10 Ways to Cope with Depression

Psalm 137

Psalm 137 (Photo credit: Mouse)

Including Scripture references.

 

  • Seek medical assistance. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Mark 2:17) If you are sick mentally, then you need to speak to a doctor, and follow the treatments they give you. This may include medication, therapy, or both.
  • Look beyond. “This too shall pass.” Christian mystics have sometimes referred to periods of depression as “dark nights of the soul,” but a night does not last forever. We sometimes need to remind ourselves that it will end, however long it takes depression will not last forever. “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
  • Look to others. You are not alone in your struggle, others both suffer and understand your suffering. A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17) Talk to those who love you, tell them what is happening to you, and ask them to stand with you in your pain. They will be a source of comfort for you.
  • Look to God. Remind yourself that God has not abandoned you. “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10) He is with you when you are depressed, he will comfort you and he will never leave you. No matter how bad it gets, know that you have a God who loves you and who hates to see you suffer. We may not know the reason why we are not healed of our depression, but we can know that God will never abandon us, never stop loving us.
  • Pray. Talking to God. Even if you cannot manage to say very much, you are still heard, and you are still in the presence of the King. Do not be afraid to pray to be healed – and do not be discouraged if you are not healed straight away. It is not because you are doing something wrong, God has other purposes for you. Ask God to direct your thoughts away from negative ones about yourself. “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” (Psalm 55:17)
  • Read the Bible. Reading Scripture promises is a source of comfort for me. I particularly like the Psalms, as they express some of the things I am feeling when I am depressed, and it is a great thing that such pain is recognised in our Bible. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
  • Sing. Singing Christian songs, hymns or worship music can be a great comfort. The music is uplifting, the words encouraging, and can help as a form of worship when you find it hard to engage. Listening to music can also help. Try to avoid depressing music. “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 92:1)
  • Be kind to yourself. Depression is not the time to start a diet, or do things you do not want to do. Try “pampering” yourself with things you like, whether that be a soak in the bath, or a film, or chocolate, or sitting with friends. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to one of your friends who was depressed. “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25)
  • Be careful with alcohol. It is tempting to drink, or get drunk, to make yourself feel better. Alcohol is a depressant, and will make you feel worse in the long-term. It also interferes with the working of various medications and may stop them being effective. “Who has woe? Who has sorrow?…Those who linger over wine…” (Proverbs 23:29-30)
  • Exercise. Some people have found that exercise makes them feel better – many organisations recommend moderate exercise as a treatment for depression. Some recent studies have contradicted this, but the main recommendation is still to do some activity. Do something you enjoy – I personally do not like gyms, and certainly can’t manage that when depressed, but I can manage a walk, listening to music. “Physical training is of some value…” (1 Timothy 4:8)
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Trackbacks

  1. […] noticed this is a bit of a link-fest! (That would be because it’s 1am). More recently I wrote 10 ways to cope with depression and I will have more, […]

  2. […] You may also be interested in my articles: Things Not To Say to a Depressed Person One and Two and Spiritual Sticking Plasters as well as 1o Ways to Cope With Depression. […]

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