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Mental Disorders

Christian + Depression = ?

hello-there

Today we will be talking about Christians and depression. Depression is a prevalent topic in today’s culture, and it’s super important we understand what it is, how to “deal” with it, how to help others that have it, and what professionals say about it. While we will be touching on that, I want to focus on the combination of Christians/depression. Is it allowed? Can you be a Christian and depressed? Let’s see.

Christian + Depression = _.png

Before I get into this, I want to put this out. I apologize if I offend anyone throughout this post. It’s not what I want, (to offend), but it may happen. If it does, please be understanding. Realize I know it’s my job to put my beliefs on you, this is a discussion. Not a lecture.

So, let’s get into this topic. First, the basics.

What is Depression? (Sad or Depressed?)

Here’s the thing. A lot of people say they are depressed. However, not as many actually are. Why? Because they think they are. Some even convince themselves of it and soon become depressed. Please do not project upon yourself. If you’re (truly) depressed, the first step is to know that you are, but you don’t want to project that on yourself before you actually have it, if you ever will.

I don’t believe you have to go to the Doctor and get drugs to prove you are. If you feel down in the gutter, increasingly bad about yourself, and you feel like you’re in a pit, you may be depressed. You have to feel like this for more than a day. ‘Cuz the thing is, everyone has bad days. If it’s been going on for months; which it sometimes does, you may have a problem. I would suggest researching more about it to see if you have many of the symptoms. (This could be a type of research). I’m getting this from my Introduction to Psychology class at LeTourneau University; which is a full-on college class. And my own research. I did a four-page paper on depression.

The thing is, there are two types of depression. There is emotional depression, (this comes from traumatic accidents, grief, and it’s emotional, etc.) the other is truly a problem with the brain. It is a lack of serotonin.

What are the two types of depression? (Deeper)

We’re going to focus on brain-depression. Lots of emotionally depressed people are out there, and usually, they don’t need drugs. Why? They don’t have chemicals to balance. They need time, a support group, and again…time. If you don’t have chemicals to balance, I don’t think you should lean on drugs to help you. However, that is my opinion. Some Christians say that you should lean on God and not drugs. However, I understand if you need them for a time, (especially with a lack of serotonin or other certain chemicals that affect your daily life). I don’t know if you should live on drugs your entire life, to me, that’s saddening. But if you need them, you need them. And maybe you can get off of them at some point; which if so, good. for. you.

Now. What is serotonin? Serotonin is important in brain function. It helps you feel happy and has other psychological functions. If you don’t have serotonin, you may have increasingly serious depression. The brain is complex and we still do not know everything about it. But we do know that serotonin helps with your happiness level and fights depression. If you’re happy, you’re happy. Your body uses that serotonin, it’s not an emergency chemical because you’re feeling depressed. It is supposed to stop it.

What Do Depressed People Think About Themselves?

This is one thing I said in my paper:

This {depression} can be seen in low-self-esteem teenagers who grew to have emotional depression; which can make their already low self-esteem lower, their thoughts harsher, and their reality darker.

Depressed people sometimes even have anger. Sometimes this “mask” covers it up. Sometimes depression comes from a bad home life, bullies, a parent/best friend dying, or a combination of small things and it becomes a straw that broke the camels back situation. Self-esteem is practically gone in some cases. I have extremely low self-esteem, for example. Sometimes I am on top of the world, but then certain things happen. (Someone makes fun of me, then a bad grade comes in when I was sure I was going to get an ‘A,’ and then a friend cancels our visit, etc.) These things have happened to me, and sometimes if this keeps on and on, and then suddenly you have this sinking feeling it will never get better. You feel broken and you feel like you will never be whole again. Many people have this feeling. If it lasts and lasts, you need to get up and figure out some things.

Why are you depressed?

Is there someone you can talk to?

How can you fix it? (Support group? Mentor? Reading the Bible?)

Fixing it will definitely be the hardest out of these. I want to make sure you know I realize that. It’s not a snap of the fingers. Sometimes you can be depressed for years and it takes another year to fully get happy again. And that doesn’t mean you  won’t have bad days. It means you can get over that hill with a look of triumph on your voice. And you won’t feel bad you had that hill in the first place. Because if you do, you will slide back down that hill.

What Do We Do About this Thought Structure of a Depressed Person?

I wouldn’t stereotype, laugh, or deem it stupid. Depression is real. Depression is serious. Depression is prevalent. But it shouldn’t be normal. I don’t want this world to be comfortable to the idea that there are three million cases per year in the USA.

Why?

Do we all have a lack of serotonin? Do we all have horrible lives? Do we all have no one to lean on?

No. No. No. If you are emotionally depressed, you need to know you are emotionally depressed. If you can fix it by yourself (without drugs) you should try. If you can’t, get the help you need. There is no shame is needing help. Just have courage.

And a part of courage is realizing you are scared sometimes, and going through the fight pushing back the fear. So says the great Aristotle. Bravery, without fear, is not courage. So says me. 😂 (Sorry, it was getting dense). Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s letting what you need/want to do, others’ needs, and putting them above that fear.

To the Big Question. Can Christians have Depression?

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ~Nehemiah 8:10.

Well, great. Are you not a Christian? Before you throw your hands up, close your laptop, or pull your hair out…give me one second.

Firstly, it was mistranslated. It actually says (in Hebrew) “Do not grieve, for the Lord’s joy is your strength.” Different, isn’t it? But, that’s really a side note. 😛 Had to put that in there. If I’m going to use it, I want to make sure it’s right.

The answer is yes. You can be a Christian and be depressed. Now, some cynical people still don’t believe me. I mean, it’s true. You can’t believe it just because I said it. (I will be giving my resources at the end if you’re super untrusting. XD). God doesn’t drive us off if we are depressed. It doesn’t mean that we’re horrible people if we’re depressed. It doesn’t mean we can’t help people to Christ, God doesn’t love us, or something like that.

God wants us to get better, He wants us to become more like Him. But He also knows where we are and won’t give it all up when we start crying in the middle of the night for no reason at all. He loves you and He loves me. 

Is it weird I’m quoting my paper? Haha. 😛 It was four pages, okay? I said a lot! XD

An adolescent needs to be careful before they speak over themselves a serious disorder, that is depression. And when it is concluded a teenager is in fact depressed, help should be given, not scorn. Anything is possible with God, even depression. However, depression does not make you less worthy as a Christian. In fact, Jeremiah was “depressed” and that is one thing he is even known for. And Jeremiah is (also) deemed one of the best prophets in spite of his depression. 

No way! Jeremiah. A major prophet. God talked to Him. He was doing His God-given job. And he was depressed? Yes. Was he stupid? No. He was intelligent. Was he awful? No. He was not. Was he any less worthy? No. No. And no. He was doing more for God than most of us in spite of his depression.

And I think that should be us. We should do things ‘in spite of’ sometimes, not ‘because.’ Just because you’re depressed doesn’t mean you can’t be used by God.

When You’re a Christian, Does That Mean the Thought Cycle (Explained Above) Changes?

Not really. You may have Bible verses in your head and things like that. In a way, it’s easier because you had God by your side. However, at the same time it may be harder. Since you are a Christian, you may have ‘I’m a Christian, I have God, but I’m still facing this…’ and ‘Why am I reading my Bible, and nothing is happening?’ etc. The thought cycle, of depressed people, does not really change much, it may even be worse; which in a way, makes absolute sense. I think you should take it one step at a time, even if that means it takes a long time. You want to heal, you don’t want to cover it under the rug. As a Christian, it’s our “commission” to give testimony and make discplies. You can be a prophet, even depressed, you can be an inspiration, even depressed. But don’t wear yourself out, still work on you. Even if it takes longer. Be your best.

Getting More Personal

My personal experience with depression…it was (or is) hard. I’m getting better, but like I said, it’s not a snap of the fingers. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write about God. People, in some of my darkest moments, have said I was inspirational and easy to talk to.

What just happened? I’m over here so, so angry and depressed. But they walked away happier.

It’s not about me solely. It’s about God using me and me not fighting it. You can’t fight God’s hand. It’s not only not right to you, to Him, but also to the people you can help.

Don’t, because of your bad self-image, rip away the world’s chance to see the real you. The one that can help and serve, depression or not.


I want to know your thoughts! What do you think about depression? Do you know anyone that has depression?

I will say, please be nice. If you disagree with someone, you can discuss and debate, but please don’t judge or be negative. Everyone has a right to their own opinion! 😀


What do y’all think?

ariana

By Ariana Evans

I am a Christian teenager and blogger. I very much love my family and friends. I have two online businesses on my blog. I love to write & practice my photography.

43 replies on “Christian + Depression = ?”

Depression is a normal emotion we have. Some tend to have more than others… in my personal experience, I Life events got me down. I saw therapists who labeled me and they put me on medicine. The medicine made me feel weird and didn’t work. And truth was that nothing was wrong with me. My environment was not healthy.

I think in this world, we’re taught to accept our conditions and labels… thus we get comfortable with our demons. The answer is something we’re taught is a crutch but we treat only the symptoms.

Liked by 4 people

We are expected to expect and accept labels. In my opinion, depression is not normal. Hats why people need help! But it sure isn’t something to be ashamed about. Unfortunately, anti-depressants often give you horrible symptoms like suicidal ideation.

Liked by 1 person

Personally, I believe antidepressants are engineered for such symptoms. It makes money and if one does commit suicide, population control….

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This is wonderful, Ariana. I personally haven’t been depressed very much. I’ve had moments, definitely, and I felt terrible. But I’m not really a person who can relate to others who have deep depression. Nevertheless, this post was super encouraging and well done. 🙂 ❤ *hugs*

Liked by 2 people

Ariana, I needed this today.

I’ve been having a pretty rotten week, and something my mom told me was that “Satan puts those thoughts into your mind”, which I know that yeah. But like you said about being a depressed Christian, sometimes that just makes it harder. I feel like I’m failing as a Christian, and then I just fall deeper and deeper down.

I think depression has become more common in today’s society because it’s a “normal” thing and “life isn’t fair” so just “get over it”. But honestly depression literally makes it to where everyday things like getting out of bed impossible. People need to reach out to each other, because honestly, I feel that if my “friends” had been more attentive, I wouldn’t have fallen so deep. (I’m not trying to say anything bad about them though, I’ve always had depressing tendencies)

I’m so sorry that you have depression. I imagine it can be hard, because honestly you just seem so happy all the time, and people would never know you’re depressed. Good luck with overcoming this, and I know it won’t be a quick and easy process, but I still hope you will feel better.

This ended up being a bit longer than I had planned, oops…

Liked by 3 people

I’m so glad I could be of help. I understand rotten weeks, months, and even years. You don’t have to feel like a bad Christian. Even Job, in his suffering, cried out to God and I’m sure he wasn’t feeling good, but a deep-rooted fast growing depression.
Yes, some of us do have more of a depressed personality. Some get angry, some get sad. I’m sorry you didn’t have the right friends (or they just weren’t there for you) when you were and are going through this. You can always reach out to me. I understand it, and I think God is really helping me out. It will be an uphill battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting for.
Sisters in arms. And your comments are always so amazing. Thank you.

Liked by 2 people

I admire that you are talking about this topic, Ariana. A lot of Christians avoid talking about depression & mental health, etc. because it doesn’t have “easy answers”. But this is such a huge thing in our country AND in the church. Thanks for sharing this!

Liked by 3 people

I have this too. I just want to stay in my room with the door closed. And not do anything . My dad just passed away and I was sooo sad and angry at the same time. I just cry and don’t talk to anyone fir the whole day. Thanks for sharing this! I needed it.♥️

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I’m so glad I could be of some tiny bit of help. I’m so sorry for your loss. Depression often comes from grow because it is so strange not having a family member or a best friend. Especially if it was unexpected. I’ll be praying for you and your family. Message me through the page if you ever need anything.

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Great post! Thank you for sharing. I have overcome depression. It needs to be spoken about more often, the depressed and their families need to be informed. It’s not easy to bring yourself out of it and it’s not easy for families to watch you go through it either. Well written. God bless!

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Hey! Thanks. Well, that’s not true. No offense. (Truly, no offense). I just took a class and looked at more studies/statistics and it’s still a thing. That’s why a lot of disorders are a thing.

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Hey Ariana! I loved reading your story and seeing your vulnerability and faith in the Lord shine through! I was wondering if you would want to be featured on my website, UnBlemished?
I began UnBlemished this summer as a platform for Christian women to share their insecurities and struggles in the hopes that through immense vulnerability they will find lasting freedom. I truly believe that is project is something the Lord laid on my heart and gave me a vision for and I am trusting Him with the process of this project. I am looking for new voices to share their stories in hopes of reaching more people and creating a community of sharing and encouragement! Let me know if you would like to partner with me in this!

Liked by 1 person

Hello! Thank you so much. That is an amazing idea and project. Good luck on it! I would love to be a part of it. Thank you for asking, that is so sweet. I would love to be a partner.
I’m sorry it took me so long to respond. A lot has been going on, including physical ailments. 🙂

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Thanks for getting back to me Ariana, and no worries– I hope you are doing alright, I will be praying for healing! I would love to talk with you and send you more information if you would go to the contact page on UnBlemished I can connect with you that way! I’m looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂

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I love this! As a Licensed Therapist who is also a Christian, I have encountered many people who have been hurt within the Church because as Christians they were “not supposed to” be depressed. Depression is real and it doesn’t measure someone’s spirituality or their relationship with God. Thank you for writing about this!

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I’m glad you enjoyed it. And yes, I’ve been with many people like that before. It’s funny, out of a lot of my friends that I’ve had over the years, I’m the “counselor.” So, I hear a lot of sad things. And of course, thank for your comment.

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This is wonderful. Too many Christians think if a person is depressed (I have Major Depressive Disorder and a form of bipolar depression called, I think, cyclothymia) and takes medication for it they must not have any faith. That if one is praying medication is not needed. But a chemical imbalance almost always takes medication to resolve. It has nothing to do with my faith or my prayer life.
Thank you for this.

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Thank you! Yeah, exactly. I’m sorry to hear about your bipolar depression. I am glad you are addressing it, though. And yes, of course! God may take you out of that state, but it would be a miracle that doesn’t happen often. I think we can use our disorders to help people.
Thanks for your lovely comment.

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Wow. Thank you so much for elaborating on this. I myself have struggled on how to view Christians who say they are depressed. Today especially is hard. I have a family member who has hard a very hard week and I’m struggling to help him see the bright side and push through.

Liked by 1 person

Of course. Yes, I think it’s a difficult topic that needs to be dealt with carefully. Good luck with that family member. Fighting the fight is worth it, and sometimes people struggle to do it alone. We all need a bit of help sometimes.
Thanks for your lovely comment! ♥️

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