Dealing with Life Struggles

Feeling sad is just the beginning of depression. Depression is a state of mind where nothing seems interesting in life. It is characterized by low motivation, extreme sadness, feeling of worthlessness and even lack of interest in life. This is what generates suicidal thoughts and tendency of patients hurting themselves sometimes. It is an illness that spans across a variety of mental disorders such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal depression, prepartum depression, premenstrual depression, situational depression, and others.
According to the Nigerian Punch, a study by World Bank has revealed that 22 percent of Nigerians on average are chronically depressed. Depression occurs at different levels from minor to major. It has various underlying factors that trigger it which include genetics, life challenges, medications or medical conditions. It is a condition that spans overtime, perhaps two weeks and more. Women are prone to depression due to hormonal changes in their bodies at some point in their lives.
This article offers no medical advice about depression.  Like any other illness, an individual having depression need to seek medical help depending on the severity of the condition (usually when it lingers beyond a couple of weeks). It is treated with medication, therapy or both ways. 

What does depression have to do with God?

It has been stated that depression is an illness. Then why is God involved? It is because depression is psychological in nature (concerns the mind). While it is wise to seek God to see you through your period of malaise, it is equally important to seek medical attention for major depression cases because you may find it difficult to help yourself out of it. There was a case of a woman who was a believer and had fibroid. It was a severe one that appeared like she was heavily pregnant (maybe she also had a baby in there). She was advised to go for surgery to get rid of the fibroid growing inside of her but she insisted on holding on to her faith which according to her, forbids her to go under the knife. Instead, she began to buy baby items in preparation for the arrival of her ‘baby’. Unfortunately she could not live to tell the outcome of her ‘faith’. She died with the fibroid. Get it right. It is ideal to have faith in God. As a matter of fact, the Bible says this in Hebrews 11:6:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
However the Bible also says Faith without work is dead in James 2:26
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Paul who healed people miraculously in the Bible advised Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach troubles.
1 Timothy 5: 23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.
All these explain that God does not undermine medication for recovery from illness.  God also did not design us to live in fear but in sound mind. 
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
A depressed individual however is not in sound mind and God is willing to offer His support to overcome it.
To identify ways of avoiding depression, there is need to have the causes of depression in mind. Life challenges that may cause depression include loss of a loved one, broken relationships, disappointment, abuse, trauma, and so on.
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Depression might not necessarily be a sin but if not checked, it can lead to suicide which is a sin before God.

How to Get back your spark (Case Study of Job)

In the Biblical account, nobody suffered a sudden huge loss as Job. Job was the greatest man of his time in the East. He lost ten grown children, several servants and eleven thousand livestock in one day. How did he respond?
Job 1:20-22 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
How mature!
What happened next? Job was struck with sickness. The Bible accounted that he had sores; painful ones from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. His wife could not hold it anymore. She suggested he curse God and die but Job would not give in to defeat. Then came his friends who on seeing their friend Job in his critical condition, were too devastated to make utterances. When they finally spoke, their words were like thistles on his sore skin. Job had been an upright man before calamity fell on him as a test of his faith. His friends who were mere humans like him concluded he must be suffering for something he had probably done wrong in the past. Imagine how terrible Job must have felt. Imagine how much further his friends could have possibly plunged him into agony and depression. Remember the feelings that characterize depression earlier stated? Extreme sadness, feeling of worthlessness and even lack of interest in life. Job had all these and more. How did he get over his sadness?

This will be covered in the next article; Get back your Spark. Stay in touch. You can find the Priceless Journal on facebook and twitter. For updates on latest posts, subscribe to my newsletter.

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