How to manage depression is something everyone should be aware of. It is not a fun thing to talk about; but we all, at one point in our lives, will feel its slippery slope. It’s an exhausting cycle and at times we just can’t see the top. But how do we climb out once and for all? Learn three surprising ways to manage this uninvited downer.
What is depression actually?
Depression is not a secret, in 2017 there were 17.3 million American adults affected by depression. Depression negatively affects how we feel, the way we think, and how we act. It can last a couple of days, a few months, a handful of years, or a lifetime. It is a perplexing state of not knowing how to shut it off.
For five years+ I suffered from depression due to infertility. To make matters worse I became frustrated during those years because depression was messing with my identity. I felt like I just existed.
People don’t like to talk about depression. But people don’t talk about it enough. These days depression is swallowing up our children, yes children who are already on depression meds. It’s heartbreaking on many fronts.
How does depression happen?
There are a number of factors…too many to list, but usually, it’s when one event piles up after another. We’ve heard social media is a player (or layer) in depression. Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, says, “It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades…it’s largely because of Smartphones.” Social media is a false measure of our identities, she is totally right!
This isn’t just for iGen, it’s happening to other generations. Why? We want to be accepted yet be ourselves and for people to ‘like’ us no matter what. When this happens our values collide. Could this desire alone be the root of all depression?
Depression makes you stronger?
Here’s something I bet you didn’t know: Depression can make you stronger. This post isn’t about how to get through depression or manage Smartphone apps; it’s about what to do with depression when you’re climbing out of it.
Our dark days can either bring strength or weakness; it’s how we see it. Do you know how I said I just existed? I’m going to feel that way. But as I look back, I noticed this period of life wasn’t to hurt me, it was to strengthen me.
When we’ve ‘been there’, we start to see the eyes of people differently. Let me reiterate, depression can make us stronger or weaker by how we use that experience in our life.
Using our troubles to help rather than hide-in produces strength. Our strength in moving forward, in doing more than existing, is having the courage to help people who are going through the same trials we’ve been through. This heals.
3 ways how to manage depression
1- Seek God, seek the Truth
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. It is then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing, and perfect will” -Romans 12:2.
God is love, He is light. The Romans 12:2 verse gives me permission to step away from the world, its expectations, and false hope; and to instead seek the truth, strengthen myself, and use my experiences to do God’s will for my life. Reading a short daily devotional can help. I recommend Jesus Calling. Reading a study Bible is super helpful. And don’t forget the Bible App which has a lot of great study plans and more.
2- Look for someone who gets it
This isn’t easy. People don’t talk about this stuff. We need to take the first step here. As hard as it is, pursue people who have gone through the same thing and talk with them about it. Talking with someone who ‘gets-it’ brings comfort. This can be scary and vulnerable, but also very healing. If you belong to a church, ask them about a group to join.
If you need more than a conversation with someone, please seek out a professional, but make sure it is someone you trust and who is a follower of Jesus Christ.
3- Explore your identity
One other way to know how to manage depression is to dig deeper into who you are. Your identity matters. There is no better place than to ask your Creator. Pray and stand firm with Ephesians 2:10, For I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that he has prepared for me to do. Listen up, you are valuable. The talents and abilities and the gifts God has given you help shape you and equip you to do some pretty amazing things. Tap into those things. Explore. Find joy.
In John 15:11 Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” He’s saying come to me, know me, and I’ll sustain you when adversity hits.
Take better care of your body and understand how the best way for you to manage stress. We will all occasionally be visited by Depression. But at least we know how to climb out a little faster and stronger than we did before.
Wrapping up how to manage depression
Depression ain’t no joke. There are many layers of depression, the key is to keep moving forward to heal those layers and revive the core of your existence. Seek Jesus to navigate through this season. He loves, he heals, and he has equipped you to stand firm in the faith. Have hope friend, and continue to go after it, for HOPE will get you through step by step.
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By CT Copyright © 2017 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved.