Depression Getting the Best of You?

17 years ago I suffered with depression. It wasn’t just the blues – there was a period of two years where I contemplated suicide often. My circumstances overwhelmed me, past hurts and rejection kept me in a very dark state and I was actively participating in negative thinking. Not to mention my poor diet and lack of exercise which most doctors and counselors agree increases your chances of experiencing depression. So what’s a person to do? Here are 4 steps that I took to walk out of depression and receive joy:

1. Meditate on God’s Word and pray. Psalm 34:17-18 says: When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. When I started investing time with the Father, He changed my mind about who I was, what I could do and who I could become in Him.

2. Limit fast food. Many scientific research studies have linked depression to the chemicals and preservatives found in fast food. Not to mention that after eating it you feel bloated and have had hundreds of unessential, unnecessary calories. 

3. Limit sugar intake. A recent published study indicated that they took rats that had never been exposed to sugar. The rats were given a choice of water, food pellets (their normal diet) or cubes of sugar to feed on for one hour. The rats went straight to the sugar and ate for one hour straight, NEVER stopping. They were removed from the feeding pen and their observed behavior was: “All rats went to separate corners to be alone, curled into the fetal position and wrung their hands.” Sound familiar? Sugar is classified as a depressant and is more addictive that cocaine, that’s why food manufactures are adding it to everything from bread to prepackaged meat loaf and even prepared veggies with sauce. It makes you want more and you actually will seek out the “high” from their products.

4. You gotta move. It can be so hard to get moving when you have depression, but the joy of the Lord really can be your strength! Put on some praise music and start with a sway, do a bit of a march and then maybe even a little dance. Take a walk and ask a friend to go with you. Being active will help drive depression away.

I have worked with many clients who suffered from mild depression all the way to clinical bipolar. My experience has been that within three months ALL were able to have their medication doses reduced by their doctor and many we re taken off of it all together. It is amazing how the body can heal when we invest a little time in taking care of it properly!