HOW TO BEAT DEPRESSION: WHERE THE FIGHT IS
There are so many opinions out there about how to treat depression: Take this medication or that medication or don’t take medication. See a doctor. Don’t see a doctor. Jump 10 times. Turn around 20 times… you get the point.Add to that the resistant voice in your head to do anything at all.
At the end of the day, you and God are the only ones who completely understand what’s going on inside of you. Even when you go to a doctor, they have to try different medications to see what works for you, because each person is unique and reacts differently to the different medications out there. And although you yourself may not completely understand what’s going on, you are still the only human being that is closest to the situation you are going through and therefore can make the final decision as to what you need to do to get better.
Last week, I was complaining to my acupuncturist of some aches and pains. He told me in his gracious way that there is someone else that can help me besides him. He said, “You are the only one that’s with you all the time.” And it’s true. I am the only one that can keep my posture right and do the things he’s taught me to do at home. I cannot depend on him all the time. That would actually be way too expensive!
Don’t get me wrong. I am for seeking professional help. I took medication myself when I was going through a period of depression and extreme anxiety. But medication and professional help is only the beginning. Beyond the physical and chemical treatments you may use, you have to find within your spirit a desire and resolve to get better.
The fight is more than just the chemical reaction in your brain. The fight goes deep down into your spirit.
Let’s face it, though. When you are depressed, you don’t have a lot of fight left in you. Therefore, you need to rely on Someone who is much stronger than you, the Holy Spirit. If you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, bring you comfort and encouragement, you will find the strength to fight.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, you can embark on the journey of renewing your mind.
Renewing your mind is key, because according to Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health, “...what we believe as well as what we believe about ourselves alters the facts.” (2013, p. 53)
She goes on to say,
“We are not victims of our biology. We are co-creators of our destiny alongside God. God leads, but we have to choose to let God lead. We have been designed to create thoughts, and from these we live out our lives (Prov 23:7).” (2013, p. 53)
The main thing you have to believe right now is that in God, you have a purpose. I know that you know that because you have dreams inside of you that have yet to be fulfilled. There may be only embers left, but they still spark from time to time when you hear of stories about people who were able to fulfill their dreams. I beg of you, don’t let those dreams die. Let God awaken in you the dreams He’s placed in your heart. Then let those dreams give you a reason to get better.
In 2013, I had an accident at home from which I incurred a concussion and injured my neck among other things. I was hardly able to do much for months. I was sensitive to light, so I stayed in the dark most of the time and when I had to go out to appointments, I wore a cap and sunglasses to shade my eyes. There was a period of time that I also wore earplugs because I was sensitive to sound as well. Even at home, I would wear them.
As a singer-songwriter, I had plans to record my music and share them with the world. I also had a book I wanted to write. Those, among others, were my dreams. Yet, in a split second, my life changed and there I was incapacitated. It was a very difficult period of my life. I could not listen to music for months, let alone play my guitar or piano. Reading was not easy either as my eyes got affected.
I kid you not, but I tried driving once when I thought I was ready to do it. Well, I thought wrong and my eyes went crazy. For about a day or so, I started seeing life in still shots rather than the video camera that our eyes normally function as. So I kept my eyes closed a lot.
My tears are flowing now just recalling the two or three instances in my extremely weakened state both in body and mind where I found myself sitting at the top of my stairs having a Job-like experience. The Enemy told me to curse my God and just let myself fall down the flight of stairs. But by God’s grace, I held my ground and chose to trust God. Deep down in my spirit, I knew I had to fight to keep believing the truths I knew about God. And if He had not given up on me, then I should not give up on myself either.
When the fear of death would come one way or another during that period of time, I would remind myself that if God didn’t want me alive, I would’ve been dead already. Rather, He chose to let me live so I need not be afraid. As long as I am breathing, God still has a purpose for me.
Here I am 3 years later, much stronger than I was during that time, able to read, sing, play my instruments and even go to the gym. And the songs I’ve written during the experience are even more melodious than the ones I’ve written before, if I may say so myself. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share them with you soon enough.
I’m going to say it again. God has a purpose for you, so you can fight to rise from the ashes of depression and live the life God has designed for you.
THINGS YOU CAN DO THIS WEEK TO BEAT DEPRESSION:
If you haven’t already, memorize Jeremiah 29:11 and say it to yourself, using it as a weapon whenever you feel like giving up all hope.
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to fight and live out the purpose God has for you. It’s going to take baby steps, but a journey of a thousand miles is taken one step at a time.
Sign up to be on my email list to get a free resource and free music. What you fill your mind with affects what you believe.
If you have a story you’d like to share on how you beat depression, we’d like to hear from you. Comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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P.S. I am not a doctor. I am simply one who has been through anxiety and depression and therefore would like to encourage others who are going through it. I, by no means advocate not seeing a professional or taking medication. These are to be sought along with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.