Physical or Spiritual?
Those who know me well know that I’ve struggled with depression for years. It’s not something that I tell most people. Depression is different than most kinds of ailments. With most medical conditions, if you tell people you have it, they don’t look down on you. People are never shamed for having diabetes. But that’s not the case for people struggling with depression.
People who struggle with depression may be told to, “pull up their bootstraps” and get it together. Some people even condemn depression as a sin and tell depressed people that they are sinning by experiencing depression.
Yet, for both diabetes and depression, there is a physical cause – the chemistry of the body is off; it’s not working correctly. Some types of diabetes can be managed through diet alone. Some types require oral medication or insulin injections. So it is with depression. Some types may be able to be remedied with exercise, proper sleep and a healthy diet. But, often, depression requires medication to achieve the proper chemical balance in the brain.
Unlike diabetes, the medical condition of depression, caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, is always accompanied by the roaring lion, the accuser of the brethren, trying to get us down. So, while we are weakened by being unable to think properly, due to the chemical imbalance in our brains, the enemy gets in there and tells us lies.
The devil will tell us that we’re worthless and losers and selfish and that we must really want to feel this way and that everything is our fault and that we need to do better and that we can never do better and that we’ll always feel this way and on and on the lies come without reprieve. And so the condition of the depressed person is compounded as they are blinded and wounded by the attacking enemy.
So, depression is BOTH physical and spiritual. Both aspects must be addressed to truly get freedom from depression. I’ve discussed how to address some of the physical aspects of depression in my blog posts, “Fight Depression and Win!” and “5HTP for Depression and Anxiety”.
How to Fight Depression Spiritually
Additionally, if you have substantial spiritual baggage in your life, depression can be entirely spiritual. Abuse or other major trauma can cause ongoing depression. Whether your depression is entirely spiritual or physical compounded by spiritual attack, you will find the following very helpful.
Believe in Jesus and give your life to God. Believing the truth and doing right will open the door to peace. If you would like to learn more about Jesus watch the Jesus film here or read about all he’s done for us as recorded in the Bible – begin by reading the book of John. If you’ve already given your life to Jesus read on. I’ve been a Christian since I was a child but have still laboured under a heavy burden of depression. But now I’ve learned how to fight depression also on the spiritual plane.
Forgive everyone that has sinned against you. Unforgiveness is a poison that will burden you as long as you hold on to it. Forgiveness can be difficult, even impossible. But nothing is impossible with God. Pray and ask God for help. Pray blessings over the person who has hurt you. Persist in prayer over time until you are able to feel forgiveness for the person.
Repent of all sin. Secret sin is decay inside and will burden you until you confess and repent of it. It is beneficial to confess your sin to a pastor or trusted Christian friend or mentor to gain victory over that sin and to bring healing. As the Bible says in James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
Get the truth from God – the truth that sets free. As it says in the Bible, “the truth will set your free”. The devil is a liar and that is his most powerful weapon. His goal is to destroy you through lies or, if he can’t destroy you completely, at least to cripple you and make sure you’re out of the battle and not working for Jesus. But as followers of Jesus, we are NOT subject to the devil. In Ephesians 2:6, it says, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms”. So we don’t have to believe the devil’s lies anymore. To get free, pray and ask God what lies you are believing. Then, when something comes to mind, pray and ask God what the truth is. When you receive the truth from Jesus, those lies will lose their power over you.
Forgiveness, repenting of sin and getting the truth from God need to be addressed on a continuing basis. As long as we are alive on earth, the devil will be fighting against us. If we are unaware of the spiritual battle, things will not go well for us. But, if we keep fighting the good fight, we can’t help but win because we have Jesus! As the Bible says in 1 John 4:4, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
If there has been major trauma in your past and you struggle from depression, it would be a good idea to get spiritual help. Personally, I have never suffered extreme trauma in my life just the average woundings that are common to most people. But I still needed help. Something I have found immensely helpful is the Set Free retreat held at Southland Church. I have attended five times and, each time, God has helped me more and more. This large conference is open to all Christians of every denomination, is held several times a year and draws hundreds of international participants from all over the world including Canada, the US, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Brazil, Finland, Burma, Uganda and the Congo.
You don’t have to always feel as bad as you do now. I used to have no hope that I would ever find happiness in this life. I used to wake up every morning with a strong sense of dread, wishing that God would let me die. But now that I have learned how to fight depression spiritually, that feeling is rather infrequent. I still struggle. But I’m not going to give up. I’m going to keep fighting the good fight for as long as I’m here. You gotta keep fighting too.