Depression is a malady that torments people and holds them back from fulfilling all that God has for them. I have grouped different life situations, or depression triggers, into four areas for consideration.
A friend of mine, in a spiritual context, used to say, “diagnosed is half-cured.” I believe there is some truth to that if we can quickly assess the cause of emotions we are experiencing and this certainly applies to depression.
Depression, at the most simple level, is an emotion that surfaces out of our soul realm. Feeling depressed is a result of what we are thinking. We can all relate to those days when everything seems darker and less hopeful than we want. These instances tend to be fleeting and most can battle out from under the cloud.
There are many, however, who are truly battling depression on a deeper level often seek pastoral counseling, deliverance ministry or medical help (psychotropic medications) to gain relief.
We believe that a relationship with Christ coupled with Christian counseling or deliverance ministry offer superior options for life-changing and sustaining the victory in this realm.
The battlefield is the mind and being able to take thoughts captive quickly are essential elements of gaining the upper hand, and we hope the list below will help you recognize life situations that can lead to depression:
Loss of any kind can cause us to focus on what we no longer have. The list of possibilities is almost limitless but includes: getting fired from a job, retirement, children leaving the home, death of a loved one, and ending of a marriage, relationship or friendship. Yearly anniversaries of these events can also cause memories to resurface and focus once again on our loss.
People understand that monthly hormonal issues (PMS) with women lead to higher incidences of depression. Once again, recognizing the timetable can help mitigate the effects. There are some sound biblical teachings on the internet that use scripture to help women come against this.
Similarly, there is a medical condition called Post-Partum Depression (PPD) that women often experience. Does it have to happen? Can a woman be prepared for it and resist it?
There are some excellent Christian resources available to help women prepare fight against depression so what they fear does not come to pass. See if these will help: Ten Natural Ways to Fight PMS, Blog article, You Don’t Have To Suffer With PMS.
- Interpersonal Stresses
Just as with the issue of loss, there are a myriad of relationship issues that can lead to a person feeling depressed. We see it frequently when one is the primary caregiver to another: a sick spouse, child, an elderly parent or anyone else they are watching. Sometimes they feel overwhelmed and trapped.
The bulk of interpersonal stresses leading to depression arises from marriage or family issues.
Many of these situations provide “growth opportunities” where we have to let the Lord move in another person’s life.
Each person is responsible for his attitudes, behaviors and actions, but one can only do so much. Many get depressed when they start to let fear dominate, and the “what if” scenarios go badly.
During times like this, faith must arise to overtake the fear, and a person proactively can choose to trust in the goodness and faithfulness of God.
To the degree each can do this, according to their faith, they can let faith-filled thoughts and words prevail so that the joy of the Lord, which is their strength, to come forth.
It is a well-known axiom that winter and holidays tend to be the worst times for depression to flourish. Winter portrays darkness and isolation in the natural and our soul can respond to that; things always look brighter on a sunny day!
Holidays, especially those with a family focus, such as Christmas and Easter, are used by the demonic realm to stir up memories of the past and also what is lost or missing in a person’s life. These “seasons” are temporary and embracing the spiritual truth that joy comes in the morning can help lessen the blow.
If a person feels sad or down, that can be a natural and hopefully temporary reaction to any number of life events. People can feel depressed over major events or even minor ones, including watching your favorite team lose the big game.
Letting the depression linger and extend into normal life situations is not normal and must be addressed. Many Christians live a large portion of their lives without truly getting to the cause.
Proper teaching, attending a healthy church fellowship and growing personal relationship with Jesus helps equip us to win mind battles so that peace and joy can displace depression.
What Is the Next Step If You Are Stuck?
When this progression is not happening, one must consider the possibility of a demonic stronghold of depression (or more) at work. There ARE demonic spirits of depression that torment God’s people. When resisting them does not secure victory, then deliverance from them is most likely needed.
If depression is an issue in your life, get help. Meet with your pastor. Find a competent Christian counselor if one is local or set an appointment with us (we help people worldwide via Skype and web conferencing). God has a plan for your life; a plan to prosper and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11) so take steps today so that can start to happen in your life.