I have a friend who suffers with depression; I am worried about her because I have noticed that recently she has become worse – she is always crying for no apparent reason.
She has lost interest in enjoyable activities, and has had suicidal thoughts. She has isolated herself from a lot of people which has had an impact on her relationships, and she feels hopeless sometimes feeling that life is not worth living.
I have found that depression is the most prominent mental illness in Britain, moreover, statistics show that 1 in 4 young people are diagnosed with depression. We often come into contact with people who suffer with a mental illness, as Christians it is our duty to help those who feel as though they have no one to turn to.
Why do People Become Depressed?
There are many reasons that trigger depression. Loss, stress or feelings of failure due to not obtaining a set goal – for example, there is a pressure for young people to attend university and complete a degree.
Depression from a Biblical Perspective
As Christians we are in a constant battle, where the devil is trying to take over our minds, and plant seeds of doubt and hopelessness within to make us feel hopeless, and like we are not in control of situations. However, God wants us to have a sound mind – read 2 Timothy 1:7. The phrase ‘sound mind’ in Greek can be broken down into two parts, ‘sodzo’ meaning saved and delivered and ‘phroneo’ meaning a person’s intelligence and total frame of thinking. This phrase tells us that God has given us a logical mind which can be protected and shielded from evil negative thoughts that may try to invade our mind. When the word of God is instilled in our minds we have a safeguard for our emotions.
Depression and Bridging the Gap
We all suffer with dark emotions, however, some of us may feel that there is no escape from feelings of hopelessness, fear, loneliness, or hostility, for example. People can however turn to professional help by ringing helplines or talking to counsellors. Also, in church people can seek help from someone they can confide in or a Pastor.
Furthermore, as Christians, we should encourage one another. We should be willing to listen and give a word of encouragement. We can do small things like giving a smile or offering a compliment, an act of kindness, smiling, complimenting others, being kind and patient. Even in our community, there are lonely people or homeless people who feel hopeless our job is to bring a word of Hope.
Practical Steps: Think of ways in which we can help others who suffer from depression or ways in which we can prevent ourselves from becoming depressed.
Bible Verses on Depression and how to fight it