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Daily devotional Sorrow and Joy, a waterfall and rainbow. "A Study in Psalm: Books Three and Four" Daily devotional Sorrow and Joy, a waterfall and rainbow. - "A Study in Psalms: Books Three and Four"

Question and Answer | Dealing with Depression

As a Christian, how should I deal with depression?

Depression can manifest itself as general sadness and increase all the way to severe clinical depression. Someone experiencing severe depression may experience disruptions to their life and environment. In severe cases, it is always important to reach out to a licensed counselor or medical professional. Unfortunately, we never know how a traumatic event, sudden loss, or challenges, even those experienced long ago, will affect our emotional, psychological, spiritual, or physiological life. The good news is that when this happens, you can receive help. You are not alone in this season.

If you are experiencing depression, here are a few suggestions to care for yourself:

  1. Find a balance in your life between work, family, friends, church, and school;
  2. Move your body (i.e., walking, exercise);
  3. Connect with your family and friends and resist isolation. Getting together with others (especially in person, but even virtually) can help improve your mood;
  4. Journal (expressing your feelings can give you an outlet and help you gain a better perspective); and
  5. Tap into the power of prayer (Ps. 4:1; Ps. 17:6; Ps. 23).

Finally, while dealing with depression may seem hopeless, the Bible shows us how to hope. In the psalms, we read about the same struggle. The psalms often start with a question and end with a hopeful outcome. For example, in Psalm 43: “Why, my soul are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him, my Savior, and my God” (v. 5).

If you or someone you love need immediate help, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a helpline. Call 1-800-950-NAMI or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741.

BY Dr. Valencia Wiggins, PhD, L.P.C.

Valencia Wiggins grew up in Ohio and graduated from Wheaton College. She earned a Masters in Clinical Psychology at Wheaton Graduate School, and PhD in Clinical Psychology at Walden University. She has taught at Moody Seminary for four years. In addition, Dr. Wiggins works in private practice as a clinical psychologist. Her clinical work includes sexual abuse, trauma, grief and loss, eating disorders, family issues, depression, adolescents, and women’s issues.

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