A question we may ask ourselves, “Am I Depressed?”
Depression has been explained in many different ways. It can be like wearing a dark pair of sunglasses that negatively affects our experiences. It creates a perception of the world as dark and sad,void of joy and happiness.
Depression can make us feel as if we are living in a box that has a foot of space to spare, making breathing and living life very difficult.
Nearly everyone has experienced some form of depression in their lives, and many individuals face depression on a regular or constant basis.For these, the consequences can be debilitating.
Each of us at some time will either experience the effects of depression or will be involved in a personal relationship with someone who is experiencing it.
What Is Depression?
Depression is more than just normal sadness that you may experience from time to time. It is a mental state that can also be manifested into physical symptoms.
It is defined as: A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.
Depression can be even more severe and an adequate definition would be severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. This second form is often called clinical depression that many feel is triggered by hormonal imbalance, brain dysfunction or other medical conditions. Individuals who suffer from clinical depression need the help of specially trained medical doctors and Christian counselors.
Signs of Depression
If you find yourself in an extended period of sadness or depression, you may recognize a few of these signs:
Difficulty making decisions
Sleeplessness or oversleeping
Lack of motivation
Resentment of others
Not eating or overeating
Distrust of God
Not a great list to live life by, I encourage you to recognize the signs of depression early so you can take steps before you reach a place that you start considering suicide.
Do you believe God created you? If you answered yes, you may then think if you are facing depression something must be dramatically wrong. First let me say, there are many Christians, people in the Bible and non Christians who deal with depression; it touches all walks-of-life. Faithful people are not immune from depression.
Being depressed does not mean God is mad at you, or it is due to a lack of faith, or from sin or Satan. It also does not mean that you are not saved, or do not love God, or the thousand other statements people will make. Please put all of that to rest. There is enough stigma on anyone who has depression, they do not need a greater burden, they need their burden lifted.
Don’t Be Surprised
We often think that painful trials, such as being depressed, should not be part of our life and if they are, there is something drastically wrong. Yet, this verse can be very freeing because God is telling us not to be surprised, nor is it unusual if we are experiencing suffering, or pain in our life.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
1 Peter 4:12 NIV
The fear of intimacy is the fear of being emotionally and physically close to another individual. It causes them to feel vulnerable and to face the possibility of being hurt or even abandoned by the other. They face a fear of rejection, it may not be realistic but in their mind it is very true. The other partner (the one without the fear of intimacy) more than likely has never given their partner a reason to fear intimacy. Their emotional and physical fears often stem from a prior relationship or childhood.
When the fear of rejection becomes too great they will often abandon the relationship or cause it to dissolve. That may not make sense but from the one fearing intimacy reality is not of top concern. They are attempting to protect their fragile emotions and will often do so at any cost. They end up creating the very thing they wanted to protect against. Both sides get hurt but the one who fears intimacy feels if they had not abandoned the relationship their hurt would have been much deeper and they would have been more vulnerable. The other partner is left dazed and confused attempting to figure out what went wrong.
It has been reported that women face this issue more often and that many are facing some degree of depression. At a deeper emotional level there may also be some form of poor self-image and a lack of feeling attractive and desirable. Remember it is often times not based on reality but it is based on their emotions. To them it is real and it is there reality. The causes can be very deep.
Often times the fear of intimacy may develop from childhood trauma. It could be a father who fails to show love to his little girl. He himself may lack the ability to have an intimate relationship with his daughter thereby setting up a lifetime of hurt and vulnerability for her. It may be a dad who abandoned the family causing his daughter to not trust the men in her life and leading to emotional and even physical fear of intimacy. From that day forward it will affect every man that comes into her life. Furthermore, it will devoid her of what she wanted most, an intimate relationship. Because of the distrust, that intimacy can not and will not happen. Thereby setting up a life of disappointment, a life of blaming every man in her life for causing her to hurt and not trust them. It is sad, a little girl who only wants to be loved and guaranteed it will not hurt.
Is God The Answer?
We have a complimentary gift for you, “God’s Answer?” A twenty-nine page essay downloadable in minutes that will show you how to live life through a power that will radically transform you. First you will learn how to surrender and live a life of intimacy beyond your wildest expectations.
You have hurt long enough, it is time to let God do His transformation in your life. Your life surrendered to Him will lead to a lifetime of intimacy, no more false hopes no more impact of a dad who failed you. Your Heavenly Father is waiting.
Some people think of forgiveness as hard work or difficult. Actually it is much easier than you may imagine. There is also a sweetness to forgiving that arrives once we have surrendered our life to God. The act of forgiveness releases the burdens of our heart to a greater power, freeing us to have a heart of joy and peace.
I read the other day that God does not forget our sins once we ask for forgiveness. That is contrary to what His word says.
For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
For us, there is a difference between forgiving ourselves and forgetting the wrong we did. God is able to remove your sin from His mind; we do not have the same ability as our Heavenly Father. The sin we committed may linger in our mind and there may very well be consequences from our acts of disobedience. Yet God tells us we are forgiven and our sins are as far as east is from west.
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Does it have anything to do with the severity of our actions? No, God does not put some kid of qualifier such as, this sin or that sin requires something extra because of the severity of the sin.
Can you live the life God intended for you if you do not forgive yourself? How many times will you beat yourself up or let your heart be burdened with the sin in your life. When God’s word tells us to confess a
Is forgiving ourselves really easy? Yes, it is if you realize the difficult work was borne by Jesus at the cross. It would not be accurate to say forgiveness came at a small price. I get to forgive, and forgive freely, because Jesus died on the cross. He suffered a horrible death and for 6 hours He was completely separated from His Heavenly Father so I could have forgiveness of my sins. What would that say about the value of His sacrifice if I refused to forgive myself.
Loneliness is a fact of life and each of us at sometime will need to learn how to cope with loneliness. Well, that is not very encouraging nor will it help me to cope with loneliness. It is a first step. There is not one person on the face of this planet who has lived a few years who has not faced loneliness, perhaps many times.
Loneliness can be temporary; your spouse is out of town on a trip and you miss them. Maybe you are the one traveling and you are alone in a hotel room. If a spouse is away at war, you not only face loneliness but you also battle worrying about your loved one.
Some loneliness is much more permanent because of the death of a friend, parent, spouse or a child. Loneliness can also come from a relationship break up or a divorce. Loneliness that has no timeline, no endpoint or future reunion, brings a permanency of your grief and hurt.
You may see yourself as a lonely person not because of the absence of a particular loved one, but because you spend the majority of your hours alone. Perhaps you have no family or just a few relatives, who you do not see much. You may lack friends and find yourself facing life all alone. You might spend many more hours by yourself than you do with others, leaving you longing to have someone with whom to share the adventures of life.
Loneliness leads to anxiety, stress and even depression. Loneliness literally hurts. I heard it described once by a young woman as a physical pain in her chest from the grief of her husband’s death and the loneliness that took his place.
I have a close friend who lost his wife from cancer. After a recent visit he told me as I was leaving that he had to figure out how to fill the rest of the day so he wouldn’t be lonely.
Can someone be lonely with people around? Yes; people are not the answer to loneliness. If it was simply being around people, individuals who live in large cities would never face loneliness. Yes, people can take up some of our time but loneliness runs much deeper. The answer for loneliness is the same answer for so many of our hurts and pain in this life.
A question that stirs thoughts of battle or losing in the minds of many. We are taught to live life to its fullest, to depend on ourselves, to conquer, to win, to overcome. If we can visualize or paint a picture of the outcome we desire we can succeed. God’s plan is quite the opposite.
It is the Holy Spirit that brings us to the cross and causes us to face the reality of our need to die to the world and sin. We can never live a life that is beyond our hopes until we have died to ourselves. Look at what a dear friend said regarding surrendering to God, “For me, this has been the greatest key to walking in joy, peace, and freedom is allowing Him to rid me of self (a lifetime process!)”
The joy of surrendering your life to God is something you must experience yourself. No one can explain it. You must experience what it means to surrender to God for yourself.
Surrender must come as a genuine response from your heart. Think of the issues you are currently wrestling with and then imagine I say to you, “Just surrender them to God and give Him control.” My wife of 27 years died when she was only 51 years old, and initially I was not ready to hear those words: “Just surrender everything to God and give Him control.” Those words would have seemed cruel at that time in my life. However, as God graciously reminded me over time, surrender is what He wants from us. His desire for my life is that I surrender to Him, giving Him complete control. (With time, it also became just what I wanted to do.)
It must also come as a genuine response from your heart. Think of where you are right now and then imagine I say to you, “Just surrender it to God and give Him control.” My wife of 27 years died when she was only 51 years old, and initially I was not ready to hear those words; “Just surrender everything to God and give Him control.” Those words would have seemed cruel at that time in my life. However, as God graciously reminded me over time, that is what He wants and that is His desire for my life, to surrender to Him, to give Him complete control. (With time, it also became just what I wanted to do.)
Think about how you are bearing the burdens of hurt, pain and emptiness in your life. God does not want you to live with those burdens. He wants you to give Him every hurt, every pain, and every situation you are going through. There is nothing in this world more important or more exciting than surrendering everything to God. Your surrendering to Him will lead to healing, transformation, and an abundant life, greater than you ever imagined possible.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.