Helping Loved Ones With Depression

Helping loved ones with depression can be very important in helping them break the cycle of hopelessness that is always a major earmark of depressive symptoms. Unfortunately, those who experience various levels of depressive problems generally struggle to hide their feelings because of the guilt, failure and loss of respect that they perceive will be sustained if they do so. Sometimes, it can be up to those who are the closest to a suffering individual to recognize the problem, offer loving support and encourage them to seek further help if necessary. "Bear ye one another's burdens..." (Galatians 6:2)

Depression affects nearly everyone in one way or another either personally or through a family member. Approximately 80% of all people will experience some level of depression symptoms at least once in their lifetime. While the problem is prevalent not only in adults and is not unusual among teenagers or some children, helping loved ones with depression provides the extra assurance that most will recover from the episodes to go on through life without further debilitating problems. Some outward signs of depressive problems that loved ones can look for include extreme fatigue, lack of motivation, sleeping more than usual, decreased appetite, expressions of guilt, remorse or sadness, and of course, suicidal comments.

It is not unusual for everyone to have times of sadness, discouragement and moments of hopelessness. When these feelings overwhelm a person for weeks or months and disrupt the normal function of life, it is important to take seriously the fears, anxieties, anger or despair that may plague a friend or relative. Helping loved ones can be complex and difficult at times especially when they have not admitted to experiencing depression symptoms. Most professionals suggest a balanced approach to assisting those who may be experiencing hopelessness, whether it is through a health care professional, counselor or other avenue. One of the most productive approaches for dealing with typical symptoms is through a look at the spiritual aspects of the problem.

While depressive problems affect the totality of a person, many experts believe that much of the difficulties associated with it stems from unresolved spiritual issues or an inability to manage life's difficulties through spiritual means. The body, mind and soul are all closely interrelated making it impossible to deal with depression from a purely medical ideology. Christians who base their tenants on the Bible have long associated issues of suffering, guilt, rejection, hopelessness, and a myriad of other natural human emotional conditions with a Scripture based method of helping loved ones with depression. Even some secular psychiatrists assent to the fact that many people who suffer, excluding those who suffer from physically induced depressive symptoms, believe that issues such as emotional guilt play a huge part in the onset and continuance of symptoms.

The famous secular psychiatrist, William Glasser, believed that over half of all those who ended up in asylums would be cured if they knew they were forgiven. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) His is just one example of the secular belief that helping loved ones with depression will inevitably include the addressing of personal issues in order to have relief. The Bible offers healing, help and hope for those who have suffered for years with emotional pain. It also offers answers to those who are dealing with depression symptoms as a result of certain isolated crises in life such as death of a spouse, child or friend. Traumas such as sexual, physical and verbal abuse are common factors that can complicate personal emotions and lead to long term problems.

Issues such as forgiveness and trust in an Almighty God offered from a Scriptural perspective can provide hope and much needed freedom from despair for those suffering from short term emotional traumas or long term, intense suffering. Helping loved ones with depression from a Christian worldview is really the final answer for any spiritual condition that manifests through personal, emotional upheavals. Secularists may accuse of a simplistic approach to depression symptoms, but the "rightly divided Word of Truth" was inspired by God to meet every complex need in the human condition. In fact, there are many human examples in the Bible who faced similar emotional upheavals in life just as people do today. David was a man who experienced depression and melancholia, Job dealt with temptations of despair and Ruth experienced a personal crisis that tilted her world into emotional pain.

From the Book of Ruth alone, we can learn that human perception can be distorted by pain and that life cannot be dictated by feelings of abandonment and failure. An important truth from the Book of Ruth that can also help loved ones with depression is the knowledge that God provides for His own, including the emotional and psychological needs that are common among us all. When there is a determination that symptoms are the result of unresolved spiritual issues, a pastor or Christian counselor can offer help to loved ones for depression. Of course, there are many aspects of depressive problems that must be addressed from physiological to organic mental issues. However, in general terms, most typical depression symptoms can be resolved or managed through proper alignment with Biblical concepts.

Information On Depression

Information on depression can be found on the Internet including signs and symptoms and the importance of acquiring help, especially when having suicidal thoughts. Depression is a medical condition that is not limited by age, gender, or ethnicity. It is important to know the physical symptoms of depression to help with diagnosis and treatment. An overall definition that might generally describe the disease might include lasting sadness and a loss of interest in living. Sometimes the disease can be brought on by stress or a traumatic event. Symptoms include changes in appetite, sleep patterns, restlessness or lethargy, loss of energy, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, feelings of guilt, or repeated thoughts of death. If symptoms have been experienced for two weeks or longer it is best to talk to someone about what is going on and begin treatment.

A chemical imbalance in the brain could be the culprit leading to depression. Studies have indicated that low serotonin levels could be one cause of the disease. Some information on depression suggests asking a physician to prescribe anti-depressants for one possibly treatment. There are many to choose from so do some research and ask a doctor about the best one to use. Anti-depressant studies indicate that they help to raise the serotonin levels in the brain. Some doctors will begin a program with anti-depressants and will also suggest receiving some therapy through a support group. A Christian support group with a church or through a nonprofit organization is a good place to begin seeking help. The power of prayer and support can do wonders for someone suffering with depression. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16).

People suffering from the disease may see their life as normal. Physical symptoms of depression experienced for a long time indicate an inherited condition or chemical imbalance in the brain. Awareness could change one's life with the realization that these feelings of sadness can be treated. The impact of the disease can disrupt life and even lead to marital problems, such as separation and divorce. The impact on work and friendships can make it more difficult when trying to cope with additional stress. Social behavior and well-being are affected by the disease causing pain not only for the individual suffering with it but for loved ones as well.

Bipolar disorder is a type of depression and is usually caused by a chemical imbalance that can be inherited. Mood swings are inherent of this disorder and extreme highs and lows are usually experienced by those suffering with it. Suffering with anxiety disorder may also be experienced by those who have bipolar disorder. There are many anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines that can be prescribed by a physician for those seeking treatment. This disorder can have a dramatic affect in a person's life as well as affecting their family and friends. Information on depression found online strongly suggests seeking a doctor for diagnosis and treatment especially if suffering with thoughts of suicide.

Financial difficulties and illness can bring on physical symptoms of depression. Circumstances in life sometimes just seem too difficult to bear, especially if prolonged. Being burdened down with financial problems can certainly lead to overwhelming stress and feelings of hopelessness. Being diagnosed with an illness can also play a dramatic part when suffering with depression. The burden of being sick is great enough along with medical expenses mounting up, causing overwhelming feelings of hopelessness. Dealing with the stressful issues in life can sometimes just be too great and at these times help needs to be found. Those in need should get help by seeing a physician and then do a search online for help with financial problems and for coping with illness. Joining a support group when suffering with illness can provide some help and seeking out some assistance from a nonprofit Christian debt counseling agency will give one some alternatives in tackling debt problems.

The Internet provides help for individuals suffering with the disorder by giving some encouraging information on depression. Getting help from a professional is the first option to check into. Try to develop some positive habits in life that will help with the physical symptoms of depression such as beginning an exercise program, or eating better. Figure out what activities are enjoyable and begin doing some of those frequently. Some suggestions might be going to a movie, participating in sports activities, attending church services or going to a bible study. It is important to understand that life may not be as bad as it seems and that one's outlook on life is affected by the disease and is not usually a true representation of reality. With time and the proper treatment, life can begin to look good again and the joy of living is just around the bend.

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