Depression is a huge problem in our modern society. The mental disorder drags down over five percent of the population, and many suffer in silence until the disease is tearing apart their mind and relationships.
Yet, depression is also one of the most misunderstood mental conditions. Some wonder why a depressed person won’t “just cheer up,” while others view those dealing with the disorder as weak. The church has often ignored the issue or blamed the sufferers for lack of faith. The church has come a long ways in acknowledging and helping those with depression, but public education is still lacking and misconceptions run rampant.
To help address these misconceptions within the congregation, Wade-O Radio compiled a list of three commonly held but incorrect assumptions about depression. You might think you understand the issue, but you might be surprised by what the truth.
1) Depression isn’t real
Many think of depression as a temporary sadness or being “down” for a little while. Depression is much more than that. It is a persistent condition that impairs thoughts, behavior, daily activities, and even physical health. Depressed people feel long-lasting and extreme sadness, anxiety, and feelings of “emptiness” or “hopelessness.” Fatigue is also commonly reported. Throughout the bible, Elijah and David both show classic symptoms of depression. It has always been a real condition affecting the lives of innocent and good hearted people, and still is.
2) Depression isn’t deceiving
One of the hardest things for healthy minded people to understand about depression is the way it distorts the thoughts. It takes over the mind and corrupts the thoughts making sufferers believe the world would be better off without them, or that no one loves them. All of these are lies. God’s love is infinite, and the thoughts making you believe your family or friends do not love you are deceptions. Those not dealing wit depression also don’t understand the way sufferers hide their feelings. They commonly refer to “wearing a mask” in public so that others don’t become concerned about the terrible emotions they are feeling.
3) Depression is the end
Many dealing with depression become wrapped up in negative things in their life to the point where it seems like the bad things will never end. They feel like they should give up, they are unworthy of love, and “there is nothing that can change it.” But none of that is true. You can always fight back. You can always accept the help and love of God and you can always reach out to a counselor with help. No matter how down you feel, you can always escape depression with the help of friends, family, pastors, counselors, and God.