Note: These pages are written from a Christian pastoral perspective and are not intended to replace personal, one to counseling. Users are advised to consult with an appropriate doctor/s prior to following various suggestions in these pages. User of these pages indemnifies Pastor Macinta and Macinta ministries from any adverse results of following, or not following, the advise on all these pages.
As previously stated, to be successful in overcoming depression, one needs to make an earnest attempt in all three of the main areas - (spiritual, physical, and mental). This section deals mainly with the mental aspect, but remember that as humans our mental aspect is intertwined with the spiritual and physical.
THINK RIGHT |
WHEN SOMEONE PICKS ON YOU
WHEN THEY SAY "YOU WILL NEVER BE CURED!"
S S S - SHATTER THE SAD SYNDROME
Think (hmmmmmm) about it. Everything we experience whether good or bad, on purpose or incidental, is channeled through our mind.
Before we continue, we must define something for you in the Bible. When you read the Bible, you will come across some curious verses. At one point Jesus says ". . .if your right eye offends you, pluck it out. . . .", ". . . if your right hand offends you, cut it off. . . ." Powerful words, especially in our language, yet taking the Bible as a whole we see that similar phrases are used; "...put off the old man, . . .",". . . mortify your earthly members ...", and so on. The key is Galatians 2:20:"I am CRUCIFIED in Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me." The word "crucified" here is really co-crucified. Paul says by the Holy Spirit, "I am co-crucified with Christ". When one becomes a real Christian, he gives his life to Christ, and the old sinful nature is with Christ on the cross. Christ then in turn places His victorious and resurrected life within us.
Every time we do the correct thing instead of sinning, we "cut off", "mortify", etc. a member of our sinful nature. Also, every time we do the right thing, we gain strength. Listed below are various ways we can crucify our flesh or strengthen our skills to do so. For your convenience, I have made it so that you can click back and forth on these items to help you to study.
|PURGE YOUR MIND||INPUT PURITY||FOCUS||BLOCK OUT||OMIT WORRY||BE CONTENT|
|AVOIDANCE DEFENCE||DISTANCE DEFENCE||COUNT ONLY YOUR SUCCESSES||COMMAND THE POSITIVE||COMMAND THE FUNNY OR EVEN WEIRD||COMMAND THE GOOD|
PURGE YOUR MIND - The safest mode to do this in is the Christian mode - personally knowing Jesus as your Savior and Lord. Hold everything you have learned/ acquired accountable to God's Word, The Bible. Whatever you have been taught by your parents, society, the school system, etc., must align with the Bible or throw it out of your mind and accept only what the Bible says. Here are some examples:
INPUT PURITY - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praise worthy - THINK about such things. Philippians 4:8.
Basically we will classify the sources of purity to input into our minds as, Scriptural, spiritual, and "other".
Scripture is always the best source for purity. Ran across something dirty on the Internet or elsewhere? Run to the Word. Force the negative out by inputting the positive. Read the Scriptures. Try some of the Psalms (they are always a great help to alleviate depression), Matt. Chapters 5 to 8, John, 1 John, 1 Cor. 13. Write, type, print, Scriptures out and place them around your home. Memorize them by singing them. If your church has no idea about Scripture choruses, then make your own tunes up. God will not mind!
Now for the spiritual. Next time a ton of bad things come your way, do not ask why, but WHAT. Like, "What can I learn from this? What does God want me to learn from this?", and, "How can I use this to overcome depression?" (You might want to start with praising God anyhow.) If a person is troubling you, then ask God to help you to love that person, yet maintain hatred toward their sin. Look at people as spirit beings. Look at what they could become in God. This is beautiful.
The "other" things should mainly stem from nature. Take the time and relax to watch the clouds overhead, praising God at the same time. Walk outside, smell the flowers and immediately praise God for the fragrance. Enjoy forest scenes, sea scenes, mountain scenes, snow scenes, etc., and praise God for it.
Look for the positive in every situation. I am nearsighted. As I laid on the couch one wintry night at a radio station I used to work at, I had my glasses off to try to go sleep. (Had to sign on that morning.) I looked at the Christmas lights - they were out of focus. I realized that I could see what those who have normal vision could not always see. Christmas lights out of focus! So beautiful. And I praised God for it too. You do the same: find something to praise God for!
FOCUS-Force yourself to center your thoughts on Jesus and what Philippians 4:8 requires. This, of course is going to involve other facets like "BLOCK OUT" and the avoidance tactics I will mention. However, we could say that focus here can best be had by following Rom 12:1-2, specifically verse 2a at this point . . .
BLOCK OUT-If you are in an environment that you cannot completely control (like maybe work), BLOCK OUT the non Christian music, cursing, filthy jokes, flirting, etc. Sing within yourself to God, worship God, pray to God. Try changing the conversation. By the way, if someone can exercise their right to free speech and talk dirty, then exercise your right to free speech and talk Jesus. The ACLU may not like it, but too bad for them.
OMIT WORRY-Easy to type, hard to do!; but, with practice, we can get there. It is natural for us to be concerned with things at times. I believe God expects us to be concerned for the well being of our children. If we did not have some type of concern, we wouldn't be able to pray fervently over matters, would we now? When Jesus instructed us not to worry, He did not want us to be CONTROLED by concern. We must be controlled by faith and love in God.
As a young Christian, and being raised nervous, I would worry quite a bit. One way that God would help me out of that syndrome that just added fuel to my depression was how He would use my wonderful wife, Dorcas, to remind me (1) not to cross my bridges before I came to them and (2) MOST of what we worry about does not come to pass or, when it does come to pass, it is not as severe as we thought it would be.
Also, about that time, a phrase kept going around in society, especially in Christian circles - "This Too Shall Pass!"
Before I take up more memory, let me sum up some ADDITIONAL reasons why one should not worry:
Ask God to help you look at a negative situation as an adventure, being eager to see how He is going to deliver you from the situation.
Here's a note ESPECIALLY FOR MEN (Working ladies please do not misunderstand what I am about to say here. Many women are breadwinners too. ) There is something about many of us men that if we have a family we feel like a complete failure when we lose our job, even when it is not our fault. (I've been there!) First, if it is your fault, earnestly ask God to forgive you and correct you so that you will be a better worker. In any case, realize you are just an instrument of God to provide for your family. Get busy immediately to find other honest, moral, job. While you wait, make yourself self-employed doing whatever you can to earn money in a Godly manner. If you have to take a lower paying job then do so; after all, you can always get a better one later. Above all, completely trust God for another job, DOING YOUR BEST TO FIND ONE THAT A CHRISTIAN SHOULD HAVE.
Notice that the more we have, the more want. We need to find contentment in the simple things of life. I have seen Christian folk that did not have a TV, VCR, CD player, etc., and are totally content. I am charmed by entries I see in various sources at my wife's homestead in Grantsville, MD that record evenings of simple pleasure - doing things, making things, helping others. Try it. You might like it.
Find contentment in nature. Find contentment in God's house. Find contentment at the feet of Jesus.
AVOIDANCE DEFENCE-Briefly, if you know something may depress you, avoid it. It may be a song, it may be a film, news, whatever. That is why I have a note on the Prophecy Update section of my site to the effect that if you know something may bother you, don't even read it.
Realize that I am not saying that you have to give this stuff up forever. Give yourself time to get stronger.
DISTANCE DEFENCE -The following may sound cruel, but a great boost I have found to counter depression is to mentally distance oneself from negative situations.
Although I had suffered from depression as a Christian, at one point around 1985, God encouraged me to join the local Fire Department in Flintstone, MD (very small town between Cumberland and Hancock, MD), and specialize on the ambulance side at that! This would be a challenge to someone who had been raised nervous and prone to depression. God had been preparing my nervous system for this, because in 1979 we began taking Shaklee Food Supplements faithfully -and the B-Complex really worked! On the ambulance side I would have to deal with children in pain, people with losses, depressed/ suicidal people, etc. Whenever I came across a tough situation, I would think to myself 2 things, viz., (1) this is not happening to me or a loved one of mine and (2) if I "lose emotional control", I will be unable to help and may have to be helped myself, depleting my squad's resources.
Eventually, with God's wonderful help, I advanced to Cardiac Rescue Technician (one level below paramedic), won top runner of the year award at one point, and was the second assistant ambulance captain for awhile. There were times that I was the only one at the scene for quite awhile - and God helped me through it all. I also learned many other valuable things unrelated to depression that I use in the ministry and on the job today.
SEE? What can YOU become and do with God's help?
After you become stronger, and after using the DISTANCE DEFENCE many times, you will eventually be strong enough to safely developed empathy and sympathy in a negative situation. As a pastor, I must be able to do this, and now, thanks be to God, as long as I am careful, I can safely do it. If you are a Christian, as God's worker, you need to be able to do this too to help others.
DISTANCE DEFENCE is to be coupled with FOCUS and BLOCK OUT. When confronted with a negative situation you may have to handle, do not dwell on it, but concentrate on a solution with the help of God.
COUNT ONLY YOUR SUCCESSES! -Indeed, learn from your mistakes, asking God exactly what you were to learn from it. However, concentrate on remembering your successes, no matter how small they are and thank God for them.
Realize that there will be ups and downs in your progress. Forget the downs, cling to the ups. If your ups diminish, realize with God's help you will eventually bounce back and become stronger all the time.
COMMAND THE POSITIVE-You can command yourself. Did you ever tell yourself to get out of bed or get moving? The Bible indicates we can command ourselves (Psa. 104:1). Particularly if you are saved, your spirit can command your body (to some degree), soul. and mind.
So command yourself to think positive, to praise and worship God (Psa. 103:22) and all of the things mentioned in this list. Anything good and what God wants you to do, command yourself to do it.
COMMAND THE FUNNY OR EVEN THE WEIRD!-Some people like myself may take things too seriously at times. This is no good for depression. So, when you can, find something funny about a situation and comment vocally about it (usually to yourself!). Before you make a "funny" comment in front of others, make sure they will find it funny too, otherwise just think it to yourself and chuckle.
Here's an example. As I was writing this in 1998, I was employed at a crabmeat processing plant. At the end of the day I have to clean out a gutter where the chum collects. What do I think? Yum!, crab chum soup! This may sound stupid to you, but it beats griping about it.
About the weird? Do strange things to get others to laugh. The crabmeat processing plant is a good place for this. Crab picking is a very difficult job. When things are rough in there, I do the weird (walk into a wall, talk to a crab, etc.) to help get their minds off of the situation, even if it is just for a moment.
Grant it, acting weird may not be "your cup of tea" and if you are not comfortable with it, then skip it. However, do try to think of the funny. In fact, try to find the funny aspect of things.
COMMAND THE GOOD-Instead of cursing a person or a situation, pronounce a blessing. Let your spirit, the real you, with God's help, take charge. Ask God to help you as to what a good response would be in a given situation.
Goodness is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Let us command ourselves only to take in the good, think in the good, behave in the good.
Which takes us to the next area (scroll down).
Whenever we disobey God, (same thing as sin), it effects our entire makeup. Sinning increases the ability of depression to keep its' hold upon you. However, every time you do not sin, you become stronger in your entire being.
Just simply doing the right thing will increase your overall strength. We've already listed a few (praise and worship God, read your Bible, pray, etc.). One can attend and participate in a good Christian church service, and not just on Sundays.
There are lots of "big" good things we can do, but the little ones can have an amazing effect on us too. Here's something I learned while working at Kentucky Fried Chicken back in the early '90s:
I am not saying you have to clean your whole house or a whole room right now. Nor do I wish to imply that your place is a mess. I do know for a fact that many who suffer from depression are like me, not known for neatness.
Anyway, just clean a little section for now. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and you would have taken another step to beat your depression into submission.
GET DRESSED - Once again, we do not imply that you lounge around all day, but just in case you do what I used to do, GET DRESSED. It seems to be relaxing to stay in one's PJ's and or bathrobe for a good part of the day, but it is somewhat deceiving. Get up, and get ready for the day. Remember, as stated in the previous sections, we have lot's to do, and there is some more below. The State may say that you are disabled, but God says you are enabled!
FIND THE FUNNY! - Why not? Must our lives be drab with boring jobs and schedules and such? Nah. Find something funny (nothing immoral, not filthy jokes, etc.). I don't know where you may work, but at the time of this composition, I was the plant foreman at a crabmeat processing plant. Last year, one of my pickers found a steamed crab with some line still attached to it. I hung the critter up, swung it and said "look!, bungee jumping!", among other things. The workers had a blast for awhile with this silliness, taking away some of the drabness of crab picking.
LEARN FROM POSITIVE EXAMPLES- Observe people, whether they are saved or not, and pick up on their positive actions. Here are two things that I learned.
Eric Salser was a District Manager for KFC when I worked there. He would come in, write up a list a things we could do, assign a person (including himself) to each task, and set us to work, with himself joining in. I now will write out a list of things I should do for each day then cross them off as I go. Try this yourself, but if you do not get it all done, do not condemn yourself. Commend yourself for trying!
Another lesson I learned was watching a psychologist at a debriefing at Flinstone Fire Department after we ended attempts at reviving someone in order to help others. Before he would ask a probing question of a member, he would look at them for about five seconds, then ask his question. This gave the person time to think how they were going to respond to the situation. I use this today quite often in the ministry.
I trust you get the idea. Look for the positive. If it is something that Jesus would do, then do it!
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When Someone Picks On You
Another thing to keep in mind is that we must see that when people do this, it is really Satan behind it all; so focus your anger upon the real enemy - Satan - and not the person he is using.
Now, there is an added benefit to being picked on if you are a Christian. Read Matt. 5:11 & 12!
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A Very Major Ingredient For Your Mental Health
You may not feel like it, but if you take the initiative and become involved in, or increase your activity in the lives of others you will be blessed and strengthened. Your mental depression is most likely to decrease because . . .
Here are some possibilities:
Do you write poetry? Put it on the web! Good at something? Put it on the web. Recipes? Let's see 'em.
Whatever, do something to help someone.
This is a major step for you to take. Remember if you choose something like the fire department, make sure you ask God to help you put some distance between a negative situation and your mental well-being.
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With all due respect to many fine health care professionals, they may know their profession quite well, but they need to know God and His power.
DECIDE NOW who you will listen to:
to God or to the voice of man. Listen to what God says! . . .
Keep in mind that the doctor you may be seeing may not know Jesus Christ as their Savior. They see hundreds of "hopeless" cases. Many are not adequately trained in nutrition, and most are not trained in God and the Bible. And, many may not have a deep interest in you being cured - as long as the money comes from somewhere. (Not all doctors feel this way)
Medicine and psychological help is fine, but only God is the ultimate answer. There is POWER in God's Word.
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BE ALERT- Whenever you get a hint that your depressive mood will visit you again or even deepen, or when sadness creeps in and acts like it wants to stay, try something that you have learned at this site, especially to PRAISE GOD ANYHOW.
Even if you slip back into depression, do not give up, but keep trying again. As long as you try, you will not be completely defeated, but you will actually become stronger.
|BACK TO THE TOP||THINK RIGHT||DO RIGHT|
|WHEN SOMEONE PICKS ON YOU||HELP SOMEONE||WHEN THEY SAY "YOU WILL NEVER BE CURED"|
|GOD REALLY LOVES YOU!||SHATTERING THE SAD SYNDROME||GOD WANTS TO HELP YOU!|
Go Back To Rx 2
Go To Rx 4
The Beginning Of "Let's Overcome Depression"