Depression is an emotion so in treating depression, we must look at the concept of emotions. According to online dictionary, “Dictionary.com” emotion is defined as:
“ an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness. Any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc. Any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, etc., and usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, as increased heartbeat or respiration, and often overt manifestation, as crying or shaking. An instance of this: Something that causes such a reaction: the powerful emotion of a great symphony.”
Emotions are “affective state of consciousness.” I call it, feelings from an unconscious place. Not within your conscious control; more like in auto drive. But something instigates them. Emotions in themselves are neither bad nor good. What makes them good or bad is what instigates or initiates them. The thoughts we think either produce negative or happy emotions. What you think is the result of your environment and your culture. What was the environment you grew up with? What environment are you currently living in? What have been the circumstances of your life? Negative or pleasant? Every experience we go through in life makes imprint in our hearts and speaks with loud and strong voices. These voices begin to gradually build belief and convictions within us.
These beliefs and convictions are stored in the inner recesses of our hearts or the subconscious mind and they become the driver of our lives. The mindsets we derive from our environment becomes our core self. What was the loudest voice you heard when you lost your dad or Mother at 16 and the suffering that followed?
When He had called the entire multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”Mark 7:14-16
So one day, the Pharisees and teachers of the law confronted Jesus on why his disciples did not observe the age long traditional practices of the Jews. While answering them, Jesus spoke to his disciples and brought out an important principle for living. “Nothing that enters a man from the outside which can defile him: but the things which come out of him”.
EPICTETUS was a Greek born slave of Rome in the first century who became a philosopher, He said in one of his many quotes. “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them” He also said “It is not the external events themselves that causes us distress, but the way in which we think of them, our interpretation of their significance. It is our attitudes and reactions that give us trouble”
This precisely is the point Jesus was making. It is not your social conditioning or your environment that matters but what beliefs or convictions you have developed based on the particular situation you have gone through. The views we take or imbibed in traveling through life shape us and condition our emotions. We must detoxify ourselves from toxic emotions and trust God to forgive, release all offenders. Love is stronger force than bitterness and hate, we must reprogram our minds through the word of God to bring a shift in our thoughts life
Depression is feeling of hopelessness, despair and sadness. They are Feelings that have gone beyond our abilities to control. It is an emotional disorder that happens when we focus on the negative circumstances of life. What is the origin of depression? Sin. Sin here is not just acts of disobedience but the result of Adam’s fall. We are fallen humans who live in an imperfect world full of bumps and bruises. Negative thoughts produce negative emotions and consistent negative thoughts leads to depression and ultimately suicide. We will always face negative and contradictory situations in life. Jesus said, “in the world, there will be tribulations but be of good cheers for I have overcome” How do we face a negative situation and maintain a positive attitude? Next week we will be looking at the solution based on the word of God.