Overcoming Depression

Introduction:

Depression affects people in all walks of life.  In a desperate attempt to cope, billions of antidepressant drugs and tranquilizers are gulped down each year, yet the problem continues.  W.H.O. reports that by the year 2020 depression will be the 2nd leading cause of disease in the world.  How do we then cope?

 

1. What is depression?

A. Sever despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.

B. A condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.

Discouragement – Cause is understood and feelings are temporary

Depression – Persistent sadness, reduced physical activity, Irrational anxiety, hopelessness.

 

2. Where there Bible heroes that faced depression?

You’d better believe it.  God’s people are not immune to the feelings of hopelessness this is where the devil attacks the hardest.  Abraham experienced depression at the thought of not having a rightful heir (Genesis 15).  Jonah experienced depression when he found Go would have mercy on his enemies (Jonah 4).  Elijah was asking for death when he was under extreme stress and fear for his life (1 Kings 19).  King Saul felt depression when God’s Spirit left him (1 Samuel 16:14-23).  Jeremiah (the weeping prophet) was depressed at the thought of God turning His back on the entire nation (Entire book of Jeremiah).  David sensed discouragement when he realized he had hurt his friend, his nations, and God (Psalms 38:6, 8).

 

3. What caused Elijah to fall into depression? - 1 Kings 19:4

Fear of the unknown and the feeling of lonliness led to his disheartening depression.

 

4. What are the main causes of depression?    

The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize.  Many of the disease afflicting humanity are the result of mental depression.  LOSS OF CONTROL, Negative emotions, such as grief, anxiety, discontent, sorrow, and guilt all tend to break down the life forces and invite physical disease and death.

 

5. What are the results of depression?

-Heart attacks are much more common among depressed men.

-Calcium loss in even young women.

-In severe cases brain functions become deranged, and brain cells shrivel and die to the extent of key areas succumb to atrophy.

 

6. How did Elijah break this feeling of hopelessness? - 1 Kings 19:5-8

Rest, a good warm meal, someone encouraged him.  This natural remedy strengthened him to continue 40 days and 40 nights.

 

7. What part did God take in depression relief? – 1 kings 19:13-18

God asked him to examine himself by saying “What are you doing here?”  Elijah did a little more whining and complaining and God commissioned him to work and then encouraged him that he is not alone in the matter.

 

8. How did Elijah react? – 1 Kings 19:19

He actually took the advice and went to work finding purpose and found that he really was needed by others.

 

9. What promises does God make?

A. God does not abandon us in discouragement – Heb. 13:5

B. Trust 7 faith leads us to rejoice during trials – Ps. 28:7, 8

C. Trials draw us closer to Him – Ps. 119:67, 71

D. God will see us through – Ps. 118:6

 

10. How can my lifestyle affect my mood?

Research also confirms that many cases of depression are

brought on slowly and subtly over time…by poor lifestyle habits.

Science has identified several factors that can promote, and even

intensify feelings of hopelessness and despair.

 

Among them are:

Alcohol—Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it

has been shown to increase depression, including suicidal

thoughts and behavior.

 

Smoking—Research suggests that smoking may play an equally,

if not even more dangerous role than drinking in the

development of depression.  Smokers are three times more likely

to experience major depression.

 

Caffeine—After assessing 143,000 people, Scandinavian

researchers found a significant increase in depression among

women who were heavy coffee drinkers. In addition, these same

women also had more problems coping with stress.

Physical Inactivity—A major study of 8,000 adults revealed

that the less active persons are, the more depressed they were

likely to be.

 

Improper Diet—Sugary sweets, and heavy rich meals can

contribute to blood sugar imbalances and feelings of depression.

Food allergies—For some people, food allergies can play a role

in depression. These may need to be identified.

 

Food allergies—For some people, food allergies can play a role

in depression. These may need to be identified.

Medications—Some high-blood pressure medications, as well as

other types of medicine, can bring about depression. Consult

with your doctor about this possibility.

 

11. What can I do to overcome discouragement/depression?

Philippians 4:4, 6, 7, 8, 13, 19

Thank God no matter what.  Pray to God lay it all to Him.  Then will you find the peace of God that passes all understanding.

Talk with others.  Do purposeful meaningful tasks.  Bring structure into your life.  Introduce a healthful diet.  Get adequate rest. Exercise. Outside and get regular sunshine.  Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

 

Conclusion:

Say it and believe it “with God all things are possible”.  No more stinkin’ thinkin’!

                                                                                                                      Amen

 

When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God had changed. He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever." You are sure of the favor of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. Your eye must be single, and your whole body shall be full of light. The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that his love provides. Let your faith be like Job's that you may declare, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Lay hold on the promises of your Heavenly Father, and remember his former dealing with you, and with his servants; for "all things work together for good to them that love God."

                                                                                 {RH, January 24, 1888 par. 8}