By far, the issue that I help most people with in counseling is depression. This is because depression almost always comes packaged along with other life issues, such as divorce, bullying, losing a job, and the loss of loved ones. It struck me this week that it is high time I wrote something on the topic that would reach as many people as possible because not everyone feels comfortable with counseling, and I would rather give my help away for free in order to help someone out there overcome their depression.
Let me start by giving you the Mayo Clinic’s definition of depression:
“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.”
Does any of this sound like it pertains to you? If so, welcome to an incredibly large and ever increasing part of our population. The vast majority of people you come in contact with each day would tell you that they have spent an awful lot of time depressed in their lives. Unfortunately, a great majority of these people cannot put their finger directly on what is making them depressed, and they surely do not have a clue as to how to go about getting out from under their depression.
Depression is often called a “silent killer.” This is because most people feel like they should not be depressed in the first place and they just need to “get over it.” Therefore they never share their true feelings with others and so the depression never gets treated. Depression that is not treated will 100% of the time lead to much worse things, such as suicide, fits of rage, total loss of self worth, and many other destructive behaviors.
When I begin to see clients who tell me that they are depressed, I immediately start with them by having them give me a full inventory of what they spend the vast majority of their time thinking about. Let me share a little secret about life with you that you probably do not know – what you think about the most and focus on, grows larger and gains more influence over your life!!! In medical terms, it is known as “purposeful focus.” When these people begin to tell me that most of the time they are having thoughts about what a failure their lives have been, or that someone they deeply care for for has told them that they will never amount to anything and everything they touch turns to garbage, or maybe that they feel no self worth compared to the rest of the people in their lives, it is not hard to see that their focus is on all the wrong things.
Here is another tip I will freely give to you, but promise me you will remember this – it does not matter what anyone else thinks about you – it only matter what God thinks about you – and I can already tell you that God loves you perfectly, no matter what you have done. He would not have sent Jesus to die for you if He felt like you were a loser!!!
Let me start by saying that we are never to compare ourselves to other people. They have their lives and you have yours. On the outside it may appear that other people have it all together, they have everything they could ever want, and they have the relationships that you would like to have. Let me tell you another secret – they are just as broken on the inside as you – they just choose to put up a facade of perfection to avoid having to go face-to-face with their problems. Comparing yourself to others will always lead to depression. Don’t do it. Never compare yourself to anyone else.
Next, when you focus on only the negatives in your life, the negatives will grow in importance to you and that will be all you see. As I said, where you focus and what you focus on will grow larger by the day. Therefore, to start to get out of depression, you must re-focus yourself on the positives in your life – and yes you do have positives in your life no matter how much you may want to tell me that you do not. Are you breathing right now? Can you see things? Can you touch things and feel them? Ever really stopped and bent down and gotten really close to a beautiful flower and looked at it closely and smelled it and then realized that like you, there is not another flower exactly like this one? I could go on and on, but I will immediately start to help you re-focus yourself on the positives in your life and soon they will be the things that grow in your life not the negatives.
So we are not comparing ourselves to others, and we are now purposefully focusing on the positive things in our lives, so we are off to a great start. Next we are going to examine the relationships in your life. Who in your life is building you up and would be the first one at your door if you called them for help instead of making excuses why they can’t help you? It is these people that you need to pull closer to you and begin to truly lean on them and begin sharing your true feelings of depression with. Everyone else in your life who does not build you up must go. This may sound harsh, but anyone who does not invest in you on a personal level, and anyone who cuts you down or makes fun of you or gossips about you or spreads lies about you must go. In a world where people equate a Facebook “friend” to a real friend, it is time to face facts – people only share the stuff about themselves on Facebook that they want you to see. They are NOT your real friends. Want to test that theory? Go on your Facebook account and post that your wallet/purse and all your money was stolen and you need an immediate $300 in order to get back home then sit back and wait for a response. Your family will normally be the first ones to respond, the majority of the others either ignore you or make excuses why they cannot help. People are are not for you are against you and they must go for the sake of your mental health.
Next, we will talk about your family of origin, meaning your parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. It is here where most depression grows from. It is very easy to look back at your childhood and decide it was not what it should have been and therefore you will forever be doomed to a life of depression. That is a lie straight from the devil himself and you must never believe this. You can be a cycle breaker! You are not what other people say you are – you are what God says you are, and God says you are His perfect creation and He is pleased with you. Know this – it is not up to your parents or your brother or sister if you will be in Heaven or not – that is up to God and you. So what God thinks should matter more to you than what anyone else thinks! Someone in your past may have called you a loser or a nothing or an idiot – I am here to tell you they were wrong and they will have to answer to God for those words one day. What you need to focus on today is what kind of person do you want to be because only you limit you – no one else has that kind of power over you. Decide today to totally forgot what anyone has ever called you or told you what you can or cannot do – you decide, so decide to live the best life you can because the death rate is now and has always been 100% and you will not get another ride on the rollercoaster of life.
To conclude, if you are depressed and maybe have been for awhile now – TELL SOMEONE you trust. If you feel there is no one you can trust or that there is no one that cares, then please seek a counselors help. It does not have to be me obviously but counselors like me can immediately begin to help you get out of your depression and begin to live a much greater, fuller life more focused on the positives and help you create a plan to be the best you that you can be.
Depression does not have to be a lifetime illness. Nor does it have to define you. It is perfectly ok to be depressed, just make sure you do not buy a house there and move in permanently.
Friend I do not want you to spend another minute depressed. It holds you back from living the awesome life God has planned for you. If you have been depressed and cannot seem to shake it, please tell someone or feel free to contact us here at God’s Light Counseling and we will gladly begin to help you immediately. Do not waste another minute being depressed and living less than the best life you can.
With love and hope for your future,
Pastor Brad Komgenick
Counselor, God’s Light Christian Counseling