Fear Not, For I Am With You.

Fear Not, For I Am With You.
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Answer the questions below to determine if you are experiencing depression. If you answer True to at least four (4) of the following statements, you may be suffering from depression. If you answer True to the majority of the following statements, you are certainly experiencing depression and you need to seek professional help. See a doctor or psychotherapist and one of our pastoral counselors before the depression gets worse.

T or F – I feel sad and blue most of the time.
T or F – I feel like crying more than I did six months ago.
T or F – I feel hopeless and helpless most of the time.
T or F – I have no motivation.
T or F – I’m not interested in things I used to enjoy.
T or F – Recently I have wondered if life is worth living.
T or F – I am not sleeping well, or I want to sleep all of the time.
T or F – I have lost my appetite.
T or F – I am easily irritated.
T or F – I am more anxious about things than I used to be.
T or F – My energy level has dropped recently
T or F – I dread the morning. It is hard to get up.
T or F – I have been thinking about myself a lot recently.
T or F – The face looking back at me in the mirror is sad.
T or F – My self-concept needs improving.
T or F – I worry about the past, the present and the future.
T or F – I’ve had more headaches, upset stomach, constipation, rapid heartbeat, etc. in the last six months than usual.
T or F – I think that people have noticed that I am not working as well at my job, or enjoying life like I used to.

Great men in the Bible, such as David (in many of his Psalms), Elijah (I Kings 19), Moses (Exodus 18), and Jonah (Jonah 4) experienced depression. In each of these situations God sent someone to help the suffering individual but He did not condemn him. Psalm 23:18 says, The Lord is close to the broken hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Whatever the cause, God cares about the person experiencing depression.

Some Interesting Facts

– One in four women and one in ten men will develop depression some time in their life.
– Men experience depression differently than women. Men tend to get angrier.
– Depression can affect children as well as adults and the elderly.
– Suicide may result when depression has not been treated successfully.
– Depression has been called the common cold of the mind.
– Between 80-90% of the people seeking treatment get well.

What Are Some Symptoms Of Depression?

Everyone feels sad sometimes due to a significant loss such as a death, a divorce or losing a job. Anger turned inward can also cause sad feelings. When these feelings are not dealt with properly and they continue over a long period of time, a person usually experiences a major depression.

– Feelings of sadness for over two weeks
– Not wanting to spend time with friends and family
– Increased irritability
– Changes in sleep and appetite patterns
– Frequent crying spells
– Difficulty concentrating
– Forgetfulness

How Can You Help A Depressed Person?

We often feel uncomfortable around a depressed person because we don’t know what to say or do for him. This may cause us to make some serious mistakes when we try to help them. So what can you do to help?

Let him be honest about his feelings.
Allow him to talk about his negative, depressed
feelings. Don’t say, You shouldn’t feel like that.

Be there for him. A depressed person may have lost someone important in his life. Let him know you care and will be there for him.
Be aware. A depressed person often tries to avoid
dealing with his feelings, or to pretend he is fine. If he fails to get help, he will only become more depressed. Help him get help.

Avoid saying:

Just trust God.
Just get over it.
If you would just do . . .
You have a lot going for you. You shouldn’t feel so bad.

When to Seek Help:

Major depression is a serious illness and can be fatal if left untreated. A person cannot face this illness alone. Seek professional help for yourself, or for someone you care for when you see:

– Three or more symptoms of depression
– Response to your attempts to help
– No family or friends there for support
– There are suicidal thoughts
– The person turning to substance abuse
– The individual cannot take care of his family or himself.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:10 & 13.

Major depression can greatly affect a person’s ability to function at home and/or at work, and inhibit the enjoyment of life in any way.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Some people may only experience occasional bouts of situational or circumstantial depression throughout their lives where others may suffer from depression several times in their lifetime while and some may live with major depressive disorder also known as clinical depression, the most serious form of depression which is a brain disorder characterized by feelings of severe sadness, misery and deep despair, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep.
•Thoughts of and attempts at suicide.
•Loss of interest in activities that were pleasurable in the past.
•Unyielding anxiety, profound sorrow or feelings of emptiness.
•Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness or guilt.
•Feelings of hopelessness or gloom.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30