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2014-05-20:Am I Still a Christian if I Have Depression?

Am I Still a Christian if I Have Depression?

Depression is a HUGE elephant in the room…NO ONE wants to talk about it but SO MANY people are affected by it! It's taking over the lives of people we know and love, but the Church has mostly kept silent about it…

Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.

 Depression is, most often caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain. Brain-imaging technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have shown that the brains of people who have depression look different than those of people without depression. The parts of the brain involved in mood, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior appear different. But these images do not reveal why the depression has occurred. They also cannot be used to diagnose depression.

Some types of depression tend to run in families. However, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression. Scientists are studying certain genes that may make some people more prone to depression. Some genetics research indicates that risk for depression results from the influence of several genes acting together with environmental or other factors. In addition, trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Other depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

Signs and symptoms include:

·        Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings

·        Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

·        Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

·        Irritability, restlessness

·        Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

·        Fatigue and decreased energy

·        Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions

·        Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

·        Overeating, or appetite loss

·        Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

·        Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

The epidemic of DEPRESSION, anxiety and suicidal thoughts are a part of the daily lives of people inside and outside the Church. Life is hard. Everyone who lives in real life knows what it feels like to be unhappy and overwhelmed…and sometimes that feeling of sadness turns into hopelessness.

But just because someone is a Christian who has been saved by Jesus doesn't mean they won't face difficult circumstances.

Christians are not immune from depression either!

29% of Christians in the United States have struggled with depression at some point in their life* – that's over 45 MILLION CHRISTIANS! That's more people than the population of the state of California and Massachusetts COMBINED!

How many Christians are in Africa, in Asia and in Europe? Surely a lot!

According to the Numbers…Out of every 10 Christians you know, 3 of them are depressed.

-If you're between 18-34 years old, you're more likely to be depressed than older generations.

-If you have lower income, you're more likely to be depressed.

-If you're a parent with a child younger than 18 years old, you're more likely to be depressed.

This means A LOT of us wrestle with depression!

This many Christians struggling silently and alone in the Church is a HUGE problem…and we have got to do something about it!

For a long time, Christians have shunned their own people for admitting to being depressed or anxious. Mental illness has often been considered a sign of someone's weak faith…but that is NOT TRUE!

Too many pastors and church people are struggling alone because they're expected to be perfect and have everything together.

I'm tired of church leaders feeling like they can't be honest because they're privately losing a battle with depression. They're too afraid to admit they're hurting from anxiety because their church might ask them to leave…but it doesn't have to be that way!

Being depressed does NOT mean you're not a Christian!

When God looks at someone that has surrendered their life to Jesus, He doesn't see their struggles…He sees their relationship to Him.

We're not the only ones who deal with this either. Some of the Bible's greatest heroes were far from perfect and they struggled with depression too!

-Moses tried to lead the people of Israel in the desert and he wanted to quit because of the overwhelming circumstances.

-Elijah was alone, running for his life in the wilderness and almost gave up.

-Jonah wanted God to take his life rather than going to a foreign nation as a spokesperson for God.

-David felt the sting of people angry with him and wrote songs about his deep sadness.

If God used messed up, depressed people back then, He can use an overwhelmed, depressed person now!

The Lord can use your pain so that you may know Him better

 

Depression is a REAL struggle that REAL people go through! The answer isn't to pray the sadness away, to be a better Christian or to look like you have everything together. We don't need a temporary fix or to "just be happy" – we need a REAL Savior!

In Christ we are not rejected because of our depression – God rescues us and carries us through it!

I wrote a book this year, entitled “The wounded Soul” that gives diverse techniques that can contribute to preventing being depressed as a Christian.

http://en.rukundolevi.org/releases