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What Is Depression?

Fri, Jun. 22, 2018 Posted: 08:41 AM


I developed this short therapy session on Depression while working as a Clinical Therapist with inpatient mentally ill clients. I'm saddened upon learning of yet another person committing suicide and I decided to share this writing with you. In the training, I used various powerpoints so I'm going to ask you to imagine that you are sitting in this therapy session.

Do you find yourself asking questions like this: Why do I think like this, why do I feel like this, what is wrong with me? We are going to talk about What is depression? We will discuss symptoms and treatment of depression. First of all, depression does not mean that you are crazy? Depression is real. It is not something you can "snap" out of. Depression is a medical condition, an imbalance in the biochemistry of the brain and it changes your thinking and feeling.

IT IS TREATABLE. Successful treatment can be obtained through education, medication, psychotherapy, group counseling, and support. You are the most important person in your treatment plan. You must educate yourself about depression, its cause, and treatment in order to find the treatment options that will work for you. People ask, can Christians be depressed? Absolutely, we are not immune to the stressors of life, however, our faith will sustain us. Don't deny the reality of your situation. If you are depressed, admit it, face it and learn how to fight it. Reality says I am depressed. Truth says Jesus died to set me free from depression, every sin,, every sickness and by his stripes I am healed.

Let's talk about symptoms. According to DSM IV. During a period of two consecutive weeks, at least one of the following elements must be present: unhappy mood or loss of general interest or contentment. On top of this, at least 5 of the symptoms below must be present for a period of at least two consecutive weeks.
Showing a clearly depressed mood for the larger part of the day. This must be shown from either subjective reports or through observation by others.
A clear loss of interest or enjoyment in all or nearly all activities during the larger part of the day. This must be shown from either subjective reports or observation by others.
A clear loss or gain of weight and a change in appetite without dieting.
More or less sleep than normal, sleeplessness and a disrupted sleeping pattern.
Psychomotor agitation or slowing nearly every day. This must be visible to others.
Tiredness or loss of energy, nearly every day.
Feelings of worthlessness or extreme unwarranted feelings of guilt, nearly every day.
Lessened ability to think or focus or indecisiveness nearly every day. This must be subjectively reported or observed by others.
Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan to commit suicide.

You need to understand that negative thoughts are symptoms of this disease. You must learn how to fight these thoughts. Negative thoughts like these are part of your illness: I'm no good, no one understands me, life isn't fair, I'm a failure, why is it always my fault, or everyone is against me, I can never do anything right, nobody loves me, I'm ugly and the list goes on and on. Take a moment now to get paper and pen and write down all the negative things you say to yourself. Now, put that list aside for now.

I want you to remember this fact. You think then you feel then you act. For example, you think I am hungry, all of certain you feel really hungry then you find something to eat. You think then you feel and then you act. You need to understand that negative feelings are part of your illness. Feelings like these: extreme sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and inability to enjoy life.

The negative thoughts lead to negative feelings which leads to negative behavior: alcoholism drug abuse, addictive behaviors, self-destructive behaviors, thoughts of suicide, isolation, pushing people away,being defensive, easily agitated, quick to lash out at others or turning your anger inward, self-hatred, cutting on yourself, inflicting pain on yourself, periods of crying, overeating or not eating, not sleeping or sleeping too much and the list goes on. Let's go back to that list. Be honest with yourself.No one is judging you. List the negative behaviors that you do.

You ask what can I do? I'm glad you asked. You must practice using positive thoughts to replace negative thoughts. Positive thoughts like these: I'm a worthy person, I will understand others, I will make the best out of my life, I can be successful, I'm somebody, and the world is not against me. Now go back to the list of negative thoughts and for every negative thought write a positive thought. What does the word of God say about you?. What are you saying about you? STOP REHEARSING THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND BEGIN TO SPEAK OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF THE WORD OF GOD. Write it out on a piece of paper and post it where you can see it, in your bedroom, on the refrigerator in your kitchen, in the bathroom etc. Declare it out loud at least 3 or more times a day. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am the apple of God's eyes, God loves me so much he sent his son to die for my sins, I am created in the image of God, I was created to bring glory to his name.

Positive feelings are part of recovery. As you replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts you will begin experiencing positive feelings like these: I can be happy, life is good, tomorrow will be better, today is a new day, my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost resides in me, because Jesus is victorious so am I.

As you experience positive thoughts you will begin to behave in a positive manner. Open up the curtains in your room, let the sunshine in, walk, run, exercise. Surround yourself with songs of worship and praise. Get up and give God a dance, a shout and sing his praises. Here is something that will work every time, get out and do something for someone else. Do you have a talent or gift? Are you a barber, beautician, sing etc. then volunteer your time and service.

Medications. Many people hesitate when it comes to taking medications. Answer this question, if you have a headache, backache, toothache do you take medication? Remember, depression is a treatable medical condition. biochemicals may be off levels and need to be adjusted. Speak to your Doctor about a referral to a specialist. Pray for the right doctor, that God will give him the right prescription to prescribe to you. Remember, you are the most important person in your treatment. Tell him if you are experiencing side effects so medication can be adjusted. http://ow.ly/9ket30kFwWu God uses different methods to bring healing.

Psychotherapy can be helpful. Psychotherapy is talk therapy to help you deal with emotional problems, teach coping skills, help you identify stressors in your life. Look for a Christian therapist who beliefs are similar to yours. Check out their credentials. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/christian/illinois.

Group counseling can be helpful in providing support. Again, seek out Christian group whose beliefs line up with your biblical teaching.

Family support is extremely important. Find a family member or friend that you feel comfortable with and feel they have your best interest. Connect with a prayer group that will support you with prayer. You do not have to deal with this alone and do not allow shame to keep you from getting the help and support you need. Thoughts of suicide are real, frightening and should not be faced alone. This is why it is extremely important that you have that one person that you trust and can confide in, for you must reach out and let that person know what is going on. As a therapist encountering clients with suicidal thoughts it is extremely important to gain the confidence of that client and secure from them a safety plan that spells out steps to take when feeling suicidal. It is no guarantee that the client will not carry out a suicidal plan but it does let them know there are resources and help is available.

Remember this Satan comes to bring death, to whisper lies in your ears. Jesus comes that you may have abundant life. Know that you are not alone. GOD SO LOVED YOU THAT HE SENT HIS SON THAT IF YOU BELIEVE ON HIM YOU WILL HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. Never doubt the love of God, you are So Loved. Confess the love of God daily and throughout the day. Remember you are in charge. You change your thoughts and your feelings will change. As your feelings change then your behavior shall change.

SPEAK THE ANSWER NOT THE PROBLEM THE ANSWER IS THE WORD OF GOD. Heavenly Father, we come boldly to your throne as you have invited us to do. We apply the Blood of Jesus over our mind and heart and confess that you will keep us in perfect peace when our minds on you. Life throws so many things at us but we ask you to help us to keep our minds on you that we may know the peace you provide. We bind up every demonic thought, assignment and plot of the enemy today. We will not listen to his lies as he tries to convince us that we are alone, unloved and unwanted. We choose to believe your word that you will never leave us alone, that you so love us, we are chosen to bring glory to your name, you have a purpose for our lives. You are always thinking about us and your thoughts are good towards us. We confess when we are weak you are strong, you promised us to lift up the bowed down head, to bind up our wounds, to heal our brokenness, to be our strength. Philippians 4::8(KJV) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. We embrace the abundant life you have given us, we declare you are our hope and all of our times are in your hand. We surrender all cares to you and we receive your strength in the name of Jesus. We declare we shall not die but live to declare the works the goodness of our God.

Yvonne Perkins