GregoryCooper's Blog

thoughts from a Christ follower

Dealing with Depression when it feels like your pit has become a prison

I have walked through the valley at a few different times in my life, it is not a place that I wish to return or a path that I seek to take, but God is using it in my life to allow me to help others.  Here are some practical things that I have learned about depression and some help from Psalm 42.  These are the notes from the message I shared this past Sunday at Brightside Church.

Overcome? Dealing with Depression

When your pit becomes a prison

Psalm 42

 Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5 NIV

Depression defined – a temporary emotional state that is characterized by an ongoing overwhelming sense of hopelessness.

Symptoms- you may be depressed if you are experiencing several of these for an extended period of time (2weeks or more)

  • An ongoing sense of hopelessness
  • Constant fatigue or loss of energy
  • Sleeplessness or wanting to sleep all the time
  • Unexplained significant weight loss
  • Loss of interest in things that use to bring pleasure
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Worthlessness or overwhelming inappropriate guilt
  • Extremely low self esteem
  • Recurring thoughts of death

Hopeful thoughts that you desperately need to know:

  1. You are not alone
  2. You are not crazy
  3. You will get better
  4. God is still there and His promises are still true
  5. One day you will be able to give thanks for this difficult struggle.

Three Ways That You CAN Deal With Depression:

 1.    Identify why you are depressed? Vs 5, 11

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?

Consider the cause?

  • Spiritual …sin and or Satan.  No joy will be found in the presence of ongoing sin

“There is no happiness finally, there is no peace, there is no joy, except we be right with God.” Lloyd-Jones, p27

  •  Circumstantial …focusing on the negative

“Maybe we need to quit letting our circumstances get between us and God and let God get between us and our circumstances.” Batterson

  •  Unbelief
  1. Lack of faith in Christ (do you really know Jesus?)  John 3:36, 17
  2.  Lack of faith in God’s process (2 Corinthians 1:9,10 James 1:2-4)
  •  Physical …hormones or neurological…chemical imbalance  (look here after carefully examining the other possibilities)

“If depressed persons assume that their problem is fundamentally medical, asking them to look at their relationships or their basic beliefs about God will seem as useful as prescribing physical exercise for baldness.  Exercise is always helpful, but it won’t grow hair.”  Welch

 Practical Physical Things that Help

  • Exercise and Eat well
  • Surround yourself with positive influences
  • Avoid Joy Suckers
  • Laugh
  • Vitamin D and or St. John’s Wort
  • Make simple to do lists that you can accomplish
  • Avoid downers – alcohol or other substances that are natural depressants
  • Listen to encouraging music

2.    Choose to get better– hope in God vs 5,11  The best antidepressant available – hope in God.

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Vs 5

  • Hope in God’s deliverance
  • Hope in God’s character

A prayer that many of us learned as kids is: God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food…but as we grow up life happens and we find ourselves questioning what we once believed.    Extra Extra …God is still great and God is still good!!!

3.    Replace self– centered pity with God-centered praise

Change your focus from all that is wrong with you to all that is right with God vs 5 “for I will yet praise him”

  • Get back to worshipping with God’s people vs 4  (You need God’s people to get through this)
  • Rest in God’s loving kindness vs 8
  • Be honest with God in prayer vs 9,10

Here are three things that you desperately need:

Hope…The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalms 34:18 NLT)

HelpFrom the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, (Psalms 61:2 NLT)

HealingMy flesh and my heart fail; But  God is  the strength of my heart and my  portion forever. (Psalms 73:26 NKJV)

Book Recommendations

  • When Life Is Hard, James MacDonald
  •  Depression A Stubborn Darknes, Edward T. Welch
  • Spiritual Depression, Lloyd-Jones
  • When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper
  • Laugh Again, Charles Swindoll













February 12, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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