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Depression & Discouragement

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Depression is probably the most common emotional problem a counselor will encounter.  It is a feeling of sadness, discouragement, and an inability to get Aon top of things.@


Physical:                    Trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, loss of weight, loss of interest in sex, complaints about the body, lack of energy.

Thinking Patterns:   Has a problem with concentration, poor memory, trouble making decisions, excessive self-criticism, thought of death or suicicde.

Emotions:                  Hopelessness, guilt, irritability,crying, fear, gloomy outlook (sometimes covered up by opposite behavior: giddy, inappropriate laughing, or very quiet and sweet).

Activity:                     Slowing of most activity, withdrawal from social contacts, deterioration of work and personal appearance.

Risk of suicide is real.  Irresponsible behavior and attitudes with an increased dependency on feelings is often evidenced.  Loss of control and a accompanying mental and emotional breakdown may follow.

Biblical Statement:

The Psalmist said the cause of his depression was sin, according to Psa. 38:3-8.  Out of a sese of failure or inadequacy (even caused by small things) the person begins to dislike himself.  This may be projected to a distrust of God, resentment of others, and self-pity, which leads to feeling more guilt, further depressioin, more inactivity, doubting, cmplaining, and worrying so that he feels more a failure, more guilty, and more depressed until he feels as though he=s in an inescapable pit (James 1:14-15)

Psalm 51:3, 12       For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Romans 8:28         And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV)

1 Thess 5:18          In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)

Mark 11:25             And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Matt 11:28-30         Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (KJV)


Recogonize and take seriously the depth of the depression.


Don=t say:   ACheer up.@ ASnap out of it.@ AYou shouldn=t feel this way.@  AIt can=t be so bad.@

Do say:        AI can tell this is really bothering you.@  ATell me about it.@  AWe=re her to help you.@

Try to find out how the depression began and how long it has lasted.  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root of the depression, such as:

Relationships:                 with others, e.g., husband/wife, children, church, parents, relatives, neighbors, and others at work.

Physical Problem:           In women childbirth, menstruation, or menopause may be a factor; sleep, excerise, medications, drugs or alcohol problems may indicate depression or discouragement.

Disorganization:              laziness, avoidance of a difficult task, e.g., work habits, pressures at work, unfinished jobs.

Self-condemnation:         from obvious sin and resulting guilt, e.g., dishonesty, sexual lapses, failure to witness, failure to fulfill responsibilities.

Financial/material:          e.g., gambling, installment buying, etc.

Loneliness:                      fear, self pity.

Positive action includes confessing:

Philippians 4:13     I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)

Philippians 4:19     But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (KJV)

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. (KJV)

Romans 12:3         For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (KJV)

Luke 10:19             Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (KJV)

Romans 8:37         Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (KJV)

Encourage rebuilding the spiritual life in Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship with other Christians.

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