I’ll never forget a conversation I had in a local Target parking lot recently. Someone recognized me from Wooddale Church and introduced herself. After a few pleasantries, she said, “My husband has told me for months to call you about being depressed, but I could not admit to myself that he could be right. There were times a while ago that I felt okay for some of the most of the day, but now I seldom want to get out of bed. I am so sad and tired.”
A familiar Experience with Major Consequences
Each year, approximately 16 million new cases of depression are treated in the United States. This number under-reports those that are receiving help already and the many more who either deny being depressed or mask their sadness by staying busy or numbing it by other distractions, like using drugs, alcohol, or isolating themselves in front of a TV or computer.
The impact of sadness and depression can be severe even if unnoticed at first. Depression can have a direct effect on one’s physical health, mental abilities, and daily activities of life, but also depression can interfere with how a person engages with others in the home, participates with friends and colleagues outside of the home and carries out responsibilities at work.
Reflections of Depression
Whether you think you are depressed or not, how true are the following for you?
- I feel down, sad and depressed many days of the week.
- I am not as involved in things I once did regularly or enjoyed any more.
- I often feel worthless and hopeless in life, believing nothing will change in life.
- I have a nagging feeling of guilt over things from my past.
- I cannot concentrate or make decisions very well any more.
- I am less efficient in tasks or at work.
- I cannot sleep very well at night and/or I am tired and fatigue during the day.
- My appetite and weight have decreased or increased recently.
- I must admit that I welcome thoughts of death or have suicidal thoughts.
- A significant change occurred in my life that I have not adjusted to (like a move, death, loss of a job or friendship).
You are Not Alone
In the United States, over 25% of all adults will meet the diagnostic criteria for serious issues with depression during their lifetime. But each year a majority (60 to 70%) will probably struggle with feeling down, apathetic and become detached for a time in life because of various degrees of sadness.
Are Christians Immune to Depression?
The Old Testament cites many situations where the “saints” struggled with sadness and depression: King David, Job, Moses, and Elijah, to name a few. Even in the New Testament, the disciples and Paul struggled with setbacks and sadness over things in their lives.
Ruth Graham, the daughter of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham, recently wrote an article entitled In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart.
“Studies of religious groups, from Orthodox Jews to evangelical Christians, reveal no evidence that the frequency of depression varies across religious groups or between those who attend religious services and those who do not. So in a typical congregation of 200 adults, 50 attendees will experience depression at some point, and at least 30 are currently taking antidepressants.”
Here is a passage that helped me in Psalms 34:17-20
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing unshakeable sadness or may be seriously depressed please consider help by calling 952-920-2789
Christian counselor Dr. Douglas Frey believes in Biblical principles and bringing forth God’s grace in meetings and sessions. Call or email Douglas Frey Ph.D. (952-920-2789) for help with your relationships and relationship problems. He is a licensed Christian counselor serving individuals and families in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee, Minnetonka, Edina and other Minneapolis area Suburbs.