Keep Hanging On Through Depression
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you. Isaiah 58:8
Over 17 million adults in the U.S. alone, experience major depression within a given year. That’s about 7% of the American adult population! Sometimes depression is situational and sometimes it’s clinical. We need help with both from professionals and from each other.
Depression often follows a progression from discouragement to despondency to despair. If you’re feeling a bit discouraged, try to shift your focus by spending time outdoors, exercising, lightening your workload, and treating yourself to a special meal. If your discouragement persists, you may be experiencing despondency, which can feel like an overwhelming fog, lack of motivation, and trouble connecting with anything or anyone. Despair is the sense that you won’t escape these feelings through thinking, feeling, or working your way out.
Depression can feel especially lonely if you feel disconnected from God or unable to even cry out for help. Elijah, Job, Paul, and Solomon in the Bible all experienced times of discouragement, despondency, and despair. God did not rebuke or abandon them in these times. Instead, God loved and fed them, even when they couldn’t recognize His care (1 Kings 19:3-9). The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we find ourselves wordless with pain and depression (Romans 8:26). Know that you are loved deeply by God and by those in your life, even if your brain blocks that realization. Depression is an illness we can be healed of with time, as Solomon described. “[God] has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Keep hanging on!
Resource reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-14