Dem Blues…

depression_graphicDepression…What an ugly word. As a man it’s not even something we can readily share or admit. It’s almost taboo. I have to laugh because I had a few occasions where some of my close male friends and I have at one time or another, with tongue cheek confided that something was on us that we were having a hard time shaking something off. But, we never say the “D” word…. “LAUGHTER!”. We just could not say, hey, I’m feeling depressed. And sin of all sins, we are almost never allowed to say to our girlfriends or wives, I am feeling dot dot (can’t say the D-word).

As much as I’d like to say, “I was always able to Man-up!” so to speak, I just have to admit that I’ve had my days of struggling with “Da Blues”. Guess I have to turn in my man card now? Anyway, I write in part to say things that some want to say, but can’t or won’t. Depression is real. It’s even mentioned in the Bible.

I used to refuse to cry…period. I remember once in middle school, I broke my ankle playing football. As I lay there on the ground in agony, I started playing it off by laughing in an effort to keep my teammates from seeing me cry. I mean tears were squeezing out , but I just tried to make jokes and laugh while waiting for the ambulance. Later in life, I read that Jesus wept, boy was that a freeing moment!

Anyway, here’s some things about depression that I have researched and put together to at least let you know what’s going down, so you can get to getting back up if you ever need to! hope it helps.

While sadness touches all of our lives at different times, the illness of treating-manic-depressiondepression can have enormous depth and staying power. Even the ancient Greeks noted how disabling it could be, and that it was more than a passing bout of sadness or dejection, or feeling down in the dumps. If you have ever suffered from depression or been close to someone who has, you know that this illness cannot be lifted at will or wished or joked away. A man in the grip of depression can’t solve his problems by showing a little more backbone. Nor can a woman who is depressed simply shake off the blues.

Being depressed has nothing to do with personal weakness. Scientist developing knowledge of brain chemistry and findings from brain imaging studies reveal that changes in nerve pathways and brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can affect your moods and thoughts. These neurological changes may bubble up as symptoms of depression — including derailed sleep, suppressed appetite, agitation, exhaustion, or apathy. In addition, genetic studies show that although no single gene prompts depression, a combination of genetic variations may heighten vulnerability to this disease.

dbs-depression-front72-copyNerve pathways, chemistry, and genetics aren’t the whole story, though. Depression could be described as a lake fed by many streams. Its tributaries include traumatic or stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, and psychological traits, such as a pessimistic outlook or a tendency toward isolation. An episode of depression may result from one particularly powerful experience or from a confluence of several factors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, during a given year approximately 1 in 10 adults will suffer from some form of depression. Each episode usually affects a chain of people. It can fray bonds between you and your family and friends by spoiling intimacy, sapping emotional resources, and stealing the joy of shared pleasures.

Thankfully, years of research and breakthroughs have made this serious illness easier to treat. Early recognition of the signs of depression is more common than in the past. Newer treatments, such as drugs targeted at specific changes in brain chemistry, can cut short otherwise crippling episodes. A variety of drugs and therapies can also be combined to boost the likelihood of a full remission.

Just like a rash or heart disease, depression can take many forms.
Definitions of depression and the therapies designed to ease this disease’s grip continue to evolve. These shifts will continue to percolate through the field as more research flows in.

Hey fellow LifeTrain passengers, If you have ever suffered from depression (or think you have), know that you are not alone and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Seek help, and again know that you are not alone.

I mentioned earlier that depression was addressed in the Bible;

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4 comments on “Dem Blues…
  1. T.C. says:

    Once again I feel the heaviness of the present topic…Whew…Praise the Lord…His yoke is easy, His burden is light. Man, I always get so mad when I hear about people in depression…not at them, but at the devil. We all know that he has come to steal, kill, and DESTROY…he thinks he is soooo sneaky…but peek-a-boo to you…We see you. He will try every angle possible…our hearts (emotionally), out bodies (physically), our souls (spiritually), and of course of MINDS! But Hallelujah!!! He will not succeed…for we have dominion over all of his schemes. The price has already been paid…Jesus not only died for our sins, but His bloodshed was also for all sickness and disease…Praise the Lord. He is so awesome…He did this for us while we were still sinners. But remember, we have to be prepared for battle…we know that it is already won, but we still have to go into it prepared…Ephesian 6:11-18 We are told to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. It then says “Put on the whole armor of God”…implying YOU put on…it is up to us to clothe ourselves for the battle. So even when we are down and our faith is feeling small…remember it only takes the faith the size of a mustard seed to move moutains…It may take time for your healing to manifest, but it will…Just stand and after you have done all…Just stand and watch the Master work…whether choose to look out the window in the morning to see Him do His thing (awesome sunrises) or not…it will be done! Be encouraged! You may be pressed down (depressed) but you are not destroyed! He will never forsake you…Thank you God!

  2. Gwendolyn says:

    I appreciate you making life trainers aware of this topic. It has been my experience that many church folk don’t want to admit that they are depressed. It’s like admitting that you don’t have any power over the devil. The truth of the matter is that depression is an illness, it’s not something that can be praised away or receive deliverance from.I believe that several faith filled bible giants dealt with depression at some point in their lives;read Jeremiah 19:1-4 for an example.I have a very dear friend who is filled with Spirit,is a musician for a church, and suffers with bouts of depression. I admit, at first I could not understand how a born again believer in Jesus could have mental health issues until I began to understand that some problems are health related and not faith related. And yes, I’ve been depressed before, but thank God I am healed.

  3. Gerri says:

    I agree with T.C… there should be some spiritual foundation to get to the starting point of healing the wounds of depression. Whether it is saying a daily mantra/proverb/psalm or simply believing that the past will not repeat itself.

    I have to say however as one who works in the mental health profession that we are not always favored among the more fundamental Christians and other members of the religious community. I’ve been called a voodoo worker, accused of doing the work of the devil, practicing mind control, and all kinds of other derogatory things. I’ve heard similar comments made of those in the medical profession. There is the belief among some that only God is able to heal and humans should not seek help and treatment from each other.

    While I don’t disagree that God is the ultimate healer, there is a connection that people don’t always make. He also ordains, sanctions, and trains people as vessels to do His work.

    Chuckie you are so right.. depression is a mental illness that should not be neglected since it does have degrees of progession just like any other illness. There are the mild stages, moderate stages, severe/major stages with psychotic episodes, bipolar disorders, and many others. When depression goes neglected, people tend to find their own ways to take and edge off of the pain. They find different addictions.. some will even exploit the church and religion as an addiction. I’ve seen people leave church as high as a kite from an energy charged service, then go home and vegitate on the couch in a state of major depression. Street drugs, sex, alcohol, nicotine, food, violence, power.. all of these things are used as a substitute for one simple little thing with a big stigma: counseling and treatment.

    Having depression really isn’t a sign of weakness and is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not necessarily a sign that you don’t know the Lord, it’s not a cop out, and it doesn’t mean that one is lazy and unmotivated. It won’t go away on its own.. it has to be handled delicately and with care. It is very much a ‘one day at a time’ illness that has to be handled with patience and understanding.

    Thanks chuckie for making us think about this….

  4. The Amplified Bible says, in 1 Samuel 30:6, “David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

    Notice he was greatly distressed, and if you read the context, he had every reason to be truly depressed, but what did David do? David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God! He CHOSE to encourage HIMSELF. This is what I think a lot of folks miss… they don’t make a conscious decision to encourage themselves in God! To rely on Him and His strength! They just sit around and wait for their FEELINGS to change… don’t wait for feelings! Make a decision to trust God… make a decision to encourage yourself in Him! Don’t even wait on others… though we should encourage one another, rather, make to decision to encourage yourself!