Breaking Out Of Depression:
Are you depressed? Here are some thoughts that I'd like to offer with the
realization that "the joy of the Lord is our strength" and knowing that God does
The Causes of Depression:
Depression affects everyone. Men, women, rich and poor, famous and
successful; all are affected by it.
Over ninety-five percent of even the severely depressed can be totally cured
if the condition is identified early enough. It is important to heed the early
warning signs of depression and act immediately.
It is important to remember that once a person starts becoming depressed, he
usually behaves in a manner that reinforces the depression.
Depression in itself is not sin. It is a symptom of something disturbing the
balance in your life. There are many causes for depression as you will see in
the list below. The cause may be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
What Is Depression?
A depressed person will have some of the following characteristics.
- A depressed person feels hopelessness, despair, sadness and apathy. It is
a feeling of overall gloom. Paralysis of the will sets in, and there is a
movement toward deadness.
- The depressed person loses perspective on life, work and family.
- The depressed person experiences changes in physical activities––appetite,
sleeping and sex. The lessening of sexual interest should always raise the
question of depression. Some lose interest in food while others attempt to set
a world record at gouging themselves. Some sleep constantly; others cannot get
to sleep easily, or wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to
- The depressed have a general loss of self-esteem. He feels less and less
positive about himself and questions his own personal value. His
self–confidence is very low.
- There is a withdrawal from others because of a groundless fear of being
rejected. The depressed person’s withdrawal brings on some rejection by
others. They cancel favorite activities, fails to return phone calls, and
seeks ways to avoid talking with or seeing others.
- The depressed person seeks to escape from problems and even from life
itself. Thoughts of leaving home, running away or avoidance of others is
common. They feel life is hopeless and worthless. Therefore, suicidal thoughts
- The depressed person is overly sensitive to what others say and do. He may
misinterpret actions and comments in a negative way and become irritable
because of those mistaken perceptions. The person cries often.
- The depressed person has difficulty handling his feelings. Anger is
especially difficult since it can be misdirected toward self and others. A
sense of worthlessness and lack of knowing how to deal with a situation
produces anger at oneself. This can be directed outward at others.
- There is usually an underlying feeling of guilt that may be real or
imagined. Frequently he feels overly responsible for other people’s feelings.
- Often depression leads to a dependency state upon other people. This
further reinforces a feeling of helplessness. The depressed person then
becomes angry at his own helplessness.
Causes of Depression
- The common thread that underlies much of depression is a sense of loss.
This sense of loss may be real or imagined.
- Simple things like not eating properly and not getting proper rest can
- A reaction to certain drugs can affect a person’s moods. All drugs affect
the body and the mental processes in some way. If a drug results in the brain
or nervous system toxicity, extreme depression could be the result. Toxic
depression results when a person takes too much of a drug or sedative over an
extended time. This kind of depression and drug toxicity will clear up in a
day or so after the drug is no longer in the system.
- If you become depressed while taking a medication consult your medical
- The following are some physical causes of depression: hepatitis,
hypoglycemia, infections, brain or nervous system disorders. Others such as
glandular disorders, low thyroid, hyperthyroidism, excessive ovarian hormonal
irregularities can cause depression.
- Repressed anger turned inward upon oneself will lead to depression.
- Reactive depression, or grief reaction, occurs after the loss of a loved
one, job or some important opportunity is very common. This usually lessens
with time. The loss of a close friend or relative brings on this kind of
- Biochemical or endogenous depression is caused by a disturbance in the
body’s chemical system.
- Negative and faulty thinking is the root of most depression.
- Low self–esteem causes, reinforces and intensifies depression.
- Unrealistic expectations cause depression.
- Excessive self–pity leads to depression. This in turn reinforces a poor
self-concept and further aggravates the depression.
- If your behavior is contrary to your moral standards or your value system
this can result in depression. It produces real guilt, and guilt is a
component in depression.
- Success, achieving a high goal, gaining a valued position with the demands
for higher level of performance can be threatening and lead to depression.
- Postpartum blues after the birth of a child may lead to depression.
- Physical exhaustion can contribute to depression.
Look over the above list of causes of depression and see if you can think of
anything that might be causing you to become depressed. It is often a sign that
your body needs rest and refreshment after a period of strain. Obey this sign as
you would a sign of pain or hunger.
Some Basic Principles in Handling Depression
- Get rid of your grudges on a daily basis (Ephesians 4:26). Don’t go to bed
angry with another person. Resolve your bitterness, hurts and anger on a daily
- Do all you can do to resolve family conflicts. "If possible, so far as it
depends on you, be at peace with all men" (Romans 12:18). Do your part to be
at peace with every member of your family. Develop intimacy with your spouse
- Each week, preferably each day, find something that you can do for a
special person. Go out of your way to reach out to someone in need.
- Commit yourself to an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ.
Glorify Jesus Christ with your daily life. "Seek first the kingdom of God and
His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33).
- Become involved in a small group Bible study or share group. Take time to
fellowship with one or two committed Christians of the same sex.
- Spend time each day meditating on God’s Word and applying it to your
everyday life. (Read Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1; Psalm 119).
- Be personally involved in something that will still be worthwhile to you a
million years from now. Have a daily routine that brings personal satisfaction
to you and that will glorify God through your life.
Make Today Count,