It's quite normal to experience depression or sadness. It can come from major stresses, including job loss, financial difficulties, extended illnesses, a death in the family, or relationship breakdown. Sometimes depression can just appear completely unexpected.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimated that at least 17.3 million (or 7.1%) of American adults will experience at least one episode of depression each year. The American Psychological Association also identified the COVID-19 pandemic as an added health crisis because of the psychological impact it had on millions of people worldwide.
Rates of depression soared, with extended lockdowns, job losses, financial hardship, and grief as many of our loved ones lost their lives to the virus. Many Americans reported their dietary habits had changed, they were drinking more alcohol to cope with stress, and many weren't sleeping properly.
There's no shame in having mental health struggles at different periods. Many of us will experience generalized sadness or depression at different times. You can also consider a struggle with sadness or depression as part of your daily reality. In essence, we are facing evil forces with the potential to harm us spiritually. You can turn to the Bible for inspiration and assistance during these challenging times.
Sadness and anxiety can be a normal, temporary response to life stresses or major life changes, including childbirth, financial difficulties, unemployment, homelessness, a medical diagnosis, catastrophic injuries, or aging milestones like menopause. Even moving to a new house can disrupt your mood.
Many people with depression also feel fear regarding future or persistent anxiety. Other symptoms of depression and anxiety include having a general feeling that something bad is about to happen along with general restlessness and irritability.
Depressed people often have difficulty concentrating, experience sleep problems, and can feel on edge all the time. They may have difficulty concentrating at work or study and may lose their appetite and energy.
Depression differs from sadness in that it's more extended and often more severe. People with severe depression experience feelings of hopelessness. If you think that your depression has become serious, you need to seek immediate medical help and look into useful therapy or medication options.
Those suffering from mild to moderate depression can tap into their Christian faith to help. Periods of ongoing sadness, negative thoughts, and depressive feelings are when your spiritual well-being is under attack. At times like these, you have to lean on your faith in Jesus Christ to get you through.
The Bible talks about putting on the armor of God to protect against any form of evil or negativity.
In the Bible, Jesus calms the storm, He casts demons out of a man possessed by evil spirits, and the possessed man walks free. This story is a great example of how the Lord gives strength to his people. The possessed man is returned to sanity and returns to his village to tell others about the miracle that Jesus performed.
Listening to this podcast on how to overcome depression can also lift you up. It starts by leading you on a guided meditation and reminding you that you are safe. Remember, if you ask for help, God is always there.
You can think of your depression and negative thoughts as something you can fight against using prayer and meditation. There are lots of prayers for protection, which can help.
You can start by including these in your nightly prayers, or as a part of your daily meditation.
In these troubling times, it’s not unexpected that many Christians will turn to God to relieve their stresses. We’ve selected 21 of the most powerful Bible verses to lift you up during times of trouble.
During the pandemic, global depression increased significantly. Many people lost loved ones, livelihoods, and struggled with months of isolation during lockdowns.
Major depression differs from sadness in that it can be more severe and can last much longer. It's quite normal to experience grief and anxiety after a major loss in our life.
Many Christians will turn to the Word of God for support during times of crisis. In really dark times, Psalm 23:4 can provide the most comfort: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Turning to the Holy Spirit can give you the strength and hope to get through these tough periods.