by: Mt. Calvary Admin
We are coming up on a very important season for not just Christians but the world. First, we have Thanksgiving where we are reminded to be thankful for all the things that we have. Then after that we have Christmas where we remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ! These are supposed to be happy times but for many people they can be the exact opposite. Many people this time of year are battling many problems, and this can lead to depression. Depression is a very serious problem and can cause serious harm to people. Today I will discuss what depression is, what can we do, and why it is ok to seek professional help.
So, you may be asking what is depression? What does it look like? According to the American Psychiatric Association Depression is “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.” There are many different symptoms that can go along with depression, and it can affect everyone differently. The more common symptoms are feeling sad or having a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, loss of energy, and feeling worthless or guilty. These symptoms must longer than two weeks for it to be considered depression. It also important to note that grief is not the same as depression. It is important to identify because treatment for grief and depression are different.
We can see that depression is a very real condition that effects many people throughout the world. This condition has destroyed lives and severely hurt families. So, what can we do? We can find some ways to help in the book I trust When My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression. This book is by Pastor Todd Peperkorn. He is a LCMS Pastor who has battled depression in the past. It is a very good read, and I would highly recommend it. In this book he gives some suggestions on things we can do for people with depression. The first thing we can do for someone with depression is to pray. When we pray for them, we are connecting them with God. We should do this because they may not be able to pray for themselves. The next thing we can do is to talk to them. When someone is depressed, it can be hard for them to interact with others but we as humans need interactions with others. So, keep it short and sweet. Something as simple as a hug can help them break through a dark day. The last thing he says is to not give up on them. They need help. It may require some persistence, but we should never giver up on someone with depression.
If you or someone you love is battling depression the hardest thing to do is to seek help from professionals. It can feel like you are admitting defeat, and this makes you weak, but I promise it is the exact opposite of being weak. The strongest thing you can do is talk to your doctor or go see a therapist about what is going on. God has put these people in the world to help people and there is no shame in getting help. They are trained and will get you the help you need. Some people don’t know when to reach out for help and to that I would say it’s never to early or late to reach out for help. People will be willing to help you. Depression is a serious issue and when people reach out for help it needs to be taken seriously. It we treat others like Christ calls us to treat others we can help people get through these tough times.
In Christ Alone