This morning I read from one of the people I follow a short, concise list of comparing Depression and Anxiety. It is quite good to read over, but I think it is quite lacking in its explanation. Primarily limited from the 280 character posts on Twitter.
I feel like I have authority to speak on this subject because I am the son of a medically-diagnosed bi-polar manic depressive and my other parent is anxious about living in the perfect climate known as San Diego, California. To say that I know what depression and anxiety look like would be an understatement. Not only have I observed it in my parents, but I have had seasons where the struggle between the two extremes was real in my own life. Now, as a parent, I view some of the struggles that I have seen in my parents and my own life beginning to surface in my children.
How does one overcome anxiety or depression? Here are some solutions:
- Find an anchor. An anchor is one that does not change over time. Some like to put their anchor in a schedule, in a relationship, in a religious set of beliefs, or in a church; however, those are false anchors.
The only true anchor is God.
David wrote, “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.” (Psalm 62:1-2).
- Belong to a church that develops your connection to the anchor. Some like to evaluate this position to mean that the church has a ton of programs going on. However, the way to evaluate this section is if the pastor gives a sermon (or brings in men to preach on his behalf), that equip you to become better attached to the anchor. This is amplified through opportunities to use this attachment.
Sadly, it is increasingly common to find a church in America that preaches republicanism where Trump is god or wokeism where everything must be accepted. If you increasingly feel better equipped to attack the other side rather than develop the peace which is in God (John 14:27), it is time for you to find a different church.
Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Romans 14:17-19)
- Understand: depression and anxiety are temporary seasons (Ecc 3:1). If you are finding that they linger longer than expected, you might have to seek medical help. Medicine is the use of God’s created resources to aid in the sustainability of His creation.
Anxiety is relieved when that particular worry is completely let go to be cared for by God (1 Peter 5:7). It is a difficult practice to learn, but God’s outcomes are better than mine.
Depression has many causes and it is complex to even identify the reason for the depression. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to hide this depression from others. Seek help when necessary from your pastor or a Nuethetic Counselor he recommends.
What makes me get into a depressive mood is when I am overwhelmed with tasks. I feel like I am drowning and there appears to be no deliverer. This is often caused by my own doing; therefore, it is solvable by me without the help of others. I have to remove tasks from my workload through completing them or not taking as many on as I would like. In recent days, I have discovered a new thing that contributes to my depression – a lack of sunlight. Whereas this only affects those who live in the earth’s extremities, the solution is easily known – take Vitamin D.
When it comes to depression, one should not seek to self-diagnose or fix by one’s self. Depression is exaggerated when there is no one to help you. However, to this seemingly impossible season, the Bible is the source giver of hope:
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13 – memorize it if you have not already done so!)
- If you are not currently going through a season of depression or anxiety, help someone who is.
“And the Lord said,
Satan hath desired to have you,
that he may sift you as wheat:
But I have prayed for thee,
that thy faith fail not:
and when thou art converted,
strengthen thy brethren.”