Depression

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love_comes_softly

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2019
611
669
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#1
Depression is something that most people have had some sort of experience with in one way or another.



I don’t believe there is necessarily one

answer to the question I’m going to ask, so feel free to share your views with the understanding that it’s different for everyone.

Is depression or being depressed somehow something we choose? Do we choose to remain depressed?



What have you noticed? What are your experiences?

Thanks for sharing!
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
15,868
3,428
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#2
I have noticed I get depressed when I try to figure out how to get something I don't really need but want badly but can't afford.

Hmm... seems that tenth commandment wasn't just an afterthought after all.

Sorry if that answer sounds flip, but it's the only time I've ever been really depressed. Once I get my mind off it and get on with life, I'm not depressed any more.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,394
1,438
113
#3
Depression is something that most people have had some sort of experience with in one way or another.



I don’t believe there is necessarily one

answer to the question I’m going to ask, so feel free to share your views with the understanding that it’s different for everyone.

Is depression or being depressed somehow something we choose? Do we choose to remain depressed?



What have you noticed? What are your experiences?

Thanks for sharing!

I think we really need to go with a both and kind of mentality here. There's plenty of evidence to indicate that certain unchosen life circumstances or conditions can play a huge factor in predisposing someone to depression. It's also pretty evident that if we choose to sit around an focus on the things that are bad or wrong in our lives, we're only going to exacerbate that depression. Me I have little reason to be depressed, but sometimes I look around at my simple normal life and feel like my life is utterly insignificant and meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I could probably get really despressed if I focused on that, or on all sorts of undesireable things that are likely to happen (like never getting married and being a rather lonely old woman after my parents pass on (and hopefully they wait until I consider myself an old woman to pass on)). But when those thoughts start attacking, I'm learning to try to move in more productive directions whether that be starting a conversation with someone, going for a hike or a bike ride (seriously never underestimate the power of exercise endorphins to lift your mood), or just losing myself in some puzzles or games to get a sense of accomplishment (may not be super healthy, but better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself).

Generally it seems if a person can take care of their health and well being, get enough sleep, keep from being overstressed, etc. they've done a lot to stop depression before it starts, but we need to be understanding that some people suffering from chronic pain or illness or life altering losses are going to have a really hard time doing some of that. And there's nothing wrong with that, unless we seem to think that these major life impactors should have no long term influence on their mood and they should just bounce back like nothing happened and be all happy again. Sometimes I wonder if half the problem with depression in our society is that we no longer have any concept of when it's appropriate to be going through a hard time and down about it and so don't give people the space they need to work through the yuck of life.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
7,232
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#4
A bit of both, one encouraging word in the Bible is the story of Hannah how she decided she wouldnt be sad about being barren anymore and God answered her prayer. She actually decided she wouldnt be depressed about it, even though the first wife was picking on her.
 

CharliRenee

Member
Staff member
Nov 4, 2014
6,058
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#5
I remember in my younger years, I would quietly think ignorantly and narrow-mindedly when my depressed clients were on my clinical massage table.

I thought...why don't they change their attitude, get up go for a walk, change their focus and their thoughts, quit feeling sorry for themselves. Of course, I never said it out loud. I just showed understanding and care. Ugh at that deception and lack of mercy.

Later in life, I got a whopping dose of depression myself and not just once. I thank my Lord, for it pulled my head out of my hiney bo with regards to mercy and proper selfless care.

I think the components of depression can be many, such as vitamin deficiencies, hormonal changes, chemical imbalances, sleep deprivation as well as trauma, rejection, and or physical and or emotional abuse, sometimes too much isolation, not enough laughter, not enough movement or too much, and sometimes too much in your head, even satan's influence, and often combinations of two or more of all the above.

I think we should own accountability in how we navigate through it, but we need to be kind and patient with those experiencing it. No one is immune to it and it can be very debilitating and painful, even tragic. The last thing one needs is guilt, thinking they are choosing their pain. We have seasons on this life and blessed are they all.

I appreciate this thread and the way you approaced the questions. I believe it can be very helpful.
 

Deade

Called of God
Dec 17, 2017
14,639
8,555
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74
Vinita, Oklahoma, USA
yeshuaofisrael.org
#6
Is depression or being depressed somehow something we choose? Do we choose to remain depressed?

What have you noticed? What are your experiences?
First, we must ask: Can Christians get depressed? If the answer is yes, then what can be done about it? While depressed, we make a lot of bad decisions because our minds aren't working right. Are we lost while away from God, especially if we are showing fruits of the flesh while depressed? I believe so.

Gal. 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Do I believe a person can walk away from God? Yes, I think if he gets very depressed because of his health and the cares of the world; he makes bad decisions. That is a characteristic of depression. I know, I have been there. I wrote two Christian books available on my website (see it HERE).

Can I say God was done with me when I walked away? I don't think so. Did God not start the work in me? This says He did:

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

So, God probably kept His hand on me and drew me back into the fold. Was I ever lost? I don't know, but I did some things that were very fleshly. I never stopped believing. Anyway, I am a lot more humble now. I just presented both sides of the OSAS/NOSAS argument. You tell me: Is one right and the other wrong? You decide.
 
H

Hamarr

Guest
#7
The more I read on stuff related to trauma, I think there is usually an underlying source for most mental health issues including depression and social anxiety. A lot of the time it's negative messages you picked up along the way that came from someone outside of you, or learned as a reaction to what was happening in life. From my own experience, just trying to think positively didn't help at all. I had to address a lot of the underlying issues before I could take on those negative thoughts. A lot of the time, we try to handle the surface level stuff and it doesn't help out if those other issues are never dealt with.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
15,868
3,428
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#8
Sometimes I wonder if half the problem with depression in our society is that we no longer have any concept of when it's appropriate to be going through a hard time and down about it and so don't give people the space they need to work through the yuck of life.
Aye, especially with the recent emphasis on meditation techniques, yoga being the most popular. It is no longer life that is depressing. Now it is YOUR fault for not controlling your mental state more effectively. You really should do something about that. :cautious:

That's also why big companies are pushing yoga so hard. It's not our fault for making the work environment stressful. It's YOUR fault for not managing stress better and being as productive as we swear you could be.
 

love_comes_softly

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2019
611
669
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#9
Thank you all for sharing.Especially those that shared personal experiences; that's not easy, but a blessing.

I personally have not ever struggled with what I'd call true depression as things don't typically bother me for periods of time. Perhaps a day or two at most. As many of you have mentioned, getting up and doing something, praying for others, and not focusing on the issue at hand helps me.

I know people that will be sad and depressed for months. I find myself sharing with others that they just need to make the choice to feel better and put in an effort to feeling better. Of course Id pray for them and share this info kindly, but it really strikes me as piculiar as to how severely different it is for different people. I began to wonder if they really have a choice. Am I expecting too much from those that are struggling?

I think we really need to go with a both and kind of mentality here.
Sometimes I wonder if half the problem with depression in our society is that we no longer have any concept of when it's appropriate to be going through a hard time and down about it and so don't give people the space they need to work through the yuck of life.
I love this Cinder, great point. I think this is very true. How long is enough time to let someone sink into a depression would be my next question. We all grieve differently.


I thought...why don't they change their attitude, get up go for a walk, change their focus and their thoughts, quit feeling sorry for themselves. Of course, I never said it out loud. I just showed understanding and care. Ugh at that deception and lack of mercy.

I think we should own accountability in how we navigate through it, but we need to be kind and patient with those experiencing it. No one is immune to it and it can be very debilitating and painful, even tragic. The last thing one needs is guilt, thinking they are choosing their pain. We have seasons on this life and blessed are they all.

.
That was my exact thinking CharliRenee. Thank you for sharing.


That's also why big companies are pushing yoga so hard. It's not our fault for making the work environment stressful. It's YOUR fault for not managing stress better and being as productive as we swear you could be
.
They are doing this at our work now AND they want us to bring yoga into the classrooms.
 

love_comes_softly

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2019
611
669
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#10
First, we must ask: Can Christians get depressed? If the answer is yes, then what can be done about it? While depressed, we make a lot of bad decisions because our minds aren't working right. Are we lost while away from God, especially if we are showing fruits of the flesh while depressed? I believe so.


So, God probably kept His hand on me and drew me back into the fold. Was I ever lost? I don't know, but I did some things that were very fleshly. I never stopped believing. Anyway, I am a lot more humble now. I just presented both sides of the OSAS/NOSAS argument. You tell me: Is one right and the other wrong? You decide.

Really good point.

I'm personally not familiar with those arguments.

Thank you for the scriptures. I always appreciate those.
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
1,922
1,575
113
#11
Depression is something that most people have had some sort of experience with in one way or another.



I don’t believe there is necessarily one

answer to the question I’m going to ask, so feel free to share your views with the understanding that it’s different for everyone.

Is depression or being depressed somehow something we choose? Do we choose to remain depressed?



What have you noticed? What are your experiences?

Thanks for sharing!
As one who's dealt with depression for 30 years, i feel i have some insight.
Depression is a bit of a broad term that does not allow for distinctions.
-There are some people who face depressive issues, and some lifestyle changes and working on their outlook can change that. I once knew a guy that seemed to have depression He had goals and dreams but felt unable to act. After giving him advice on eating better, sleeping better and exercising he disappeared for a while. When he returned he told me he took my advice and the depression had lifted and he was already working on his goals.
-Also some depression is related to physical issues. Hormones, out of balance vitamins, etc... can play a part in one feeling depressed. Usually a doctor can recommend what needs to be done to rectify the problem, and the depression will disappear as the physical problem gets corrected.
-Sometimes depression is temporary, such as after the death of a loved one. My dad went through a year long depression after his mother died, but after his time of grief, he recovered and went back to normal.
Then there is the most difficult kind of depression. Where the mind is physically wired incorrectly. 1000's and 1000's of brain scans have shown what various mental illness looks like in the brain, which parts of the brain tend to be more, or less, active than normal, depending on the mental illness.
When this happens the depression is unrelated to the persons surroundings, life, health or mindset. Positive thinking or any other such methods are ineffective, because the brain is changed, and such positive attempts are ineffective against a brain that is lacking in the right balance of chemicals.
And suggesting that such people just need to get over it, read their bibles, think more positively is kind of like telling someone with cancer to take some vitamin C and expecting that to get rid of the cancer. Depression isn't a lack of faith, either.
But sometimes pictures can make things more clear than words. Here are scans of a healthy and a depressed brain. The yellow, orange and white indicate brain activity. Blues indicate lower brain activity and black indicates a lack of activity.

 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
7,232
2,636
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#13
Touching in trauma...I had trauma back from when I was a baby and that did show up later as manic depression. When I got healed, it was also healing that memory of being abandoned in the dark. Such a simple thing you think but when you are a babe that is really a traumatic thing to happen. I remember crying and crying and nobody coming. It was terrifying.
 
Aug 2, 2009
23,054
2,834
113
#14
Depression is something that most people have had some sort of experience with in one way or another.



I don’t believe there is necessarily one

answer to the question I’m going to ask, so feel free to share your views with the understanding that it’s different for everyone.

Is depression or being depressed somehow something we choose? Do we choose to remain depressed?



What have you noticed? What are your experiences?

Thanks for sharing!
Choosing depression would be like wanting pain instead of wanting to alleviate pain.
 

love_comes_softly

Well-known member
Feb 13, 2019
611
669
93
#15
As one who's dealt with depression for 30 years, i feel i have some insight.
Depression is a bit of a broad term that does not allow for distinctions.
-There are some people who face depressive issues, and some lifestyle changes and working on their outlook can change that. I once knew a guy that seemed to have depression He had goals and dreams but felt unable to act. After giving him advice on eating better, sleeping better and exercising he disappeared for a while. When he returned he told me he took my advice and the depression had lifted and he was already working on his goals.
-Also some depression is related to physical issues. Hormones, out of balance vitamins, etc... can play a part in one feeling depressed. Usually a doctor can recommend what needs to be done to rectify the problem, and the depression will disappear as the physical problem gets corrected.
-Sometimes depression is temporary, such as after the death of a loved one. My dad went through a year long depression after his mother died, but after his time of grief, he recovered and went back to normal.
Then there is the most difficult kind of depression. Where the mind is physically wired incorrectly. 1000's and 1000's of brain scans have shown what various mental illness looks like in the brain, which parts of the brain tend to be more, or less, active than normal, depending on the mental illness.
When this happens the depression is unrelated to the persons surroundings, life, health or mindset. Positive thinking or any other such methods are ineffective, because the brain is changed, and such positive attempts are ineffective against a brain that is lacking in the right balance of chemicals.
And suggesting that such people just need to get over it, read their bibles, think more positively is kind of like telling someone with cancer to take some vitamin C and expecting that to get rid of the cancer. Depression isn't a lack of faith, either.
But sometimes pictures can make things more clear than words. Here are scans of a healthy and a depressed brain. The yellow, orange and white indicate brain activity. Blues indicate lower brain activity and black indicates a lack of activity.

Pictures really are powerful. It’s so sad. I have seen similar images to show childhood trauma, I’m sure they are linked. I wonder if this is showing permanent change or if somehow it can be healed.

I do believe the Lord can heal anything.

Thanks for sharing another side, that depression isn’t the same for everyone. Also, for your personal experience. I pray healing has come in your life.

This is great!

Touching in trauma...I had trauma back from when I was a baby and that did show up later as manic depression. When I got healed, it was also healing that memory of being abandoned in the dark. Such a simple thing you think but when you are a babe that is really a traumatic thing to happen. I remember crying and crying and nobody coming. It was terrifying.
That must have been scary and devastating. Praise God for the healing in your life.


Choosing depression would be like wanting pain instead of wanting to alleviate pain.
Goodness, so sad. This makes my heart ache.

I do have to wonder if some (only some) get so used to the state of depression,it becomes what they know, which becomes their comfort zone unknowingly.
 
Aug 2, 2009
23,054
2,834
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#16
Choosing depression would be like wanting pain instead of wanting to alleviate pain.
Goodness, so sad. This makes my heart ache.

I do have to wonder if some (only some) get so used to the state of depression,it becomes what they know, which becomes their comfort zone unknowingly.
I understand what you're saying, but I don't know if anyone would use depression as a crutch unless people are treating them with more kindness, consideration, giving them special treatement, etc.,

But from my experience, and from what I have heard from others, people usually treat those with depression harshly. They are told to "just get over it", and they believe it's all in the depressed person's imagination, that they just have to change their perspective, etc..
 
H

Hamarr

Guest
#17
I understand what you're saying, but I don't know if anyone would use depression as a crutch unless people are treating them with more kindness, consideration, giving them special treatement, etc.,

But from my experience, and from what I have heard from others, people usually treat those with depression harshly. They are told to "just get over it", and they believe it's all in the depressed person's imagination, that they just have to change their perspective, etc..
I noticed during my worst depressed days that if anything, I just became more alienated. To be fair, I probably wasn’t the best person to be around then, but it did seem to feed a negative feedback loop about myself. The more I come out of the depression, the more people gravitate towards me. On the other hand, I also felt like I need that rallying a lot less than I did back then.
 

G00WZ

Senior Member
May 16, 2014
930
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#18
I see depression as a byproduct of focusing and paying too much attention to the negative that is happening around a person or to them.

I remember not too long ago business for me was bad and i kept losing money on pretty much everything, it was pretty much one fail after another. It seemed like everything was going against me and it made me pretty annoyed as it was getting to me. So instead of going over the deep end and doing something reckless i sat back and counted my blessings ( literally recounted everything made, all of the gains i had accumulated), and i pretty much accepted the losses of the day, while at the same time putting my main focus on what i was going to do to celebrate the success of the blessings i have accumulated before.
What ended up happening was the worst day ever was turned into one of the best. I spent the rest of that day just goofing off and having fun, ignoring the loss and rejoicing in the success i had before. And that money that i lost was all made back the next day as though it had never happened.


I don't think people choose to remain depressed on purpose. But i do know most of the time they might not understand how the mind works. Most of the time, and it is common practice to just live to what is being presented to you.
Mindsets repeat themselves, especially if a person goes to bed depressed, more than likely they will wake up with the same mindset on repeat. They just wake up the next day and pick up where they left off..
Ephesians 4:26 talks about not letting the sun go down on your anger. Pretty much saying don't go to sleep angry.

To break the cycle new "works" or actions have to be acted upon to support a new thought or idea in response to a situation.
In Matthew 5:3-12 Christ actually gave one of the keys to making this work, because He is presenting a new idea in response to circumstances . In 12 He says to "Rejoice and be glad" because you are focused on your reward..That is a work/ action that supports a new idea/ belief. If you believe something and you act to it you get results. People receive the negative being presented and because they are acting to them they also get results..

But that is just my understanding and experience.
 

laughingheart

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2016
1,527
1,419
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#19
There is a big difference between feeling sad/blue and being clinically depressed. The last thing a depressed person needs is guilt. If I hadn't gone through it I might be of the opinion that you can step out of it. I am glad that I went through what I did so that I could see the truth. You are frozen, your emotions lie and it is like you are watching life rather than living it. William Styron says depression is like being brushed by the wings of madness. The deep fear is that you will never leave. People going through depression need people to stand beside them. Forget the advice, just love. Mercy, patience and love. Do not be Job's friends. Do not blame, try to reason or accuse them of a lack of faith. In depression you need to let God hold you. The only thing I knew was that God was who He said He was. It was my light and beacon. What I can say is you are not alone. There is no answer to when it will end but never be afraid to get help. No one would say you have a lack of faith if you take insulin for diabetes so do not let anyone shame you if you need antidepressants. All the best my sister and to anyone suffering. Hugs.
 
M

Miri

Guest
#20
I posted this on another thread, just thought I would repost it here.

————-

Hi I just wanted to add my own experiences to this thread.

By the way those people who are saying Christians should always be
happy clappy and joyful if they trust in God, can cause incredible harm to others.
It prevents Christians who do have problems from seeking the help they need.

Can you imagine breaking your leg and been made to feel guilty for going to
A & E!

I‘m currently on antidepressants, SSRI which increase your serotonin levels. There I’ve said it! Now you are probably thinking oh no what! Why! What a shame! But please read the rest and I ask you not to think like that.

Its been a hard 6.5 years single handedly looking after my aunt and getting acquainted with all her medical needs, conditions and moods. Like end of life stage 4 COPD, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Vit B12 deficiency, moderate dementia, anyone of which or a combination could take her life at any time.

With no medical training at all, I’ve had to learn all about oxygen saturation levels, gas exchanges in the body, recognise hypoxia and CO2 retention, learn to use an oxymetre and interpret the results, learn what normal body temperature looks and feels like, learn what her normal pulse rate is - she has a slower than normal pulse rate. I’ve had to learn about blood sugars how to test for them. I’ve had to learn how to use an oxygen concentrator machine how to clean it, check the tubing for kinks, what to do if it breaks down. How to set up the emergency back up oxygen canister. What foods are high in potassium and what I can give her in small amounts and what she has to avoid entirely. I’m pretty much being carer, doctor, nurse, respiritory specialist all in one with no training.

I have had to learn how to survive on less than 6 hours sleep a night and sometimes none at all. Ive had the constant worry each morning of wondering if this is the day I get up and find she has died in her sleep. Whenever I leave the house I am on call in case the care alarm people phone me or the carers. Often in church I hold my phone so that I know it’s vibrating if a call comes in. At work I have permission to leave my ringer on low and keep my mobile on my desk.

Ive saved her life more than I care to remember. One instance was last year when I came home from work and she wasn’t herself at all although she didn’t look that bad. I honestly believe God gave me wisdom in that situation as I felt an urgency to call an ambulance. When they came she was scoring 9 out of 10 on the sepsis scale and rushed us in on blue lights. I was told that it was at the very start of sepsis and very hard to spot even for a doctor. If I had waited even a few hours it could have been too late due to her frailty.

Anyway where was I, ah yes It’s taken its toil the sleepless nights disrupting my REM patterns, the constant having to be on alert 24/7 no holidays or breaks. The constant emergencies and hours spent at A and E, the continual discussions with doctors about DNRs and end of life.

I have been depressed and down for a while, it became my new normal. I’ve had to force myself to go to church because I couldn’t bear to be around crowds. Each time I have attended it’s been a battle won. Ive had to force myself to go to work. Each up and coming birthday, Christmas, Easter I've waited until the last minute to make plans not knowing if my aunt would be alive.

Its been an interesting journey onto antidepressants. I argued back and forth the pros and cons. I argued that I was a Christian so shouldn’t I be able to cope. What about my faith, where was my joy. What about the stigma and all the bad press about antidepressants.

Until finally I had no choice but to admit I needed help. I had tried everything else. The strange thing is that the day I decided to try them I asked God why me. God replied why not! Then I sensed Him say, you will be better able to help and have empathy for others through you’re life experiences including this! I would add that since then, God revealed something about another person’s difficulties to me in a dream. I have also been able to help a second person at work. So even in the midst of depression God still can work through christians.

I have been on them now since end of May. What is it like to be on them? Well week 1 there was no side effects effects at all I definitely slept better though. Week 2 and 3 the side effects started mild headaches, getting hot, palpitations as my body adjusted to the changes. By week 4 wow I felt normal again, sleeping better, more able to concentrate, like I started seeing the world in colour again instead of black and white. I feel better equipped to deal with things. I’m still me, I still have feelings and emotions, I’m not drugged up to the eyeballs. I don’t look any different, the side effects have stopped.

Maybe if they were called serotonin supplements instead of antidepressants there would be less stigma attached.

I know there are other Christians out there who are struggling. They dare not tell people because of the stigma of christians with mental health issues. They dare not seek the medical attention they need for fear of being judged - I was one of them and I’m so glad that I did.

Christians who dare not speak of such things for fear of being judged by other Christians. I want to say it’s ok for Christians to admit they have a problem and seek help. It’s ok to use antidepressants where appropriate or anxiety meds. We live in a fallen world things are not going to be perfect this side of heaven. We are body soul and spirit and all are intertwined. What affects one effects the rest.

Some of the most well known people in the bible were depressed, take the example
of Elijah. He ran, hid, separated himself off from everything.

Did God condemn Him? No God first dealt with his physical needs, helped him,
understood where Elijah was at and what he needed the most, allowed him time
out. Then the spiritual needs were dealt with.

God also didn’t expect Elijah to just get on with things, God knew
he needed rest and time out. Then God spoke to him gently, He didn’t just tell Elijah to
man up. If we all used the example of how God dealt with Elijah, we would all be
better off, feel supported and heal quicker.