Depression and the Whole-Person Treatment
There are five keys to overcoming depression that when integrated together provide a pathway to successful, long-term recovery. How do I know? I am privileged to watch this recovery take place in the lives of people all the time.
The five keys to overcoming depression are based on my whole-person approach to recovery. When I began my professional therapeutic career over thirty years ago, too often I saw a one-size-fits-all answer given to depressed people. They were told they had nothing to be depressed about and to “just get over it.” They were told to take this or that pill and everything would be better. But they didn’t get over it and everything wasn’t better. They still felt lousy, still couldn’t find the energy and passion to pursue their dreams, and still couldn’t understand why they felt so bad in the first place. I certainly believe that medications and the power of positive thinking have their place in depression recovery, but if they are so effective, why are so many people still depressed?
This question led me to think about depression from a whole-person perspective, recognizing that a person is made up of different facets. (Note: this book is not intended to be a substitute for mental health treatment or professional counseling.)
Let’s take a look at 5 verses that can help you battle your depression and find victory in Christ! Share this with a friend if you know of someone being weighed down by depression. Just letting someone know you’re thinking of them can provide a lot of comfort in moments of great pain.
5 Verses for Fighting Depression
1. Emotional Balance
Do God know we are often upset, lonely, or afraid? Of course he does! Over seventy times in Scripture he tells us not to be afraid. He doesn’t dismiss the circumstances that would cause us fear! No, he tells us not to be afraid, because he is with us. God-with-us changes everything!
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. –John 14:27
2. Intellectual Integrity
Oftentimes a barrier to freedom from depression are thoughts like “I know I’m never going to be good enough.” “I know I’ll be unhappy forever.” With our limited thinking, where do these definitive statements come from and what are they based on? God cautions us about what we think we know…
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways,” declares the Lord. –Isaiah 55:8
3. Relational Health
Another common barrier to freedom from depression can be unforgiveness: take steps to forgive, so you can mend existing relationships, modify damaging relationships, and strengthen affirming relationships. You will then be well positioned to create new ones, which is a wonderful hope for the future. Forgiveness is difficult but so necessary for complete freedom.
Jesus told us, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” –Luke 6:37
4. Physical Well-Being
There are studies showing that addressing physical conditions can have a dramatic effect in overcoming depression. Psychiatrist Richard Hall has found “evidence [of] dramatic and complete clearing of psychiatric symptoms when medical treatment for underlying physical disorders was instituted.” From eating well to getting enough sleep, it’s crucial to take care your body as you’re addressing your depression.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. –Psalm 4:8
5. Spiritual Health
When life doesn’t seem worth living, when there doesn’t seem any truth or joy or even answers in the world, the spiritual connection of faith provides a source of truth, joy, and answers outside of you. This spiritual reservoir can spring up and replenish parched souls.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. –Romans 12:12
These tips based off the Bible are from the NEW Five Keys to Dealing with Depression book by Dr. Gregory Jantz, and there’s SO much more where that came from! Find out how to break free from depression and how to help others find the peace God offers them with Jantz’s 5 Keys to Dealing with Depression. Purchase it here!
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