and has now come when the true worshipers will worship
the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the
kind of worshipers the Father seeks." - John 4:23
My Heavenly Daddy is healing
me from the inside out.
Transparency is Real.
Many times painful.
Daddy let me be secure in You only!
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
EVEN BELIEVER'S CAN BECOME DEPRESSED
Most my life I have suffered from depression. I learned to live with the sense of loss and sadness as I could not seek the help, let alone know I needed help, as a child while I went through trauma. The affects of my hurt turned into depression.
Depression became a normal part of existance for me early on. My little girl adapted it into adulthood. A walking shell of sadness and hurt. Some times the feelings of depression are worse than others. Even now. Depending what my Heavenly Daddy is taking me through. At those times I recognize just how awful this disease and fowl affliction from the enemy is.
I can honestly say, as I have gone through this in my head and even in counseling, there may have been one time in my life as an adult, as brief as it was for a few days, that I could actually say I was happy. Unfortunately this happiness was produced out of a sick relationship and I was only responding to my own hurt of being, what I thought, "loved". When in fact I was responding to what I lacked so much in life, nurturing.
My relationship with my Heavenly Daddy has also become affected because of my past. But, I know and only know God is my source to my deep core healing. Only God's love, which is pure and truly nurturing, will be able to heal my pain. I am sure without a doubt as I heal and let my Daddy into my hurting heart, more and more the depression will lift. It is an on-going painful healing process. Depression has been a long hard battle for me. Has stolen a lot of joy from me.
I feel in my own heart my depression can only be healed with God's love. I have done the meds in the past to no avail. My healing has to be a heart healing.
This good article on depression is from a Christian perspective. Hoping it may help any of you also how suffer:
Being depressed about being depressed
Written by Juanita Ryan
Christians who are depressed often experience an added spiritual struggle which complicates depression. Because of the painful emotional realities connected with depression, Christians may feel rejected by God, or unworthy of God’s love and care. Or a Christian may see depression as a sign of spiritual weakness or failure. Christians often feel that they should be full of hope and joy, ready to accept everything as God’s will. Depression doesn’t fit neatly into our expectations of what good Christians should be like. As a consequence we may find ourselves questioning our spiritual well-being. We may privately think "If my faith were stronger, I would not be taking this so hard. I would not feel so depressed. There must be something wrong with me. I am sure God is not pleased. I need to stop feeling like this." Or we may worry that other Christians will reject us for being depressed.
Depression is a very difficult experience. And being depressed about being depressed is even more difficult. Self-condemnation, worrying about our spiritual well-being, feeling rejected by God, and fearing that friends will not understand are all complicating issues that can further decrease our self-esteem and decrease our hope and therefore increase our depression.
Depression involves many intense emotions which we would prefer not to experience. The fact is, however, that depression is a normal part of resolving a loss. As we begin to realize what we have lost, we will necessarily experience many painful emotions. These are part of the hard work of becoming aware of the significance of the loss. This hard but necessary work can be thought of as "grief work." Grief work involves identifying our losses, experiencing the strong emotions that accompany the losses and slowly letting go.
Simply stated, then, when we listen to our depression, we will often discover that it is an experience of sorrow in response to a loss or a potential loss which threatens our self-esteem or future hope. It is often complicated by unrecognized anger which is turned against ourselves. In addition, depression may be complicated by spiritual struggles and by self-condemnation.
What we can do when we are depressed.
When we feel trapped in the deep pit of shattered self esteem and hopelessness, it can be extremely difficult to imagine that there is a way out. But there is a way out. There is no simple formula that we can follow which will guarantee a recovery from depression. And there are no magical incantations to help us avoid the hard work that needs to be done. But there is a way out. Recovery is possible. There are several guidelines we can follow which will set us on the path to recovery.
First, it is important to recognize that we are depressed. It is possible to have a drastic decrease in our energy and our interest in life, to have major changes in sleeping and eating patterns, to find ourselves unable to concentrate or to remember, to watch ourselves acting more irritable and anxious, and to feel like we just don’t care about much-without realizing that we are depressed. Knowing some of the classic signs of depression, and observing ourselves closely enough to read these signs is the first step on the pathway out of depression.
Once we recognize that we are depressed it is important to make room for the depression. This may seem like upside down thinking ("Why make room for the things you want to get rid of?") but it is an essential part of the healing process. The reality is that depression drains our energy. We simply cannot do and go at the pace to which we are accustomed. C.S. Lewis experienced this after his wife’s death. He wrote: "I loath the slightest effort. Not only writing, but even reading a letter is too much. Even shaving. What does it matter now whether my cheek is rough or smooth?"
Depression is like having the flu in this sense, but it is worse than having the flu because it often lasts longer and we are less likely to give ourselves a break. We are less likely to be compassionate with ourselves and more likely to be judgmental. But when we are depressed we need a break. We need to cut back on our expectations of ourselves. We need to find ways to be kind to ourselves and to nurture ourselves.
At the same time, we need to be aware that reducing our expectations of ourselves and giving ourselves a break can be taken too far. Sometimes when we are depressed we want to go to bed, pull the covers over our heads and never get up again. Doing this will, of course, only increase our depression. So, as we give ourselves a break and allow ourselves to do less than we normally do, we also need to push ourselves to stay as engaged as possible with life. Some of the things we might do to stay engaged include beginning (or continuing) a regular exercise program (even if it means just a walk around the block), spending time with friends doing simple social activities (going out to lunch, sitting in a park) and talking with someone about what we are experiencing (whether it is a friend, a prayer partner, a pastor, a grief group or other support group or a therapist).
When I worked as a nurse with post-surgical patients I would try to explain a similar balance that was needed to recover after surgery. I told patients that they would find themselves tired, even exhausted. They would need to take naps – something they may never have done before. They needed to do this because it is during rest that the body repairs itself. But they also would need to stay as active as possible. They needed to be up and about and walking many times a day. Their recovery depended on giving themselves a break (expecting less of themselves, and doing less), yet staying as active as possible. Recovery from depression requires a similar balance.
Another important part of our recovery from depression is to do the painful psychological and spiritual work that is involved in grieving. Recovery from depression can be thought of as "grief work." It is a time in which we are called on by the circumstances of life to face a loss or a potential loss and to acknowledge the meaning which this loss has for us. Whether the loss is the loss of our physical health, or the loss of a marriage, or the loss of a job, or the loss of our youth, or the loss of a dream, or the shattering loss of trust that an assault can cause – whatever the loss or the potential loss, the meaning it carries is highly personal, and very important to explore.
Depression comes to us with a message. Depression signals to us that something has happened or is threatening to happen that touches a very deep part of who we are. Depression is like an alarm system calling us to pay attention. In the relatively simple story of my depression over a canceled picnic, the depression was pulling at my sleeve, pointing out to me how important my family was to me and how much I needed time with them. It was also showing me that I was trying to be superwoman, and that I needed to develop more reasonable expectations of myself. More deeply, it was whispering to me that I was trying to find value in doing because I did not believe there was value in my being. If I had denied or minimized my depression, I would have missed these important messages.
When we are depressed we need to recognize that we are depressed, we need to give ourselves a break, we need to stay as engaged as possible and we need to explore the meaning of the loss or the potential loss that faces us.
Perhaps the most important thing that can be said about recovery from depression is that we can not go it alone. When we are depressed most of us want to withdraw. We tell ourselves that no one would want to be around us when we are like this. And besides, we don’t want to be around anybody anyway. But we need God and we need other people loving and supporting us in order to heal.
When we are depressed we may believe we are not lovable or valuable. At its deepest level, this is one of the wounds that depression reveals to us – our need and longing for love is one of depression’s most important messages to us. All of us need to know that we are loved and valued by God and by others.
At the moment when we feel least inclined to reach out or to take a risk of any kind, we most need to do so. We need to ask for loving support from others. Even one person is a start. It might be a friend. Or a pastor. Or a therapist. It is important to remember that the greater the depression, the more support we will need. A mild, short-lived depression may be resolved in a conversation with a friend, or in a time of prayer. A more significant long-lasting depression may require the support of several friends, a therapist and possibly appropriate medication. A depression that leaves us actively suicidal will require the support, at least temporarily, of a hospital staff in addition to friends and a therapist.
When we are depressed we need a special kind of help from God. We need to know God is close to us, loving us, caring for us. Yet, when we are depressed, we often believe God is distant, disapproving, punishing or unreachable. Again, we are faced with a powerful struggle. When we need God most, we are in a position of feeling least able to risk asking for God’s help. This is a time to ask others to pray for us, because we may not be able to pray for ourselves. It is a time to keep our prayers simple: "Help!" or "God have mercy on me." are examples of the sum total of what we may be able to pray. This may be a time for reading the psalms so they can give voice to our sorrow and shed light in our darkness. Psalm 34:18 offers us the reassurance we need when the darkness of depression closes in on us: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." May the tender, healing presence of the Lord sustain you when your heart is broken and your spirit is crushed, so that you will have the strength to listen to your depression and the grace to receive God’s unfailing love.
Juanita Ryan is a therapist in private practice at Brea Family Counseling Center, Brea, California