The first question is am I really depressed? You can feel depressed and not be depressed. You can be disappointed, down, blue, lonely, sad, grieved, fatigued, anxious? Depression is a hope problem! If you are truly depressed you will find that depression has a life of its own. Depression can be assessed to discover the severity or degree to which you have entered into it and confirm if this true for you?
- Assess: Symptoms of depression include the following: sadness, loss of satisfaction, self blame, self disgust, sense of hopelessness, guilt, suicidal thoughts, crying for no apparent reason, irritation, feeling a failure, loss of interest in others, inability to make decisions, loss of motivation to work, insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, worry about physical problems, loss of interest in sex, feeling of being punished, helplessness. If several of these symptoms are being experienced you may be in a depression. You can check online to complete a depression inventory and see how you score.
- Admit: “I am depressed” is not an easy thing to say to yourself. You cannot seek support and possible solutions for something you refuse to acknowledge. So admission is the doorway to the process of recovery. Shame can threaten to keep you alone and self-isolating.
- Uncover: You must open yourself up to a trusted family member, friend, Pastor, professional. There are crisis help lines to call if you are suicidal. You can feel like you want to die and yet not be suicidal. So telling someone else your present and past story is a necessary part of the journey through the depression. You cannot move ahead without revealing your experience. Make sure the person you open up to is willing to take this journey with you? If not for whatever reason get a referral through them to the proper help needed.
- Confront: Here is the hard work of exploring the triggers of the depression and seeking out the root causes. Talking therapy with an experienced professional is best. If it is a situational depression based on a loss of job, relationship breakup, loss of loved one, covid season isolation and anxiety, the issues can be confronted and solutions pursed. Usually a situational depression is processed in 6 months to a year with proper support and a willingness to do the work going through the depression. Circumstances often change enough in this time frame to de-escalate the anxiety and lift the mood to a more tolerable level of functioning.
- Renew: Surviving depression and working through the issues allows opportunity for deeper soul concerns to be challenged and shifted. Identity may have to be re-established on more solid spiritual foundations. Relationships, circumstances, career, lifestyle, may not be solid foundations to support the storms of life. ? Hope renewed may involve a spiritual transformation, changing your vision for the future. You can determine to live for higher purposes that secure the soul.