You may have heard the brouhaha about Starbucks un-Christmas-sy cups. (Like the Three Wise Men gave “Christmas-sy” ones with snowflakes and evergreen trees and santas on little infant-sized cups filled with double-lattes or clove or chamomile tea.) Because I can’t think of any corporate business that is going to put “Jesus Loves You” on their packaging, though that would be wonderful
(and surprising!) and in the true spirit of celebrating Christ.
Ah, but when I looked again I noticed they have the festive, red cups with the green ever-present Starbucks mermaid with a star on top of her head, flinging her fins (in a rather unladylike-way!) instead of some traditional depiction of the season that looks more reverent. So, yes some people may have been upset, I understand that, but that’s probably the least thing on the mind of a depressed person during this season.
Sometimes depression is brought on by the season, or deepened by it, sometimes it is the predominate emotion throughout the year, other times it is triggered by a traumatic event, or it can come “out of nowhere” it seems. And still other times it can be a combination of all of those things.
Depression is like being wrapped in a thick blanket of doom and unrelenting devastation on a desert island of loneliness and no one really knows how you feel–though they may say they do. And I know you want to smack them (in your mind, of course) when they say “snap out of it, sunshine!” or some other un-knowing comment. But give them a break. They can’t know how you feel. Unless they have been THAT depressed, too.
Welcome! You’ve come to the right place. I truly know how you feel, because for 12 years at least, I went through a kind of cyclical depression that came after a “normal” emotional and mental period, preceded by giddy manic highs and then back to months and months of no-let-up depression. I had what is called bi-polar illness or manic depression. I didn’t care what it was called. I just wanted it to end.
The crash feels like your psyche, your soul, your mind your spirit, your hopes, your dreams, your visions, (and sometimes your spouse, friends or loved ones, too) all conspired against you to take a hike, over the river and through the woods, leaving you just a shell of yourself. The worst part is not just feeling that awful despair, the worst part is the endless days and nights and not knowing when or if it will cease, if you’ll ever have real relief.
If you don’t know the Lord of Lords and King of Kings Jesus, get to know Him now, repent of your sins, ask Him to forgive you (we have all sinned!) and believe He is the God-sent Savior that died on the cross, shed His blood as a sacrifice for you and was resurrected from the grave to be the Promise that will guide you here. And lead you into eternal life. This is imperative for any real spiritual healing. I believe this with all my heart.
Before I go deeper into this article, I want to help you possibly get prayerfully some almost instant relief. No matter how incremental, it’s important to start. Don’t feel like getting up? Most extremely depressed people don’t feel like doing anything. They are not lazy, they are depressed and truly weighed down by something invisible.
The Bible calls depression ” the spirit of heaviness.” BECAUSE DEPRESSION IS HEAVY AND IT IS SPIRITUAL.
Here’s a plan, the next time you have to go the bathroom (and you will!) come back and get your Bible and/or fire up your computer to the Holy Bible online BEFORE YOU LIE BACK DOWN. Have it accessible and nearby within arms reach. Grab your Bible and hold tight. Read it. That’s a novel thought. But this is not a novel. This is power-packed, non-fiction and Truth is what you need to set your soul free and expel the devil’s lies.
Don’t feel like reading the Bible? Listen to it online if possible. But began to immerse yourself in the Word.
Just start with Psalms, you’ll see King David gloriously happy and then terribly depressed, and then joyous again. Just knowing that there was someone in the Bible (actually more than someone, Elijah, Job, Jeremiah, Mary Magdalene, the man at the tombs, cutting himself with stones) are just a few of the people in the Bible who went through devastating depression until God cast the demonic spirits out and lifted the spirit of depression.
I will post Psalms 28 and Psalms 40 for you to meditate upon. Better if you can read it out loud no matter how weak or feeble you are in your soul, or how futile you feel it will be. Confessing the scriptures out loud is conviction and faith and it is good for the soul. And you may feel “What’s the use?”
“Everything is awful.” and so on and so forth and you may want to go bleakly back to wishing for oblivion. Non-existence. Bury you head in the bed. Don’t! Relax, but don’t despair. Decide now to say: “I rebuke any evil thoughts in the Name of Jesus.” His Name has such POWER. You may feel silly, but you are pushing back hell-sent programming and evil spirits to grab onto the mercy and grace of God.
Say Psalm 28 out loud: “The LORD is my strength and my shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of Thanksgiving. (Psalm 28:7)
You may be tempted to say: “Yeah, right.” Don’t, or rebuke that in the Name of Jesus. You are changing your reality here and you are leaning on the Word sent in the Flesh (Jesus) and counting on the Word of God to over-write your days of doom with His words of Life.
The KJV version of Psalm 28:7 is similar of course, but more formal, whichever or both will help: “The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusteth in Him and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with song will I praise Him.” Beautiful.
Psalm 40 in the plain English version:
(For the director of Music. Of David. A Psalm.)
“I waited patiently for the LORD, He turned and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and hear the LORD and put their trust in Him.”
I wanted to point out here, something extremely significant: That in both of these psalms, Psalm 28 and Psalm 40, David mentions that as he pours his heart out to the Lord God. He will also PRAISE HIM WITH SONG. He will SING SONGS of Thanksgiving and sing a new song unto God. I cannot emphasize enough how praise music will make the evil one flee! (Why? Because you’re not rocking out, singing the blues or boogeying down with the boogey man. You’re praising the Most High God! ) and the devil hates Praise Music. He really does.
It makes the adversary of our souls want to run for the hills ( or death valley) or somewhere, anywhere, just to get away from you. Yes! And that’s what you want and need so desperately so that you can get relief from the enemy’s constant “bearing down” on your soul with depression. This is what you need, for the enemy to retreat and run, so that you can HEAL through the power of JESUS.
Through prayer and praise music. You are building up a wonderful force-field of POWER through God that will force the enemy of you soul. Out. So that you can get stronger and more hopeful and begin to mend your life inside your being and in the outer world of your environment.
And God will point out what areas need correction, alignment and begin to minister to you, casting out bad spirits (despair, anger, loneliness, depression!) and wll replace them with His good healing spirits (faith, hope, peace and joy) with heavenly angels attending and also ministering to you through Him.
If not immediately the Lord God will eventually lift your soul out of the miry clay, the muck and the mud, and you may even feel evil spirits exit as the glow of the warmth of Our Father God, Holy Spirit and Son wash over your parched, thirsty and heavy soul. Bringing refreshment and God’s Light and His tremendous Love. For you.
Put on great praise and worship music at night, wonderful holy, praise music during the day. But especially play it throughout the night if possible. Keeping the volume low and sweet is fine throughout the night. It will chase the living nightmare and gloomy day dreams and night dreams away with the power of His praise. His Glory.
This is only a start, but a great one. I have often mentioned PRAYER WITH FASTING for a powerful spiritual weapon against the enemy. Wielding this awesome weapon with the amazing strength of God–and how it can break the stronghold of soul-sickness. I believe prayer with fasting is so instrumental in curing depression, manic depression, bipolar illness, schizophrenia, can even help with ADD, dementia and autism.
I make this bold statement coming boldly to the throne room of Grace or Our Father God in Christ Jesus. Our Healer. I have a testimony of His healing and I don’t say it in theory. I know His healing is real. I know it is true.
Oh here is a little boon, or it may help tremendously as another tool, that’s not like the heavy and often toxic effects of psychotropic drugs or anti-depressants. Have you ever tried the natural supplement SAM-e? I have when I went through the “moody blues” for no apparent reason and was afraid it would escalate into full-blown depression. Though I don’t take it now it’s a wonderful vitamin supplement that works in a sort of St. Johns Wort-kind a way.
(St. John’s Wort is a herb that you can drink as a tea that’s a mild, peaceful-feeling mood-lifter.)
Well SAM-e works like that, peacefully, smoothly WITH your body not as an assault on your system. SAM-e is s-adenosyl methionine (oh yeah, that clears up everything!) and it’s a naturally-occuring molecule that the body makes that keeps or gets things humming along more harmoniously. Apparently diet, aging, sadness and stress can all deplete SAM-e levels. I think Nature Made makes SAM-e, as does a company named, Natrol and another one, called Pure Enscapulator (or close!) that makes it in capsule form. I’ve seen it anywhere from $10.99 up to no more than $50.00 a bottle depending on the brand so it’s not hugely expensive.
(Again it might be good to clear any vitamin supplement with your physician, but this is NATURAL, so use good judgment, but especially talk to your doctor if you’re taking other medications for pre-existing conditions.)
And remember we are triune beings– mind, body, spirit, so what you EAT or DRINK, imbibe or ingest (hope you’re keeping that next to nil!) can affect you spiritually and your emotions. Keep sugar to a minimum, because the blood sugar rise and crash can send you on an emotional roller-coaster and can aggravate or trigger depression. It’s difficult sometimes not to eat more and feast (or gorge?) during the holidays with so much emphasis on food, but maybe a little bit of everything instead of three pieces of pie and nine helpings of stuffing, well moderation will be much better for your digestion and your emotions. There IS a brain-gut connection and it’s more than thirty feet long! So it’s a huge, serious part of your physiology. Take note and think about this fact.
Keep your elimination moving along. Constipation is a huge enemy of the soul. Yes, I said soul. People make light of it, but you can’t be in good spirits and hear God clearly if you’re blocked, congested and toxic. You will be bloated, lethargic and yes, depressed or more depressed than usual.
Eat enough good fiber and leafy stuff and lean meats to clear out any holiday over-indulgence or to just de-tox from perhaps not the best food choices all year. Again fasting with prayer when you can focus on this, is soul maintenance and a whole revival for your mind, body and spirit.
On alcohol and sugar laden foods: Well, alcohol is just the enemy of natural joy in the long-run. Some people are not addicted like alcoholics, but still alcohol turns to sugar and that will affect your emotions. It’s just best not to drink alcohol at all if you’re dealing with depression. A three-day fast can begin to break any alcohol, drug or sugar craving for sweets.
Need some company, really lonely? Away from family and friends or can’t spend all day with them? Do something uplifting for some person other than you, no matter how tiny. A neighbor, or someone you don’t know. It will help them and you.
If you have the energy (and pray for it!) Go outside and feed a little bird or an energetic squirrel. This may sound stupid and uncommonly sad, but I tried it one time and it was surprisingly therapeutic. And squirrels are guaranteed to make you laugh. They will bury what you give them after just a couple of nibbles, and come back repeatedly to beg for more like they just saw you for the first time. If you have a personal pet, even better. The point is to engage with your environment, not your self-defeating thoughts to break the spell of depression.
It’s cool to be lonely and hang out an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. They are waiting for you. Whether you have a problem or not, you will not feel sadder because many people will be there for the same reason. Pray in the Name of Jesus, however, before you go in to keep their free-roaming unsettled spirits away from you. Seriously.
They have AA meetings around the clock during the holidays in many cities and they really cater to people around this time of year. Pray quietly for the people there you see suffering or the ones giving their qualification, whether you have struggled with alcohol or not. Meet and greet a few people, but be careful there is a lot of dysfunction in those meetings, many people don’t know Jesus, but you won’t be lonely. And you’ll have been engaged in quiet ministry, which in turn will minister to you.
Unfortunately, too many churches are closed on Christmas Day, which to me is about the dumbest thing ever, if they have all the decorations up and have been celebrating Christmas all month. Some however are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Perhaps your church is one of the wiser ones that is open! Good, summon up the energy to go! You will leave in better spirits than when you entered. Jesus will meet you there in His wondrous Glory. Definitely plan to go on New Year’s Eve. Or have church at home complete with music. He is there, too. He is everywhere, you are.
Look up prayer telephone lines if you’re away from family and friends and talk with a prayer partner, they are available 24 hours too. Or call them anyway. It’s great to have someone pray with you.
I want to finish up with much more to banish the blues this Christmas, holiday season, New Years Eve and Day and any day throughout the year, however I have stumbled upon some reading and great revelations and research and Biblical truths that I need to continue to now read (before I get distracted!) So that I may prayerfully communicate how much God loves you and the amazing power of His methods to break free in subsequent posts and more about mental illness and mental health. I consider this my life’s work so I didn’t want to leave you hanging with Part One only of this post while I dive into research and God’s Word, which I want to share with you, too.
You are on my mind, for as I mentioned, I truly know how you feel, whether you are going through the holiday blues or heartbreak, financial problems, clinical depression, guilt, loneliness, anger, grief, regret, some great loss, bad food choices, or a combination of these behaviors and emotions.
I have found however time and again, that as the Bible says: Joy truly does and can come in the morning! Haven’t you experienced how life can turnaround in a day? That turnaround can definitely happen when you start your day in reverent prayer, even the most simple utterance can begin to be a huge blow to depression.
Your freedom is of utmost importance to Our Creator God who made our bodies and our emotions and wants you to be saved, whole and uplifted with the natural happiness– Real Love and True Joy that comes from abiding in, listening to, and staying close to Him.
Please also review GOD’S PRESCRIPTION FOR DEPRESSION, which has some pertinent pointers as well, I think, and it’s one of the earlier posts here. We will get through this Christmas and this New Years! God willing, and I believe He is! And if you are feeling dread these days, I pray in the midst He brings you even some spark of unexpected Joy and hope. Have faith that that Joy will grow. Jesus was born (probably not on Christmas!) ministered on earth, died and resurrected leaving us His Holy Spirit as our Comforter. Because He wants us whole and joyous. Because He loves us so.
at 7:08 pm on December 14th, 2015