Depression is literal pain. It feels like you are lost in a dark world. When the brain is hurting, all it wants to do is to stop hurting. So it goes searching for a way to stop the pain.
Our culture provides a variety of ways to numb the pain inside the heart – drugs (legal and illegal), alcohol, sex and a variety of sexual addictions, food binges and chocolate – are just a few of the most commonly used pain relievers.
What causes depression? If you are a naturalist, you will say, “We were just born that way!” And then of course, a naturalist will look for “natural” ways to care for the pain. Besides the options mentioned above – they will also seek counselors, psychiatrists, etc and call them “tools” for living life. But does this work?
Believing we were born this way is a cop out. It abdicates any responsibility we have.
I believe and know there is a better way.
You see, the drugs don’t really work. They help to “not feel” for awhile but it keeps us from finding out the REAL problem.
We were CREATED for love and joy. When we don’t get these things when we were babies at the right time or in the right way, our “joy tank” is low and we are set up for – depression! Just as it was our parents job to build and grow that “joy tank” when we were little, it is also our responsibility to grow our children’s as well.
But what does one do when we are already an adult with “low joy”? We have to build joy within us, within our brains again. Based on what I’ve been reading, our brains can change. All the new studies on neurology and the brain state that our brains are not “set” but that God, in His infinite wisdom, created our brains to change and grow. It all depends on what we think on AND ….
When we have pain, it is an indication of a problem deep within. A wound that God wants to heal. I read in “Joy Starts Here” by Dr. Wilder that – All pain is attachment pain. In other words, all emotional pain stems from some kind of difficulty with attachment or relational struggles, which started when we were little.
So what is the solution? First, its such a relief to know that we are not victims to our circumstance but that our brains can grow and change.
Second, open ourselves up to God and allow His Spirit to be our primary counselor. (This does not mean we shouldn’t seek a counselor. A godly counselor can help.) God is very gentle and will expose what is wrong inside. But this takes time, time spent with Him.
Third, we are a product of what we meditate on, what we think on. We need to ask ourselves, what am I thinking about? God tells us what to think about in Philippians 4:8 –
Whatever that is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good reputation, excellence, worthy of praise – dwell on these things.
In the joy book I mentioned above, it teaches there are 3 things we need to live a sustained joy – filled life. They are –
- A healthy, godly community
- An Immanuel process
- A relational brain
The healthy community is obvious. We all need people who love us in good and bad. A group of people that know who we really are and we know we are safe with them. They will not leave us.
The Immanel process is learning to engage with Jesus continually, in a moment-by-moment basis. When we have problems or stresses, etc, we know HOW to take those to the Lord.
A relational brain is important because we attract people to us rather than repel them.
If any one of these factors are missing, our joy will falter.
In building joy as an adult, there is God’s part and there is our part. God will create the inner change needed within us as we spend time with Him, but we have to choose to give Him the time to do His work, and the faith that He will. We can also read and study multiple books that aid with inner healing. First is the Bible. Then there are a multitude of books on emotional healing, such as “Joy Starts Here”, etc. I encourage you to find some books and start reading.
Don’t you think it’s time to stop trying to take care of your depression yourself and let God have a try? What have you got to lose?
God is our hope. His presence and learning to engage with Him is our joy.
“Hope in God for I shall yet praise Him”. Psalms 42:5
Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that You created me and know exactly how I function best. I am also thankful that You created the brain to change and there is hope. Your Word says that in Your presence there is joy (Psalms 16:11), but even then Lord, sometimes I don’t feel joy. Help me, teach me to engage with You to deal with my stresses and trials of life. I acknowledge the tools of the world don’t really work and I come back to You. Thank You Lord for always being there. Amen.