Understanding Depression (I)

Depression is becoming a worldwide pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, over 264 Million people are suffering from it.  It could become a debilitating health problem when it becomes severe. According to WHO, depression is a major cause of suicide- a leading cause of death in people between the ages of 15-29 years.

Depression is a mental health disease that affects people’s mood.  It is different from short lived emotional response to every day’s contradiction of life. It involves a persistent feeling of hopelessness, sadness and loss of interest in activities.

“Depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors”. (WHO).

It is prevalent among people who have suffered negative circumstances in life. Infertility, bereavement, protracted sickness, unemployment etc and other psychological traumas are all some of the conditions that could lead to depression.

According Mayo Clinic, Depression among teens is a serious mental health problem affecting the way they think and behave. They enumerated some of the signs to watch out as follows:

  • Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters
  • Feeling hopeless or empty
  • Irritable or annoyed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Fixation on past failures or exaggerated self-blame or self-criticism
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure, and the need for excessive reassurance
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Ongoing sense that life and the future are grim and bleak
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

Truth is, Depression affects people of different ages particularly women. Maybe right now, you are experiencing these feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and emptiness. Maybe you are plagued by pessimistic feelings and distressed on every side. Maybe you have lost interest in life and experiencing symptoms of apathy. You have a friend in Jesus who went through similar feelings so that you can be free. Even born again Christians suffer from depression but we hide from admitting because of stigmatization but there is no shame in vulnerability.

According to WHO, there is correlation between depression and certain health conditions. It is said that cardiovascular issues, some kind of joint pain, headaches and digestive problems may be associated with depression. Also constant and severe pain that do not response to treatment may be caused by depression.

How can one who is a Christian, Born again and full of the Spirit suffer from Depression? How should the Church handle issues of depression? Should a Christian visit a trained counselor? These and many more are some of the concerns I will be treating.

Please, if you are experiencing symptoms of depression, do not be ashamed to share your problems. Depression affects the high and mighty; it is not just because you are jobless. We must all fight this menace. It is not just about quoting the scriptures; it demands an inward searching of the heart to locate the source of the problem. It is a disease and Jesus paid for it and just like you will take a stand against cancer, we must take a stand against depression.

3 thoughts on “Understanding Depression (I)

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