How To Get Out of Depression Early With God

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

Psalms 43:5 (NIV)

Why are You Downcast?

I am not a medical personnel. I have no degrees in psychology. I'm just presenting a supportive way of handling the symptoms with a focus on God and His words. This is not an alternative to medication, or therapy or other clinical treatments required to handle the situation. All I am saying is that as a Christian I believe in the advancement of medicine but even more in the supportive structure and environment that the word of God creates for medicine to work.

I am a Christian and this is the only way I can confidently talk about. I can't confidently talk about medications and therapy. But I know God and by His grace I understand His word. That's why I will stick to what I know.

The big question is "Why?"

Why do people get depressed? Why do people get to that point where they say "enough is enough"?

Before we look at why, let's look at what depression is.

According to Public Services International (PSI),

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) "is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of persistent sadness and a loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities."

It also mentioned that:

People with depression often suffer from one or more of the following: low self-esteem, loss of energy; change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

With the right information, I suppose that it's possible to self diagnose yourself and tell if you are depressed or not. Now let's look at the question "Why?"

Have you noticed that most people who are depressed get into that state in response to something in the environment? There is always a trigger. The same way there is a trigger in the environment for happiness and joy. There is a trigger for laughter, a trigger for love. There is a causal relationship between the triggering event and the feeling of depression. Yes it's a feeling. And eventually if the depressed person stays in that condition, it leads to negative actions that affect the individual or those around them.

Every individual has their breaking point. This point could be determined by the personality of the individual or their experiences in life. This is why sometimes we can be shocked at some of the reasons why some people get depressed. For example, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend could cause either party to be depressed. While some others can easily dust themselves off and move on with their lives. Some people can easily adjust to life with a lower income while others can't. The 2008 financial crisis saw a lot of people who took their lives due to job losses or financial losses. But not everyone who lost something during that period took their lives.

Different people have their breaking points.

What's yours?

When Darkness Comes

You are God my stronghold.

Why have you rejected me?

Why must I go about mourning,

oppressed by the enemy?

Send me your light and your faithful care,

let them lead me;

let them bring me to your holy mountain,

to the place where you dwell.

Psalms 43:2-3 (NIV)

One of the reasons why people go into depression is that they cannot answer the question "why?" Understanding why something is happening to you gives some sense of control. Because if you understand why it's happening, you'll probably be able to think of something to do to correct it.

If you lost your job because of poor performance, then you'll know that's the reason why. You have an idea what to do to improve your position for the next role. If your girl breaks up with you because you have a character defect, then you know where your flaws are and how to improve for the next one.

But what about when things go wrong and the only explanation that you can get for it is "bad luck"?

In 2016, I was let go from the company that I was working with on April Fools Day. It was surreal. I remember coming back home in the middle of the day with all my belongings. I said to my wife, "Remember that restructuring thing I was telling you about? So I'm home now."

Over the next few days I was just in a place where I lost my structure. There was no plan for the day. I woke up at 10am. Slept when I wanted. I felt I was in control but in truth I had none. Then the nagging question of why it happened to me just hung over my head. "Why me?" or rather "Why not someone else?" And believe me I did have a lot of people in mind that deserved to be let go rather than me. The period was a low point for me. And I took it out on everyone around me. I didn't lash out at people. But I withdrew from everyone.

For some people, losing a job isn't a big deal. But with a wife and child, it was devastating. Of course I wasn't as business savvy at the time to seek out opportunities and stand on my own without a company structure.

My compass wasn't facing north anymore.

Let the Light Come In

Then one day I knew I had to do something about the creeping darkness.

So I went into the word of God. I took my time reading the Psalms and I knew that there was hope.

This is why David prayed, "send me your light". Whenever I find myself in any situation, the first thing I pray for is the light of God even before I ask Him to do anything. This is how God works. It's his principle.

Before He shows His hand. He shines His light.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3 (NIV)

Those were the first words He spoke. Light.

And where does the light come from?

The unfolding of your words gives light;

it gives understanding to the simple.

Psalms 119:130 (NIV)

From the words come light and this gives way to understanding. But I've found that the understanding we seek is not usually what we get. While the depressed Christian is trying to understand why the situation happened to him, God is trying to give the child an understanding of who his Father is. Because when you understand the Father, it puts a lot of things in perspective.

I never really understood why I was let go from that job while there were other more qualified people for axing. But in hindsight I see now that I had nothing to fear. All the things I feared would happen never happened.

And more than ever I am thankful that it I was let go.

Light brings clarity.

Light reveals purpose.

Light reveals internal flaws.

Light reveals clutter.

When you see God clearly, He shows you your purpose. He shows you your defects and character flaws. And He gives you reasons not to fear.

His light is bright.

But not just that.

It burns!

As it reveals the dross it burns it off. Because the purpose He has ahead of you requires a new you.

That's right! No matter the depression, you have a PURPOSE!

See, I have refined you, though not as silver;

I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

Isaiah 48:10 (NIV)

While He speaks to you and works on you, nothing has changed on the outside. You're probably still out of a job. Your marriage may still be in disarray. You may still be in debt. What ever the situation was before you sought God may have not changed. But God must change you first before He changes the situation.

He is giving you strength, converting you from a wimp to a warrior.

So that when difficulties come ahead, on the path to purpose you will face them manfully.

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! 2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMPC)

Overflowing Joy

While the word of God works within, the joy of the Lord enters the heart.

The precepts of the Lord are right,

giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are radiant,

giving light to the eyes.

Psalms 19:8 (NIV)

Going by the definition of depression, there is evidence of persistent sadness. This sadness I might say is easy to mask. The outgoing person can mask his sadness. The introvert can mask his sadness. It's so easy for those who love them to miss it.

When I lost my job, I was sad and I didn't find joy in a lot of things. I went to the movies and did a lot of things to make me happy. And I did get happy when those things were going on. I laughed at punchlines. I whooped when everyone else did. But the sadness was always there lurking beneath. Things never eradicated it. There was just always that dark cloud of confusion and lack of control.

But the word of God gets to places in the human spirit that nothing else can. It pierces to the dividing lines of bone and marrow, spirit and soul. It breaks down every barrier and every defense so that His joy can penetrate. It brings you to a place where you can say like Habakkuk

Though the fig tree does not bud

and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails

and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen

and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;

he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,

he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)

Until you get to this point in the journey, where you can comfortably praise God when the environment is still the same. When you start to praise Him not because of the things but because of His person. When you can boldly say: I praise You because You are God.

What you would have accomplished at this point is switching your anchor from the things that are obviously failing to the God who never fails.

Your Hope and Anchor

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)

When hope sets in, it brings stability to the mind. The mind is the seat of emotions. The mind is where thoughts are processed. This is where depression pitches its tent. When this part of the person is anchored in God, thoughts become clearer, things fall into place and the mind begins to free itself of debris.

The mind becomes strong such that it is not moved by trials, calamities or storms. The uncertainties that surround where you are at that point in time give way to the certainty of God. Now you have a solid foundation to build the future on.

This is when things now begin to change in the environment to change the situation. Unexpected favors come up, breakthroughs happen. Until I had gone through this process, no opportunity came up. After this, openings came up that I didn't even apply for. That's how God did it for me.

Who is Responsible?

We may ask ourselves this question. Is the depressed person responsible for his healing? Depression is something that people don't like to admit. It may not even go as far as depression, sadness is interpreted as weakness. Everyone wants to portray themselves as pillars. But the truth is that if we didn't need any one, God would have just created one person.

In my opinion and based on my experience, I believe the person himself is responsible for getting out. At least the primary responsibility lies with the person.

The reason I say this is the world is a busy place. And not many people may notice you need help if you don't shout. As much as we seek people who will always check up on others around them, those in need of help should seek it. If you're too scared to ask then dropping signs here and there could also help. Make it more obvious to people around you that something is wrong.

Another important thing is to have one or two no-nonsense friends. Friends that you can rant or vent on that won't get mad at you. People that you can tell you're angry with God or that you're tired of Christianity or any other insane thing and they don't get mad. They guide you back to God and remind you of the times you said the exact opposite about God.

When you start out on the road to recovery, you stick to the path. As difficult as it may be, never give up.

Faith and Medicine

At the beginning of this piece, I stated that I have nothing to do with medicine as a profession. I know many christians have differing views regarding taking medication. But I believe that God is very much involved in science and development in medicine. There are so many Christians in the field for God not to be involved.

If your health deteriorates to the point where you know you need to go to the hospital, then you go and follow strictly all the instructions given.

But never let the word of God be far from you.

Always keep speaking it, always keep praying it and focusing on God. Sooner than you think, you'll walk out with your mind intact.

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Olugbenga Ojuroye

Olugbenga Ojuroye

Olugbenga is a writer who explores various topics in Christianity. Pick up his latest book, “Finding Eden - Devotional” on Amazon!