7th December 2020, hej
This Article: (3 Pages)
- 1. Case study of Depression: for... carers from a Bible perspective
- 2. The Journey There (or how I may... have avoided it)
- 3. The journey out (how it was overcome)
3) The journey out (how it was overcome)
There seem few key factors. Pragmatically health issues need to be addressed. Even if a struggle to eat, they must believe it is good to eat. I used the verse, “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God” (Ecc 2:24). It seems that Vitamin B12 is very useful. This may be obtained from Malt (Barley) extract. Foods for reduction in stress seem to be good, including dairy products, which have magnesium, and spinach. Magnesium gives an appetite. For me Bananas were essential. Overall powdered calcium asorbate (Vitamin C) was good. It is now known to reduce mood effects of the female cycle and helps males also.
The off-the-shelf remedies for sleep such as 'St john's wort' were useless and seemed to be a cause of stress as they seemed to worsen the foggy-head feeling. Each person may be different.
Also exposure to the sun is very important for mood. Time needs to be put aside to sit in the sun, especially early in the morning. This sets the body clock, and will help with sleeping, which with Vitamin B12 are the 2 known useful treatments.
Daily exercise best in the morning. It is best if it is moderate. Half hour to an hour walk. I felt pain when I moved, and worried about making it back to the house, but it was necessary to do it to get good sleep.
But in addition to the practical physical things, the mind has to be re-newed.
Grow in Faith
The first factor is an overall gaining of faith and confidence in God's power over us. Everything may be achieved by this confidence.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philipians 4:12-13)
There must be an ability to believe with every part of us that what we pray for we will be given.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. (James 5:16-17)
There has to be a willingness to confess fault, sin and transgression and to repent from our previous way. This is in general, but there are some specifics.
The first is sleep. Through the 'darkest' part it may be that 9-12 hours of sleep are needed. This sleep will be hard to achieve, as that was a problem that started it. It must be achieved: at least 2 good lots of 3 hours.
To achieve sleep one might pray,
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)
There is also an absolute confidence in a known fact, God can give is a deep sleep. He made Adam sleep (Gen 2:21). He made Abram sleep (Gen 15:21) and he made Abner and Saul sleep (1 Sam 26:12), also Daniel (18:8). There is a power available that allowed our Lord to sleep through a storm. We may ask for it in faith.
Practically, then after the prayer we need techniques do deal with the thoughts. Counting sheep is too close. I found that visualising was best. To visualise the kingdom of God, Eden's paradise, or the Temple of Ezekiel's prophecy. Visualising is close to dreaming. It seems also a positive thing that the thoughts in such visualisation were of the very best type for a feeling of being at peace.
Sleeping a long time, gives the brain the rest it needs. Like a child, its best if made a habit, and expect at first that it will take a long time to fall asleep. Don't have high expectations, be thankful for everything.
Day: Renewing the mind
But during the day, how is it best to cope with? The key is the term 're-newing the mind'. In effect the day hours are re-programming.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12:1-3)
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
This is asking us to reform our lives as well as thinking, but practically how can this be done? In Paul's letter to the Phillipians he writes,
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Php 4:4-9)
But how and what do we think on- Chances are what we think is 'good' is not really good. Our mind was messed up by thinking what we thought good... so how do we know what is good?
The law gives an answer. It might be unpalatable, but there is a reason for it. Israel as the firstborn son of God out of Egypt are asked to do something,
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shall love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shall teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them when thou sit in thine house, and when thou walk by the way, and when thou lie down, and when thou rise up. And thou shall bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shall write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
I implies we read the Bible daily and perhaps, if need, be hourly. There is no source other than the Bible not tainted by the thinking of humans. This command has no benefit as a ritual. It means that the words of the Bible must never be out of our thoughts during the day.
After a diet solely of the words of the Bible, you realise there is no book like it on earth: None. It has a curious capacity to both calm and rebuke. The tears that come are different, to others. If a portion is taken from both the Old and New Testament there will not fail to be one verse that may be written down to be learnt as comfort and for strength.
Preparing for Patience and the Long Struggle
It becomes fairly obvious after a few months or so that it will not be an instant heal. In our society every one hopes for quick fixes, to be healed and back doing what we did before. What people with Depression were doing before contributed to Depression, so chances are it not desirable to go back. There will be changes. There must also be the willingness to accept that life will be very different for 18 months to 2 years. For Isaac Newton with less access to vitamins it was 3 years. Years to us sound like a long time, so take 18 months and count them down as days, on a calendar or on a pocket notepad with the daily Bible verse.
Each day may be counted as a gift from God. In this way the attitude is changed to the suffering that will be experienced. Each day ticked off is a personal conquest made with the help of God. We can in this way also acknowledge the sovereignty of God from whom we seek healing.
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)
There is evidence that Depression is not new (ponder Job 17:14-15), and it's not uncommon. It might be more part of the human condition, and more so if a society has unrealistic and/or false expectations. There is great advantage in the patience which a shift in thinking from expecting the moment to be perfect and without suffering, to a hope in a better day tomorrow.
It is a truth that since the curse of the time of Adam for all mankind there is inevitable sorrow (Gen 3:17). We see a moth-eaten world waxing old (Psa. 102:26) and about us a world where “all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered” (Eccl. 1:14-15). James encourages all “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job” (James 5:11). All the faithful are to have trial, but, Paul wrote with authority suffering ill health, imprisonment and argument,
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)