- Escape into novels. Stories change your mood.
- See a psychiatrist and/or a psychologist. They are trained to understand mental illness. They know exactly what you're describing and how to treat it. There's no shame in it. If you had heart disease, you'd see a cardiologist, right? See the doctors who can help you.
- Don't make major changes—don't move or change jobs, start dating, or get divorced.
- Read Jeremiah and Psalms. These men of God battled depression, and David was called a man after God's own heart. Read Isaiah 53, too. Here Jesus is called "a man of sorrows."
Is Your Loved One Depressed? These Are Tell-Tale Signs:
- Anxiety, irritability, mood swings, rage, and hopelessness.
- Changes in sleeping patterns. Are they sleeping too much? Not enough?
- Changes in eating habits. Are they overeating? Not eating enough?
Tips for Living with a Depressed Person
- Ask God to help you believe your loved one isn't lazy. He isn't selfish. She isn't trying to ruin everyone's happiness. He's sick. She can't just snap out of it.
- Ask God to help you understand that you can't reason or encourage yourself or anyone else out of chemical depression. Can you reason or encourage someone out of diabetes?
- Cling to the promise that Jesus won't leave you or your loved one. He promised, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).
Finding Hope in Depression
- Get help. See a psychologist and/or a psychiatrist. Jesus wants to see you get better so you can serve him. He made you for a specific purpose, and you can't serve him if you're so depressed you can't get off the couch.
- Hold on to the truth that depression isn't your fault. You've done nothing wrong. Believe that it isn't anyone else's fault, either. It's a disease, like cancer or diabetes.
- Ask God to open your mind to the possibility that he may be taking you through this isolation and misery so that you can help others who suffer as you do.
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