Apr 20, 2017 by Will Maule

3 Effective Ways Christians Can Fight Depression

Depression can affect anyone, Christian or not. Just as a broken leg would mean you require crutches, mental health issues will also often require medical treatment. Whilst depression may be invisible to others, it is a very serious condition, and affects millions of people around the world. But as Christians, are there any good tips for dealing with it? Well, Stephen Altrogge at Desiring God highlights 3 great ones. 

1. Distinguish between fact and feeling.
"The most important thing I’ve learned is that 90% of the time in the midst of my depression, my feelings have zero connection to reality. This is key when you’re in the morass of mental illness. I feel bad because something is seriously wrong with my body. Because my brain is rebelling — not because everything is really going to pieces. Reality is outside of my broken brain. It is defined by God’s word. It’s solid. Objective. Unchangeable. If I try to process my life or circumstances through the dark lens of depression, I will be terrified."

2. Find a friend to remind you of the truth.
"Depression gets you stuck inside your head. Your brain becomes a swirling mass of half-truths and distorted perceptions. Up seems down; truth seems stranger than fiction. It’s impossible to think straight. It’s like looking upside down in a hall of darkened mirrors. During these times, I need someone to tell me the truth. Not in a corrective way or as an exhortation, but simply as an anchor. I need someone to say, “Listen, here’s what’s true. I know it doesn’t feel true, but it’s true. Right now, you feel like you are doomed. But God is with you. He loves you and won’t let you go.”

3. Give sunshine to the soul.
"There is an intimate connection between the body and soul. The body often charts the way forward and the soul follows in the wake. When your body is deeply sick, it pulls your soul downward, like a weight tied around the ankle. I’ve found that one of the most effective methods for increasing my faith begins with my body. When I exercise or go for a walk or sit in the sunshine, my body feels better. Blood and oxygen pump through my body, refreshing and nurturing it. When I feel better, I think more clearly and see things more accurately. When I think more clearly, I can more easily process and embrace God’s promises. When I embrace God’s promises, my faith surges."

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