Whatever the causes, depression should not be viewed lightly. Sometimes the suffering is as hard, or more so, than a physical illness. There are many causes of depression, which need to be identified. It is important to have a medical check-up, as some forms are chemically based and need appropriate treatment.
What are the possible causes?
Life events such as: childbirth, relationship breakdown, loss, retirement, unemployment, illness, empty nest, and relocation
The environment also has an impact on us
Social isolation and loneliness can be a cause, particularly for young parents, the elderly, home workers and the disabled
Stress and anxiety
Genetics: there is no identified gene, but because of learned behaviour it can run in families (as a child we notice how parents respond to challenges in life)
Societal pressures: trying to live the perfect life by having it all
Poor parenting or neglect in childhood
All the above must be seen in the light of different personality types. Some personalities are more robust and resilient than others
With a friend (or by yourself) draw a horizontal ‘timeline’ of your life from birth to now, then write positive events above the line and negative ones below, all at the appropriate age along the line.
Can you identify the places which coincided with feelings of depression, notice any ‘trigger’ events?
Go back to those places and try to recall your feelings and write them down next to the event, what do you notice?
God can bring healing and freedom from the pain of difficult memories, but it does take time, for He likes to do a thorough job. Counselling and prayer ministry really help and spending regular time with God; get personal and get vulnerable with Him. Look at the Psalms: David was down one minute then up the next - he recognised his feelings and didn’t hold back.
Reflect on Philippians 4:6-9
Paul instructs us to pray first and to dwell on whatever is noble, right, excellent and praiseworthy.
Allow good things into your life, and this will help you know the God of Peace.
”Be still and know that I am God…”