How to Cope With Depression As a Christian

Christians often feel tremendous guilt over feeling or being depressed. They feel they have let down both God and their family. The secrecy of being depressed becomes a priority for them since they do not want other Christians to know they do not feel joyful. It is time to end the guilt feelings and deal with the depression.


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    Cope with Depression: Admit to yourself you are feeling depressed. Accept the fact that you are human and God accepts you no matter how gloomy you feel. Acceptance means you must throw out your guilt with the bathwater.
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    Recognize your depression symptoms by asking yourself, "Do I feel sad all the time? Do I sleep too much with no relief of the sad mood? Am I losing weight mysteriously? Do I contemplate suicide? Is life a very dark tunnel into which I have disappeared? I cry all the time. My mind is so distracted and I am unable to concentrate. Nothing seems to lift my sad mood (no prayer, praise song, hymn, hug or event lifts me). I feel guilty and disapproved of by God." If any of these are true about yourself, you have ventured into the world of depression.
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    Recognize the causes of depression. Depression is not your fault. It happens when we least expect it. Knowing why and how you became depressed will help you to realize you are not guilty of being a "bad Christian". Jesus never condemned a sad person, rather, he identified with grief and sadness when he wept over Lazarus. These are the common causes of depression - even for Christians: 1) Brain chemistry is out of balance. 2) Endocrine system is out of balance in either gender. 3) Postpartum chemistry is overloaded. 4) An undiagnosed condition exists such as fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, low thyroid, chronic fatigue syndrome or a host of other conditions. 5) Trauma, death in the family, divorce, an unpleasant event, murder of loved one, car accident, abuse, or other life difficulties. 6) Genetic disposition. 7) Unknown origin. 8) Unrecognized problem of bitterness, anger, hate, jealousy, condemnation and other serious sins of commission or of omission have blighted your healthy balance.
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    When you recognize a possible source of your depression it is then time to see your general practitioner or other health care provider. The physician needs to determine the medical cause or environmental cause of your depression. He will make a diagnosis and prognosis on improving your problem.
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    Complete the appropriate treatment. Once you have learned the reason for your depression and the recommended treatment, it is time to act to get on the road to recovering or managing your mood. If you do need to be put on medication, accept the responsibility of taking it and of not stopping suddenly when you start feeling better (in about 2 weeks to 2 months). This is part of coping. Recognition and acceptance will get you nowhere without consistent, healthy action.
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    Talk to God. Prayer is an excellent way to thank God for your condition, whether or not it is temporary, short term or long term. Add to your prayer singing, scripture memorization and GET BUSY EXERCISING. Exercise will release the body chemicals that help us to feel better. A long walk is sufficient but must be done at least 4 days a week.
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    Confess. Confess to others that you have been hiding your problem from other Christians but now you realize you are not a bad Christian because you suffer from depressive feelings. Ask them for support and prayer. Let them help you get out and do things together. Get out of that bed and start doing things, even when you feel very blue. These steps will get you started on coping with depression and getting started on a road to feeling better. Do not expect to feel better overnight. You are very precious to God. He wants you to feel healthier and like a cherished Child of God.


  • Your local Christian bookseller has books on depression. Take advantage of those books. Avoid books that place blame on you or call you an insufficient Christian.


  • Do not mix psychotropic medications without speaking to the pharmacist or your physician.

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Categories: Depression | Christianity