I want to talk about how to deal with depression and anxiety as a Christian. I also understand that what I am about to say maybe a little out of the box for some of you who are expecting normal worldly ways as an answer to both depression and anxiety. But before you dismiss what I am saying as being some psychopath Bible thumbing charismatic Christian hear me out. First, I am a mental health professional, second I was someone who suffered from depression and anxiety, and last I am a Christian. So trust, I am very aware of what the feeling is. In my book for single moms (Click here to buy) I stated the following on where my issues stemmed from with both depression and anxiety.
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 childâ€™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 sonâ€™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.
When I lost my job a few days before closing on my home that was when the anxiety and depression came in big time. Would you believe that I had anxiety so bad that I would literally shake or I did not want to check the mailbox or face anything in the real world because I thought that if I did not see the problems, know about problems, then I could pretend that the outside world and problems and fears associated with it did not exist. Thinking that would prevent me from feeling anxiety. Though that did not work it did not stop me from trying.
I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, I become a single mom on my own, and my son’s father was in prison with a rotation of women swirling around him. I felt like everything was always falling on me and I could NOT COPE. Life was happening and there was not anything I could do about it. I had destructive situations with men, all of which contributed to my ongoing depression for years on end. It was not until I lost my job that anxiety came in. You can click here to my full story on that situation, watch the video below where I talk about my journey and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here.
During all of this, I still had to keep going. I still had a child I needed to take care of and I still had graduate degrees to obtain. And it was through this process (as I said in my last depression blog) that I begin to fight the depression and the anxiety. So much so that I do not suffer from it anymore NOT AT ALL.
Do not believe the hype that you just have to sit there and do nothing about your depression or your anxiety because it is a chemical imbalance in your brain. You can do a lot. And the best thing is that you have God on your side as a Christian and He can help you fight. Do not buy into the worldly way of viewing mental illness that you are just a victim and you have to live your life in eternal suffering at the mercy of your mental illness and there is nothing that you can do about it. That is not true. I say this as a mental health professional, I say this as a Christian, and I say this as someone who has overcome both depression and anxiety and am stronger because of it. And now I want to teach you how to deal with depression and anxiety as a Christian as well. Letâ€™s get into it, shall we?
Depression, anxiety, and the Christian life. Know who you belong to.
As a Christian, you belong to God and the same spirit that raised Jesus (Romans 6:10-11) is living in you. And if that spirit can raise Jesus from the dead do you not think that God cannot heal you from your depression and anxiety? Remember what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit:
But the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessorâ€”Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. John 14:26 (AMP)
When it came down to my depression and my anxiety:
I remember one day God told me this (also an excerpt from my single mom’s book)
The Bible teaches us: â€œThere is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 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. â€œCan anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27
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. â€œTherefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:25
My depression and anxiety stemmed from the lack of control I had in my life or my situation. I realized that God had my back and no matter how depressed I was or no matter how much anxiety I had nothing good was coming out of it and it was separating me from God. And that is when it dawned on me that this was the point. Which brings me to my next lesson in all of this.
Dealing with Anxiety and Depression as a Christian Realize Where It Comes From
As a Christian, you believe in God and so you must also believe in the devil.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10 (AMP)
As I said in my understanding the devil series which you can watch the video below, God intended for us to be perfect. It was not until Adam and Eve ate the fruit that all the sickness came in and we know that because of the following Bible verse:
Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man both spoke and saw. Matthew 12:22
The reason why I brought up this Bible verse is because note that the Bible verse states that a man was mute and blind and also considered to be demon-possessed. Not because the man was evil but because any imperfection such as sickness and issues with mental health is not of God and came into the world when the devil did. And it is something that we are all susceptible to simply because we are God’s children and the devil wants to jack up our day. If you do not believe me read the entire book of Job where the devil came to God and asked permission to inflict all type of sickness on Job (Job 1:6-22). My point is that, are you going to allow the devil’s vendetta against God and to come to play in your head, take you away from God, and ruin your life? To avoid this:
So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. James 4:7
I will tell you exactly how to resist the devil when he wants to make your mind his playground below. Watch my video on works of the devil below and click here to subscribe to my channel.
Suffering from depression and anxiety? How Not To Suffer Forever
I highly recommend you read my blog on Tamar, but I want to give a quick account of what I said. Tamar was raped by her half-brother Amnon and after the horrific act (because it is horrific) occurred she fled and she led the rest of her life into obscurity.
Now she had on a long-sleeved garment; for in this manner the virgin daughters of the king dressed themselves in robes. Then his attendant took her out and locked the door behind her. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her long-sleeved garment which was on her; and she put her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went. 2 Samuel 13:19-20
There is a point out of all of this as it relates to how to deal with depression and anxiety, I promise, stick with me. Things happen to us, things in life suck, and things in life are not fair. What happened to Tamar was worthy of being depressed and having anxiety BUT her inability to realize that she was a daughter of a king is what made her entire life purposeless. That moment robbed her of everything. The only person that ripped off her robes were Tamar because she forgot who she belongs to. And so she allowed what happened to her ruin her entire life. And that is what I do not want your depression and anxiety to happen to you.
And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman. 2 Samuel 13:26
We all have problems, we have all been through things, but you do have to decide for yourself will your depression and will your anxiety be conquered now or will you allow it to haunt you forever. Taking away from the wonderful life that you could live.
How this thinking transformed my depression and anxiety
If I would have given into my anxiety and my depression I would have failed out of school, I would not have a Masters let alone a Ph.D. I would have not eventually been able to get a better job due to my education and I would still have been stuck in that same place feeling the same thing. I would not have this blog, not be an Amazon bestselling author, none of it. And I want you to think about that. Do you want what you suffer from to rob you of your entire future and your existence, because it can, and it will if you allow it?
I also want you to check out a video that I did on K. Michelle and how she thinks ALL MEN are bad. This is just a prime example of someone’s inability to heal and how her mindset is keeping her from an actual positive relationship and she does not even realize it.
How to deal with depression and anxiety, what you can do now?
Now that you understand how to deal with depression and anxiety from a spiritual standpoint, I hope that it gave you both the strength and the hope to fight at any cost against it and not just let it happen to you.
The first step in learning how to deal with depression and anxiety is to renew your mind.
Depression and anxiety happen in your mind so you need to renew your mind all the time to actively work against it.
And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. Romans 12:2
As we know that God’s will for you is to not suffer and have anxiety or depression and that these are worldly things we must suffer from simply because we live in an imperfect world. I highly recommend the book from Joyce Meyers the Battlefield of the mind (Click my affiliate link to buy)
According to Joyce Meyer, worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger, and feelings of condemnation: all these are attacks on the mind. Joyce Meyer teaches millions through this book, how to deal with thousands of thoughts that people think every day and how to focus the mind the way God thinks. And she shares the trials, tragedies, and ultimate victories from her own marriage, family, and ministry that led her to wondrous, life-transforming truth-and reveals her thoughts and feelings every step of the way.
And in case you have no idea who Joyce Meyer’s is, know that she was someone who grew up in abuse and being raped by her father as a child up until her teens and she is unaffected by it, unlike Tamar she did not rip off her royal robes and she renewed her mind. Whereas she spoke extensively about her brother who died, who was unable to get passed what they endured as a child and got deeper into drugs and lived a life of homelessness and recklessness. Do you see how the devil wants to steal your life and your future, what side do you choose? Life or death?
I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. Deuteronomy 30:19
The second step is to get professional help
As someone who has done counseling I highly recommend counseling from the right type of people. I recommend counseling as a way to teach you how to cope with your depression and your anxiety understanding that counseling is not forever but to teach you the skills you need when the attacks come on you. Ideally, getting a faith-based counselor would be good for you as well so they can feed you spiritually.
As far as medication, I am not against it but also understand medication is not a forever way to cope nor it is a cure. Rather it is a mask and it covers the symptoms and when you come off the medication your anxiety and depression will return because you have never dealt with the underlying issue.
So if you choose medication also choose counseling, counseling groups, and even pastoral counseling. Choose treatment that is actively helping you deal with both your depression and anxiety and do not be dependent solely on the medication.
Third, take the power from the pain
In the song that I wrote as my single mom anthem (see video below), one of the lines that I said was to take the power from the pain. When I went through my anxiety and depression did it suck? YES. But as I cleared the foggy thoughts of both the depression and the anxiety I got to see the point of it all. It was to make me stronger and what I went through also gave me a purpose so that I could help others.
Going through what I went through also taught me to let go and just to trust God. I got so tired of just feeling that way that I just gave it to God and said whatever was going to happen was going to happen and the fact of the matter was is that here I am, still standing, I am still strong, or even stronger. What I went through did not kill me, it did not destroy me, I did not starve to death, and I did not remain jobless forever. I was able to figure out a way to pay my bills and I was not sitting in the house with no food, water, or utilities and I did not end up homeless on the street. All the things that I feared and had anxiety about never happened. When I choose to let go, the opposite happened, I allowed it to make me stronger.
And not only this but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5
I know to rejoice in your suffering is a strong word, because I do not think that I rejoiced but at the very least I understood what it was for. It made me stronger and I also kept telling myself that God will never put more on you than you can bear.
No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word”He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy]. 1 Corinthians 10:13
God would not let you have depression or anxiety if he did not have the full confidence that you could fight it. So fight!
I hope that this blog helped you learn how to deal with depression and anxiety the Christian way. No, it is not the traditional “take some pills forever and count to three and poof your anxiety and depression is gone.” But what I am saying worked for me and I am confident that it will work for you. How I did it and how I am teaching you to do it, is hard. It requires strength but if you can do it trust me there will be little that will come against you again as far as your mental health. Once you have faced and conquered a giant, regular battles don’t seem so hard.
If you know a Christian wanting to know how to deal with depression and anxiety go ahead and share this post with them. I talk so much about my book for single moms that if you are a single mom I want to give you the first chapter for free and it is an Amazon bestseller. Click here to buy the book or click here or the picture below to get the first chapter for free.