Recently, I was asked this question: "What are some of God's cure for depression?" Here's my reply:
He allows or removes the following:
-Remove unnecessary luxuries
-Remove idols (Nahum 1:14)
-Allow trials and tribulations to enter for testing and purifying (James 1:2-6)
-Remove His favor/blessing (Deut. 28)
-Strip you of secrets; exposing them to the world (Romans 2:16, 1 Corinthians 14:25)
-Covers your mouth from complaining (Numbers 12)
-Disobedient children bringing you to your knees (Malachi 4:5-6)
As the Lord strips us of uselessness and vanity, we draw closer to a God who desires our obedience and devotion. As we draw nearer to God, depression and sadness fades. It is what our Lord longs for - a revival of hearts dedicated and committed to Him in whole-hearted worship.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
I'm curious how they define mental illness. People have always had emotions, but now if you have a few bad days or bad weeks, you can remember the TV ads you've seen with people who go from watching life from the sidelines to joining in - transformed by anti-depressants. You can go to the doctor, who will accept your self-diagnosis and put you on drugs. You become even less resourceful at pulling yourself out of a slump.
When I'm depressed, I resist the downward spiral by trying to do something physically productive - like cleaning out the refrigerator or closets. It does take some self-discipline to pull oneself out, but it can be done. And believers definitely have an advantage as they have prayer in their medicine chest.
Yes, if you were just a little neater, you wouldn't be depressed. Oh, and pray more.
This is not useful advice for the depressed. This is, in fact, dangerous advice for the depressed. This is, perhaps, useful advice for someone having a bad day. Tai chi has become my personal Xanax*. I find cleaning soothing, as well. Neither one of those things would have worked while I was depressed. You can't cure that kind of thing on your own (though it might lift on its own eventually, I wouldn't suggest trying to wait it out), and it's dangerous to suggest people ought to.
Bad days suck. Depression kills.
Every 100 minutes another teenager will commit suicide.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 14 and 25 in the United States.
The following statistics were taken from a recent survey of college and high school students by the CDC:
Twenty-seven percent of high school students said they had "thought seriously" about killing themselves during the past year. Eight percent said they had actually tried to kill themselves.
Ten percent of U.S. college students admitted serious thoughts about suicide. Seven percent had a suicide plan.
More than 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year, and 5,000 of these people are teenagers.
*While I can see immediately what I need to do, trying to get my body to do it requires a great deal of concentration, leaving me unable to think about anything else. It's like a 20 minute vacation from my brain.