More than three thousand years ago depression has been recognized to be a common ailment among human and has been affecting people from all walks of life from the earliest years. It is referred to by some in the medical field as the common cold in mental health. In milder forms depression can come as a passing period of sadness that follows a disappointment and is name as unipolar or non-bipolar depression. More severe depressions may be experienced with feelings of fear, exhaustion, and inability to take action into the life of society, hopelessness and inner desperation’s. Those who supper repeated harsh and rigorous mood swings are said to suffer bipolar disorder
People experience depression in different ways though very few may have the same symptoms. The symptoms may include sadness, pessimism, that is thinking the worse will happen in every situation and feeling of hopelessness, droopiness, laziness or sluggishness that make it difficult get going; general fatigue along with loss of energy, lack of interest in work, religion, hobby and other activities; low self esteem, often partnered by self criticism and guilty feelings, humiliation, unworthiness, helplessness, lack of sleep and distorted concentration, and loss of desire to eat. In what is referred to as masked depression, the person may have many of the above symptoms, but cover up or deny the feelings of sadness by putting on a pretense of normalcy or happiness. However, sensitive counselors will see behind the facade.
Depression can be apparent and classified by different measures of severity, from mild to severe and primary to secondary. Mild depression is temporary, self correction and may be overcome by little counseling, therapy and mild mediation. Severe conditions last for longer periods and recurs at different times as seasons. The sources can be spiritual, physiological, psychological a combination of all three or also genetic. Professionals agree that it originates basically from disappoints failures or losses. Inaccurate diagnosis, incorrect medication, inappropriate responses of immediate family members and friends to the ill person can make the condition increasingly complex. Though common, even with skilled psychiatrists and therapists, it can be difficult to diagnosed and dealt with without the help of the empowering grace and wisdom of God.
The Bible does not have much to say about it; still we can find that the condition existed in various characters. Namely Job, Elijah, Moses, King Saul, Kind David, Jonah, Peter and even Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane where He was deeply grieved and distressed which resulted to blood dripping our of his forehead. They all dealt with the condition in similar ways but primarily looking to God for His empowering grace and wisdom.
MYTHS AND FICTIONS OF DEPRESSION
Myths and fictions of depression make the practice of a cousellor more difficult. The following are some of them. “Depression is caused by sin and lack of faith in God”. “All depression is as a result of self pity”. “It is wrong for a Christian to be depressed”. “Depression can be removed permanently by some sort of spiritual exercise and that happiness is a choice”.
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
The Belief System
Job, according to the Bible, was a “perfect” man, blameless, upright revered God, shuns evil and held fast to his integrity. He was financially successful with a large happy family.
Nevertheless, Job said “Job 3:25 25 The worst of my fears has come true, what I’ve dreaded most has happened” It is also written in Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” As we have read the thing that Job feared came upon him. Disaster struck from all angles progressively in his life. He lost his children, health and wealth and his wife, who was supposed to stick with him, suggested that he curse God and die. His friends were judgmental, and had many of their own reasons for his predicament. Through it all, he came more intimate with God, experienced His grace and was restored in a greater measure. No doubt our faith or fear, the way we think and/or believe can cause us to fall in depression or rise out of depression.
The Genetic –Biological Causes
Research also reveals that some nature of depression runs in families and can also arise from physical malfunctions. Lack of sleep, insufficient exercise, the side effects of prescribed and illegal drugs, unhealthy diet, monthly premenstrual syndrome, glandular disorder, and brain tumors and chemistry also contributes to depression. Some in the medical field agree that negative thinking causes imbalance in brain chemistry and can contribute to depression.
Up to 10 percent of mental health problem are find its origination from Psychological-Cognitive conditions. Twenty five percent of this figure are made up of college and university students, and thirty three percent are college and university drop outs. Childhood experiences, family and cultural backgrounds, stress, significant losses, lack of skill in surviving, anger and unforgiveness with self, greed, guilt, self condemnation lack of hope, and not seeing the good plans and future that God has for us has people stuck in depression. Depressed people are often passive or over reactive, poorly motivated, not wanting to/or lack the strength to do anything to help themselves.
The Effect of Depression
If not dealt with appropriately depression can lead to extended sufferings. Unhappiness and inefficiency, increased physical illness, withdrawal from family friends and society as a whole, chronic loneliness due to lack of ability to maintain healthy relationships, inability to be a team player and stay employed ,low esteem and even suicide are the potential consequences of depression..
Though depression cannot be completely avoided there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risks. They are as follows; trusting in God, accept that discouragement and disappointments will come in life, be alert to depressive situations and seasons of reoccurrence, learn to handle guilt, anger and unforgivness of self and others, think right, develop coping skills, find the right support individuals or groups, and be discipline in eating and exercising,