To listen to the blog post “5 Powerful Ways To Cope With Depression As A Christian” over reading it just click the play button below.
Knowing how to cope with depression as a Christian can be confusing. Coping with depression can absolutely and totally suck. And so many Christians are at a lost on how to cope with depression. And I know what you may be thinking. What do I know? How do I know about depression? And what makes me so qualified to tell you how you can cope with your depression.
For those of you who regularly read my blog then you should have some idea about who I am but if you are new here let me introduce myself now. Hi, my name is Dr. Sophia Reed National certified counselor and I am a mental health professional who has also suffered from depression which I talk about in the video down below. So I completely get it. And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
I know what it is like to not want to get up and do anything, go anywhere, and you just cannot muster of the strength to simply survive. You may literally feel like you are hurting just by existing. And there is nothing that you can do about it. You can read the situation that lead to my depression by clicking here.
But before I get into the ways in which you can cope with depression, I want to take an excerpt out of my single mom’s devotional to just show you that I get it. I know exactly what you are talking about. And even as a mental health professional none of us are exempt from depression. It can literally happen to us all.
1. How To Cope With Depression As A Christian Choose To Not Worry
Excerpt from my book:
As a single mother, I have gone through so many things, especially when it came to money. I never really got a steady stream of child support, mainly because my child’s father was in prison for seven years after my son was born. After I got laid off from my job, the only emotion I felt was FEAR and ANXIETY. I felt fear when I heard a truck in my neighborhood, thinking they were coming to turn the lights off because I was late paying my utilities. I felt fear over not knowing how I was going to get food or pay my son’s tuition so that he could keep going to school. I was a nervous wreck about any and everything. Because everything was going so wrong, and I did not know what tomorrow would bring, I felt fear and anxiety. All of the time.
So I want to tell you that I completely get it. But what I know personally and professionally is that if you allow it to overcome you, depression is what you will become and that is how you will live your life. Depression exist, but we also have free will and it is within our will to fight the depression at every turn.
I can tell you from personal experience that when I just sat down being depressed I literally just got more and more depressed because all I had to concentrate on was how much my life sucked, how things were going wrong, and to fester more in my depression. It was not until I began to really fight it that I began to see things change for me.
“When everything is falling apart around you, it is easy to sink down into a world of depression and start feeling like things are never going to get better. And if you stay in that mindset, that is what your life will become.”
2. Cope With Depression As A Christian Find A positive
When coping with depression, depression is one of those things that will have us thinking that every single thing in our life is bad but that is probably not the case. Some things may be bad or A LOT of things may be bad but there is at least a few positive things that you can find and be thankful for. Often times when you are depressed it is hard to feel anything good or like anything good will happen. When you start to feel that way, that is when your depression become dangerous. Because then your depression becomes hopelessness and then you will start to question why you are even here.
Allowing your depression to spiral out of control into an even deeper place such as suicide. A tip for how to cope with depression is to remember this. Instead of allowing your mind to go to that place you need to go throughout your day and start pointing out some positives. No matter what you are going through there is something good about your life.
For example, at least you have a bed to sleep in because there are people out there who do not have that. At least you have a home or you had something to eat today, because there are some people who do not have that. At least you have the internet (hence you reading this blog) because some people who do not even have that.
Even if you are homeless on the street with no place to live, then be thankful that you are still breathing. Be thankful for that person that gave you change today. Finding something positive will allow your mind to transform and be positive. And if you cannot at all find a positive. Then make a positive. Do something for someone else and make their day.
As you cope with depression I think you will find that as you find ways to be positive, to smile, laugh, and to be thankful throughout your day the more you will start to believe that. Yes it may not take one day, it may not take a week, or even a month.
But after finding that positive you really have to believe what you are saying. Don’t just say it because that is what you are supposed to say. Say it because it is true, say it until you believe it. Also check out my blog on how to choose to be happy. You can also check out my video below on how to glory in your suffering for more tips on how to find a postive.
3. How To Cope With Depression As A Christian ~ Realize That Maybe Your Downfall is a Blessing
When I was coping with depression it was so freakin horrible and I stayed in that state for two to three years. I would never EVER want to go through it again but believe it or not that situation made me stronger, it made me want to fight harder (because I had a son to provide for and I could not give up), and it made me start this blog that you are reading today and helped make me an entrepreneur.
To help me cope with depression as a Christian, I believe
All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
And so somehow, some way, you have to believe the bad stuff can turn out for your good.
- Are you depressed about a certain situation or incident?
- You getting fired, getting divorced, or not being able to find a job?
Part of coping with depression is learning that even though your situation is depressing and you are depressed with your situation, the reason for your situation may be because there is something better in store.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
I am a huge proponent of resiliency. Resiliency is ones ability to adapt positively to an adverse situation. But the only way for resiliency to be formed is if one is exposed to some kind of hardship or adversity and is able to overcome it. That means that when something bad has happened in your life it is not made to break you but to make you stronger as a person. So instead of allowing the depression to defeat you, try to use how you feel, your anger, your sadness, and what you have gone through as a way to make you stronger.
3. Cope With Depression By Mastering Your Emotions
Believe it or not, you can choose to be the master of your own emotions. Yes there are chemical reasons for depression but you have some control in it too. You do not have to allow every negative thought to fester in your head until it consumes you (check out my blog on how to come out of depression). It is important to squash those thoughts at their onset. Remember the excerpt from my book from above. I want to give you the remaining part of the story:
But despite the fact that was a terrible time in my life I would NEVER want to repeat, it was the time in my life where I learned not to fear. This was a hard lesson to learn. Even when I had no job, when it took me so long to get another one, and when I was underpaid and still struggling. It took years to get to a spot where I did not feel like I was broke all of the time. But in the midst of that emotion, I stopped fearing. I learned that no matter how many things were not going the way I wanted them to, worrying did not change anything, nor did it get me anywhere. What does worrying get you? It almost got me a nervous breakdown, and I am not being funny. I was a nervous wreck. But what can you change by worrying? If they were going to turn my lights off, then they were going to turn my lights off. Me worrying was not going to fix that. What was going to fix it was trusting in God. Because God was the one that provided for me the entire time, despite my worrying and nervousness.
My point here is that to cope with depression I learned to let go of those emotions because they were not serving me well. In situations, where you cannot change what is going on you have to choose to control what you can control and since you cannot control the world you have to control yourself.
When coping with depression you have to choose to act happy when you do not feel happy. Sometimes you just have to fake it until you make it. I know it can be hard because when you are coping with depression that is the LAST thing you want to do. Be happy and pretend like nothing is wrong. But here is a thought, do not pretend.
Actually set your mind and yourself to going out today and feeling happy. Force yourself to do something that you would normally enjoy and really allow yourself to be in the moment and try to enjoy it. As I stated in my excerpt above, I had to let all of those negative emotions go because they were not serving me well. Me sitting in them was not doing anything but making everything worse.
So why not let it go and choose to focus on something else. Go to the movies, choose to watch a comedy, force yourself to a laugh, choose to go to a restaurant and have your favorite meal. And really try to focus on enjoying the activity that you set out to do. The more you do this, the more your brain will begin to shift from the depressive mindset to a positive one. Its like retraining your brain.
4. Start Coping With Depression By Talking To God
You may or may not be Christian, but I know as a Christian myself that God is real and you can talk to Him and He can talk back to you (read my blog here on that topic and here). I have screamed at Him, I have yelled at God, I have been upset with God over how I was feeling. And after I calm down and stop acting so irrational, He talks back. He calms my spirit and gives me direction. Often time in depression you feel like no one will understand how you feel or what you are going through.
But God can because He made you and He knows exactly how you feel. So when you feel lost and like you have nowhere to go and no one to talk to let God in because He has the amazing ability to shift your mood. He will never lie to you, He can tell you exactly what you want to hear, and how to stop falling into the state of depression. He will never go away, leave you or forsake you, and He is always watching and listening.
So no matter how depressed you are, know that there is a Father who created you and you were put here for a purpose. And He did not give you life so that you can just sit around, be depressed, not able to do what He put you on this Earth to do.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
In this case the “thief” can be your depression. It is something that wants to come in, steal your joy, and destroy you. Don’t let it because that is not what God put you here for. Go to the source, which is God Himself and allow him to help you work through the pain. Also, check out my video below on how to hear from God when you talk to him.
5. Start Coping With Depression By Learning What Role You Have Played In This
When learning how to cope with depression we have to reflect on the role we played in it. For many people this is a hard pill to swallow. Because there are many times that, you are the reason for your depression. You are depressed because you feel like you have no purpose and you are lost, you feel like the world is against you, or you feel like someone owes you something and if that person would just do (fill in the blank) then your depression would be over. There are a thousand lies we tell ourselves as to why other people are the reason why we feel this way.
The problem with this mindset is that you cannot change the world, you cannot change other people, and you cannot make any one do or feel any kind of way about you. So if you are depending and blaming someone else for the source of your depression then you have no self regulation. I want to take an excerpt from my book for single women, that explains exactly what I mean.
How To Cope With Depression ~ Excerpt from my book for single women.
As a mental health person, I may have used a word you are not familiar with so let me define self-regulation. In short, self-regulation means that YOU and only YOU have the ability to control yourself, your behavior, and your actions without the influence of other people. Depending on someone else to complete you is the opposite of having good self-regulation.
Instead of putting the problem on other people one way to cope with depression is that you need to reflect on what steps YOU need to do or how YOU need to change to get yourself out of your depression. You need to develop good self regulation and not continue to blame external circumstances or situations for your depression.
When I was going through my depression spout, YES it was hard, YES it sucked, and YES there were some good reasons why I could have been depressed. But I either could blame my situation or I could do something about my situation. I chose to put the plan back on me and do something about my situation. You need to have a come to Jesus moment with yourself and asked yourself “Am I my own worst enemy” or “Am I the reason for my problems.”
If so, you need to figure out how you can change that. Take personality responsibility for your downfalls and set to making them right instead of expecting other people to do it.
Depression can be hard YES but don’t let it become your entire way of life. If you do you will spend years in depression and you will surely watch life pass you by. If you know someone who could use this information then feel free to share this post with them.