STANDING AGAINST DEPRESSION
A while ago, the media was awash with the news of a young and promising medical doctor who plunged into the Lagos lagoon. It was such a sordid incidence that left me wondering what could have made the young man end it all by jumping into the lagoon. The truth is that there could be a thousand and one reasons why he did it but I don’t think there can be enough reasons why anyone should take their own life. No one has a right to take his or her life just as you have no right to deliberately take another person’s life. If you look at the state of the economy in Nigeria today and the level of suffering endured by many out there, there could be justifications why someone should be tempted to commit suicide or even slump into depression nonetheless, I beseech you, hang in there, don’t give up now, your breakthrough is so near. Take your focus off the problem instead focus on the solution or on the problem solver –our mighty God.
Depression according to Medical News Today is a mental health disorder. Mental health is defined by WHO as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Depression however is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently low mood and a feeling of sadness and loss of interest. The average length of a depressive episode is said to be 6-8 months and is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability. In fact, WHO estimates that 350 million people are affected by depression, globally? Can you imagine that?
Depression is different from the fluctuations in mood that people experience as a part of normal life. It is likely to be due to a complex combination of factors that include: genetics, biological changes such as changes in neurotransmitter levels, environmental factors, psychological and psychosocial factors.
Some people are at higher risk of depression than others; people who have experienced bereavement, divorce, stressful work issues, strained relationships with friends and family, or have financial problems, medical concerns, or acute stress etc.
Symptom can include loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, loss of sexual desire, unintentional weight loss or low appetite, difficulty in sleeping or excessive sleeping, restlessness, pacing up and down, or slowed movements and speech, recurrent thoughts of death or suicide etcetera.
The question is how can one live a life free of depression? I mean we all have issues; no one is free of challenges. How can one be happy in spite of poor economic situations? How can people who have been besieged with tornadoes or hurricanes or earthquakes not slump into depression? What do one do faced with the painful death of a loved one? And how can someone who is suffering depression overcome it from a biblical point of view?
Proverbs 15:13 says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful but heartache crushes the spirit.” You owe yourself the responsibility of being happy, the benefits cannot be quantified. Therefore, you must make conscious efforts never to get to that point where you need medical intervention because of depression. Truly, happy people cannot get depressed. So, you must maintain your joy regardless of what life throws at you. If you lose your joy, you equally lose your ability to be creative or ability to proffer solution to the problem. Learn to laugh more, stop being too serious.
- I think a relationship with God guarantees a lot of things. So, first things first, develop a relationship with the living God by giving your life to Jesus Christ. When you have this relationship, you automatically have a divine covering over your life. Plus you discover the meaning of your life and also operate with wisdom. A relationship with God gives you confidence and supernatural strength, it helps you to realise that you are good enough. It serves as an anchor against all of life’s tsunamis. Psalm 91 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty and will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Please hide under the shadow of the almighty where you can be safe.
- Do something worthwhile. The economy may be bad but you are not dead. Do you remember that saying- necessity is the mother of invention? Hmnn, I think a better way to say it is creativity is the mother of invention. Man, you’ve got to become creative. Whatever your hands find, please do. Get a decent job, it may not be your dream job, it may not be a corporate job but if it puts food on your table and pay your bills, then do it with all your heart on the way to getting something better.
- You should learn to speak up. If you have a problem, please don’t keep it to yourself, look for someone you trust to confide in them. I have come to realise that the rich also cry, we’ve all got scars but a problem shared is a problem solved.
- Get involved, share your life with others, offer voluntary services in the hospitals, church or just become the type of neighbour who cares. Focus on serving others. Loving service to others can give you a better perspective on your own issues.