Depression? I know all about it because I dealt with it in the past. If you watched any of my YouTube videos on Christianity Explained then you’ll discover that I’m not most handsome man, around. ;-). I was born with serious disabilities in 1964 and hope was a scarce commodity. People with physical disabilities were generally not given an optimistic future and were relegated to borderline poverty.
I am told that it’s rare for anyone with low vision and a severe hearing loss to go to college. In the 60s, this reality had a lot of truth in it. In addition, I had a lot of other issues in my life. My heart was filled with fear and anxiety over how others perceived me. Where did I get this idea? It did not magically appear.
My Dad had a very negative view of the world and thought people would treat me badly and take advantage of my limitations. He was trying to prepare me for a world that may not be kind to me. Yes, there is a measure truth in this view; however, it’s not a majority viewpoint.
If you want more than I will invite you to read my book, “You Are Not A Lesser Human: An Anthology of Overcoming“. Yes, I did have that poor of an image of myself. It lies very much at the heart of my depression. How did I overcome my depression and how can my story help you?
Keep reading! I’m simply going to share some key points; not the book.
Though I am a fighter, my heart was weighed down by the prospect of a positive future. Yet, I wanted to prove my own self-worth. I was busy believing the lie that I could never be accepted as a capable human being.
How did I overcome this destructive view? Would you believe that Stan Lee and the crew at Marvel Comics are the initial culprits?
It started with what I read in the old Daredevil comics and the Fantastic Four. How? For one, I was introduced to the idea of a totally blind lawyer using his skills and talents to help others. I wasn’t an avid fan of that comic; however, I saw something that gave hope. I suspected that Marvel likely got the idea for the character from someone in real life.
I have to thank Jesus for showing me, a different perspective and laying the groundwork for later healing. Perhaps you can identify with what I’m saying, so far. For people, the feeling of worthlessness may be worse than mine. I get it. The point is, my belief was based on a lie. The truth is that people are willing to be accepting. Don’t confuse hesitancy with non-acceptance.
Here’s another problem that comes from the above lie. It creates a need to isolate yourself or feel isolated from other people. God did not design men and women to live in isolation. When you and I live in isolation, it’s very easy to slide into depression. Here’s what Hebrews 10:23-25 says:
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB
It’s in such a community where one can receive healing or needed words of encouragement. It’s not the only thing that such a community can do. Let’s say that I am sad and feel depressed. A nearby group of friends can be a big help in such a situation. Sounds good; however, there’s just one problem. What if I do not have anyone near me?
Have you ever heard of Zoom? How about an antiquated piece of technology called “a phone”? Both tools are a great way to reach out. However, you need to develop a relationship for these great tools to help. Don’t worry. I did not forget about prayer and it’s a powerful help. Don’t be afraid to talk to Jesus about what’s bothering you.
When you do get together with your friends or talk to Jesus; there is something that you should not do. Don’t fake your emotions and ignore the real sadness inside you. You are not less of a follower of Jesus because you’re going through a bout of depression. It happens to everyone including me. However, you and I need to let it go. Don’t hold on to it!
Why? It’s like poison and it will only drain you. Let it go! Perhaps, you could play some uplifting contemporary Christian music. The idea is to not feed your depression. You can also listen to psalms of adoration. Hint: Take your eyes off yourself and try praising God. It’s okay to ask the Holy Spirit to help you with that.
Here’s another idea for overcoming the lies that feed our depression. Did you ever think of asking the Holy Spirit about what lies you’re believing? For me, I had some lies that gave life to my depression and I needed help in exposing them. I did not stop there! Those same lies needed to be replaced with truth.
Yes, my Father in Heaven could easily eradicate those lies in an instant and it’s not outside the realm of possibilities. However, it is not the method God used in my case. I got help through books, inner healing groups, SOZO sessions, close friends, online materials, prayer, reading my Bible and you get the idea.
For the record, I know perfectly well that overcoming depression is not always an easy matter. For one, it takes time to replace the garbage with truths that actually help. It took years in my case. I am also aware of the brain chemical imbalance.
I came across an article on this topic. It affirmed that I was on the right path to defeating depression. At the same time, some people need that extra help in the form of drugs. Again, you are not less of a Christian because you need it. We all need help!
My only objection to these drugs is they should only be temporary. As always, you should only be talking with God and your doctor. I can only give you words of encouragement and point you, to Jesus. Remember, you are not alone!