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Can Christians Have Depression? 5 Steps To Decrease Depression

Can Christians Have Depression? 5 Steps To Decrease Depression

Can Christians have depression

Christians can experience depression just as easily as someone who does not proclaim to be a Christian. 

The complexity of depression can overwhelm and even try to rob one of their joy like a dark rain cloud about to open up and pour out. Depression can feel like the plague of death overcoming one quietly and quickly until one feels they can no longer succumb from its grip.

The good news is as a Christian one knows there is the one true God there to help us through the depths of pain and sorrow into a renewed life in Jesus Christ. 

Jesus became human to feel what humans feel and to understand the temptations of mankind while being the perfect example of obedience and love.

Although we are not perfect, we have hope and peace in Him who gives us strength. 

These five steps can help a Christian lean into the pain, to change the pain, and turn the pain into joy and peace. 

Are you ready?


Available Depression Counselors

Jacquelynne Sils, LPCC

The hardest step is starting counseling.

, Colorado

(719) 696-3439

Rachel Hazelwonder, LPCC

My goal is the help clients on their journey.

, Colorado

(719) 345-2424

Meghan Purcell, LPCC

You are not alone. I'm here with you during your healing journey!

Pueblo, Colorado

(719) 696-3439

Step #1 - Seek Help

Avoid self-medicating by using any substance (alcohol, drugs, opioids). 

Self-medication could lead to many other unhealthy consequences and can make a person more depressed. 

Seeking assistance from a medical professional (doctor) for any possible safe and additional help is a better short-term way to help one's depression. 

Doctors are much safer to seek help from instead of using a substance.

Seek out a mental health professional to talk to about your depression. 

Therapists are trained to be able to give coping tools (relaxation/deep breathing, mindfulness exercises (using one's five senses to be in the moment), guided imagery (like developing a "happy place" in your mind) and talk therapy.

Finding additional support for helping your depression while going through therapy is always good:  Christian mentor, Pastor, Stephen's Minister are a few ideas. Having additional people can make one feel safe and supported.

One can become so depressed that suicide seems like the only reasonable way to end the pain, yet committing suicide is permanent and seeking help is helps one to take the first step toward life.


Available Christian-Based Counselors in Colorado

Meghan Purcell, LPCC

You are not alone. I'm here with you during your healing journey!

Pueblo, Colorado

(719) 696-3439

Rachel Hazelwonder, LPCC

My goal is the help clients on their journey.

, Colorado

(719) 345-2424

Noah Suess, MA, LPCC

I believe mental health is simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

(719) 481-3518

Step #2 - Find Someone to Walk Alongside You

Find someone you see as trustworthy to walk with you through this journey of despair to joy. 

Ask a trusted friend or family member to hold you accountable to check in with them daily and see how you are doing. 

Jesus even had trusted people on Earth, look to your church, if you feel you do not have a trusted person in your life. 

Ask your trusted person to spend time with you and meditate on scripture or on the names of God. 

Count your blessings/ positive thinking (find all the blessings and positive things you can in each day) or ask your friend to ask you how you are doing with your positive thinking and meditation. (Christian counselors, Christian mentors, and Stephen Ministers can also be good resources for help once a week).

Below are a few scripture verses one could meditate on: Psalms 121, Romans 5:2-5, Psalm 42.


Psalm 121 A song of ascents

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Romans 5:2-5

2 And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

3 Not only so, but we[b] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Psalm 42

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

5 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.

6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 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.

Step #3 - Practice Self-care

Self-care is crucial for everyday living, yet it is more prudent when one is depressed.

Self-care is making sure one is practicing everyday functioning even when one does not feel like it. 

The types of self-care are 

  • physical self-care (good physical hygiene, exercise, good sleep hygiene, eating healthy),
  • spiritual self-care (meditation, enjoying nature),
  • practical self-care (organization, schedules/routines), 
  • mental self-care (seeking professional help), 
  • emotional self-care (journaling, talking to a friend); and 
  • social self-care (spending time with friends and family).

Here are some ideas of how to practice self-care:

  • Read a good book instead of watching a screen or playing video games, play board games with friends and family, 
  • take a long leisurely stroll around your neighborhood while paying attention to how all of your five senses are responding (what do you smell, what do you hear, what do you see, what can you touch, what can you taste),
  • play "I spy" and try to find the simple joys outside (God takes cares of the lilies of the field and the and He shall take care of you. Matthew 6:28-34),
  • take a long bubble bath7,
  • bake cookies for your neighbors,
  • get good sleep.

Good sleep hygiene is getting at least getting 10-12 hours if you are between 3- 18 years of age and eight hours if you are 18 and over. 

It entails going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning and creating a good sleep environment, dark, uncluttered, away from where one works, and quiet.

  • Eat healthy: Crunch on some veggies.  Feel the juice from a fruit explode in your mouth. Eat nuts. Drink water. Eat whole grain not enriched. Eat less processed foods. Eat dairy and meat/fish.
  • Exercise: Exercising releases endorphins in your brain which can make a person feel optimistic. Here are a few ideas for exercise: stretch; walk; go up and down stairs instead of the elevator; run; play outside; ride a bike. Exercise outside: the natural sunlight helps one to feel happy and provides natural vitamin D that every person needs to stay healthy.

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Step #4 - Plan Something

Planning future events; goals; trips help a person have something to look forward to doing which creates joy.

Here are a few ideas one could plan:

  • Plan a staycation day full of fun activities (not sleeping in bed or staying home), 
  • plan a tea party, 
  • plan a dinner party, 
  • plan your future goals (one year from now, five years from now, ten years from now),
  • plan a birthday party,
  • plan a trip (One can always plan a dream trip),
  • plan a gathering with your friends (have a game night, do a puzzle together),
  • plan a family fun day or night (make your own obstacle course, do arts and crafts, make something together, have a movie night).

Step #5 - "Changeup" Your Daily Routine

When a person changes their routine, it helps the brain to think it is doing something new which makes one feel happy and excited to get up and face the day. 

Mundane habits can cause one to feel sad.

Here are some ideas for "changing up" your daily routine:

  • Drive a new route to work or on your way home from work, 
  • sing or whistle while cleaning, 
  • start the hardest task first, 
  • eat supper for breakfast or breakfast for dinner; 
  • eat dessert before your meal or as a meal (eating healthy is important so do not make eating dessert as a meal a regular practice),
  • work in the yard instead of in the house,
  • go serve at a soup kitchen or shelter,
  • take time to laugh,
  • take your bike or walk to work (if you do not live too far away),
  • practice whistling,
  • tell jokes,
  • stop and smell the flowers,
  • smile everywhere you go (even if you do not feel like smiling),
  • reach out to someone in need,
  • dress up even if you are not going somewhere fancy.

Conclusion

Depression is hard on a person it affects one physically and mentally

Depression can be very debilitating if one does not take the courage to stand up and act. 

Depression affects one out of twenty people, so you are not alone. Seek help today, you are worth more than the depression is letting you see.

"Fits of depression come over most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy."
- From When a Preacher is Downcast. C.H. Spurgeon

"Life is like photography. We develop from the negatives."
- Jason McNaughten, Confessions of a Depressed Christian: How a Pastor Survived Depression & How You Can Too

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Comments 12

Ben on Oct 23rd, 2021

This was laid out nicely! I think having someone to walk along with you is a great idea. You often only see church members once or twice a week and only for a short time. Reading the bible can be very academic but just focusing on a short scripture could really help illuminate things and bring you closer together.

I don't really like dressing up because it makes me feel stiff but I agree that preparing for something that's not formal as if it's formal could add meaning to something in your life and give a sense of purpose.

This was laid out nicely! I think having someone to walk along with you is a great idea. You often only see church members once or twice a week and only for a short time. Reading the bible can be very academic but just focusing on a short scripture could really help illuminate things and bring you closer together. I don't really like dressing up because it makes me feel stiff but I agree that preparing for something that's not formal as if it's formal could add meaning to something in your life and give a sense of purpose.
Geni Hunt, MA, LPCC on Oct 23rd, 2021

Thank you Ben for reading my blog and for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts on some of the ideas in the blog.

Thank you Ben for reading my blog and for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts on some of the ideas in the blog.
Overcomers Counseling on Oct 22nd, 2021

The information is useful. I use this tools everyday to combat my depression. I'm not perfect about it. I have struggled with depression since I was 18. I live with a lot of chronic pain which worsen my depression. I know just staying out of bed and get going everyday is critical. I work from home and it's easy just to stay at home. Thanks Geni

The information is useful. I use this tools everyday to combat my depression. I'm not perfect about it. I have struggled with depression since I was 18. I live with a lot of chronic pain which worsen my depression. I know just staying out of bed and get going everyday is critical. I work from home and it's easy just to stay at home. Thanks Geni
Geni Hunt, MA, LPCC on Oct 23rd, 2021

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment on my blog. I understand how hard depression can be, yet glad to hear that you continue to choose to try and combat your depression. You have purpose and meaning in life. I pray that you know how very special you are to God and your depression eases or even goes away someday.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment on my blog. I understand how hard depression can be, yet glad to hear that you continue to choose to try and combat your depression. You have purpose and meaning in life. I pray that you know how very special you are to God and your depression eases or even goes away someday.
Shari Norblom on Oct 21st, 2021

Thank you Geni for this valuable insight on depression and useful tools to battle against it.

Thank you Geni for this valuable insight on depression and useful tools to battle against it.
Geni Hunt, MA, LPCC on Oct 21st, 2021

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for responding. I am glad you found this blog to have valuable insight and useful tools.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for responding. I am glad you found this blog to have valuable insight and useful tools.
Overcomers Counseling on Oct 21st, 2021

This post is very to the point of no return, Very inspiring and full of important suggestions that will help you on your journey through life AMEN.

This post is very to the point of no return, Very inspiring and full of important suggestions that will help you on your journey through life AMEN.
Geni Hunt, MA, LPCC on Oct 21st, 2021

Thank you Ellis for reading my blog and for commenting on the blog. I am glad you found the blog to be inspiring and full of important suggestions.

Thank you Ellis for reading my blog and for commenting on the blog. I am glad you found the blog to be inspiring and full of important suggestions.
Overcomers Counseling on Oct 21st, 2021

A lot of helpful information, with easy and practical steps to begin taking control and moving out of feelings of hopelessness

A lot of helpful information, with easy and practical steps to begin taking control and moving out of feelings of hopelessness
Geni Hunt, MA, LPCC on Oct 21st, 2021

Thank you Kathy for reading my blog and adding your comments. I am glad you found my blog had helpful information and easy and practical steps.

Thank you Kathy for reading my blog and adding your comments. I am glad you found my blog had helpful information and easy and practical steps.
alisa christman on Oct 20th, 2021

What a nice blog. It is too easy to stay in bed all day in drown in our own misery. Half the battle is getting started. A lot of easy and interesting tasks on this list. Like eating dessert for dinner.

What a nice blog. It is too easy to stay in bed all day in drown in our own misery. Half the battle is getting started. A lot of easy and interesting tasks on this list. Like eating dessert for dinner.
Geni Hunt, MA, LPCC on Oct 21st, 2021

Thank you Alisa for reading and commenting on my blog. I agree it can seem so much easier to stay in bed all day and drown in one's own misery, and yes, half of the battle is getting started.

Thank you Alisa for reading and commenting on my blog. I agree it can seem so much easier to stay in bed all day and drown in one's own misery, and yes, half of the battle is getting started.
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