Overcoming Depression Part II
"Don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly."1
Yesterday we talked about depression that has a physical cause and some where the cause has its roots in emotional issues.
Furthermore, considerable depression is caused by repression of negative feelings such as anger. Dr. Theodore Isaac Ruben, eminent psychiatrist and author of The Angry Book, reminds us that when we deny our true feelings and smile when we feel like snarling, the suppressed anger can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, psychosomatic illness, alcoholism, frigidity, impotence, and downright misery.
Anger turned in on ourselves can drive us down into a spiral of depression. No wonder the Bible advises, "Don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry-get over it quickly."
Depression can also be caused by a denial of emotions. This is why the healthy reaction to adverse situations is to accept our feelings and express them creatively—verbally or through writing.
Mental causes. Faulty thinking is another cause of depression. Many counselors believe that feelings follow thoughts. That is, negative feelings follow negative thoughts while positive feelings follow positive thoughts.
While we may not have control over many of life's circumstances, we do have control of our thinking. By disciplining the mind, choosing positive thoughts, and doing something constructive can help change our moods.
This is why the Bible taught centuries ago, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."2
Spiritual Causes. Man is much more than a physical and emotional being with a need for food, rest, exercise, and loving relationships. He is also a spiritual being with a need for a relationship with God. An impaired relationship with Him or anybody else can cause depression. Unresolved guilt, failing to forgive all who have ever hurt us, rejecting God's call to follow him, or resisting his will can also cause miserable depression.
To overcome depression, no matter what its origin, we obviously need to discover and resolve its cause or causes.
Is the cause physical? A thorough medical examination can help answer this question. A balanced diet, proper nutrition and hormone balance, adequate rest, and regular exercise are all crucial to overcoming depression, worry and anxiety. In some cases where there is a chemical deficiency or imbalance in the brain, a doctor may see the need to prescribe anti-depressant drugs.
To be concluded ....
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when and if I am depressed or anxious, please lead me to the help I need to face and resolve the causes whatever they might be. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:26 (TLB).
2. Philippians 4:8 (NIV).