People from every walk of life, every age, and every religion suffer from symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, some of those who suffer the most never get the help that is waiting. Maybe you have asked yourself, “Am I depressed?” Unfortunately, this question may be met with fear in many Christian circles. What will others say? Will other Christians judge a diagnosis of depression? If you have ever wondered if you were depressed, it is important to put away these fears. Take time to examine the symptoms, and know the signs that should not be ignored. It is also important that you realize what clinical depression is, as well as what it is not.
It is important to understand that depression is not “just in your head.” It is often the sign of a very real physical problem. There are times when depression comes from outside sources. Maybe a death or a series of difficult circumstances brings on a bout of despondency. This can happen to anyone at any time, and normally a person can deal with these feelings and eventually feel better. However, there are sometimes that these feelings don’t go away. Some researchers believe that there may actually be changes in the brains of those who become clinically depressed. Often, people who fight with this disorder will find that it may run in their family. Some people are found to have a chemical imbalance. Naturally, there can be other factors that cause depression such as hormonal changes, continual negative thinking, medications or other drugs, some diseases such as MS, and even changes in the weather. The important thing to remember is that severe depression isn’t make believe, nor is it necessarily a sign of spiritual problems. Just as important, you should know there is help.
So, what are the signs of depression that should not be ignored? While everyone will have times in their lives when they are depressed, if you begin to have major problems just living life because the depression just never goes away or comes back often, it might be time to look a little closer at the prospect of seeing a professional.
For many people, sleep seems to be a key indicator of depression. Some people can’t sleep much at all, while others don’t ever want to get out of bed, or are extremely fatigued all the time. Sleep abnormalities and fatigue can be a key symptom of depression, and lack of sleep itself can sometimes deepen depression. If sleep and/or fatigue have become significant problems, it is important to visit your doctor.
Lack of Desire or Motivation
Another sign of depression is the loss of desire to do the things that you used to enjoy. This symptom can cause other problems with family and friends and may end up bringing on more depression. If you have noticed a decline in the quality of life because of a lack of interest, don’t hesitate to follow up with your physician.
Feeling hopeless and often helpless on a regular basis is a sign of depression that should not be ignored. While everyone has bad days or moments of feeling blue, these feelings should not be the norm. For those who seem to always be in the pit of despair with no hope of getting out, this is a sign of a serious problem.
Thoughts of Suicide
While there are lots of symptoms that should be taken seriously, there is one that should never be looked over. If you have thoughts of suicide or are consumed with thoughts of death, please do not wait. Get help immediately. This is a symptom of serious depression.
There are many other symptoms of depression such as irritability, problems with memory, changes in appetite, and even unexplained pain. If you have any unusual physical symptoms, you should never hesitate to get to the doctor especially if these symptoms are accompanied by feelings of despondency.
People in the Bible Who Struggled with Depression
For Christians, it is important to realize that depression, like any other illness, is not a symptom of a spiritual problem. Job, a man who was by all estimations a great man of God, is seen in the middle of his trouble choosing death rather than life (Job 7:15). David is called a man after God’s own heart, but it takes only a few Psalms to convince us that his life had some ups and some major downs. According to Psalm 6: 6, David got no sleep as he made his “bed to swim” due to his crying. (KJV) Ecclesiastes is known as the weeping prophet. Hannah’s first appearance in the Bible is as a woman so depressed she can’t eat.
These are only a few examples of Godly men and women who have struggled with depression. Some seemed to conquer it, while others seemed to deal with the consequences all through their lives. Fortunately, in today’s world, there is more help than ever. God has given humans the ability to find medicines, both man made and homeopathic, that can give relief. If you have ever asked yourself, “Am I depressed?” take a look at your symptoms. Are your feelings of despondency overwhelming your life? Do you have problems sleeping, or do you feel you could sleep all the time? Have you lost interest in things that you used to enjoy? Maybe thoughts of death or even suicide crowd your brain much of the time. If you have any symptoms of depression, don’t ignore the signs. It’s important that you seek help or tools that will help you to get your joy and live back.