough ocean and struggling to keep your head above water while treading without a lifejacket. In Jeff Olson’s “When Hope Is Lost”, he quotes Charles Spurgeon as likening depression to “the horror of a soul forsaken by God”. It is a hellish experience when people give up on life or feel that life has given up on them.
The Signs of Depression
- I feel consistently sad or numb nearly every day
- I have little or no interest in activities that I used find enjoyable
- I’m having difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- I’ve lost my appetite
- I’m eating too much nearly every day
- I feel tired most of the time
- I find it difficult to concentrate or stay focused
- My interest in marital intimacy has lessened
- I feel overwhelmed by the burdens of life
- I don’t hold out much hope that my life will improve in the future
- I shift from feeling powerless and unworthy to feeling angry and victimized
- I think about death or killing myself
- I am involved in an unhealthy behavior that I can’t stop
Depression rarely comes out of nowhere. Although depressed people may feel utterly confused about their plight, there are multiple factors at work, both in their control and out of their control. These factors usually fall into one of three areas: physical factors (disease, diet, exercise and genetics, outside influences (family background, past abuse, loss and unfairness), deferred hope.
The process of recovery may include recovering hope by facing despair, acknowledging the pain of loss and admitting the failure of misplaced hopes. Many facing depression find help in strengthening their faith and relationship with God, while recovering joy by giving to others.
Don’t Face it alone
My suggestion to you if you are facing moderate to severe depression is to not face it alone, even though you may feel like doing so. Eat wisely and exercise regularly. Also it may be helpful to seek professional help and keep a journal of your journey through the dark abyss called depression.
Please feel free to seek additional professional help by contacting me at familycccp.org