3 Keys to Understand About Depression

As someone who has personally gone through intense seasons of depression and overcome, I am very familiar with the hopelessness and despair that seems to be relentless. Many people suffer from symptoms of depression in silence, while they struggle in shame and hopelessness to get free. In getting free myself and helping others to get free, I have found the following precepts to be very helpful.

1. Battles with Depression are Very Spiritual

Regardless of your faith stance, it is important to understand that depression is a very spiritual issue. Yes, depression manifests as the result of a chemical imbalance in the body, but the core battleground is much deeper. And yes there is a battle in the mind, but there is a battle in your spirit that often gets overlooked. Quite often, depression is a very real spiritual battle intended to squash your hope and limit your perspective. We all go through seasons of lows, but if we are kept in a perpetual state of depression, our ability to enjoy life and see potential in our future is capped.

The Bible speaks to this battleground often. In the Old Testament, it is referred to as a spirit of heaviness in Isaiah 61. That invisible resistance you feel when you try to break out of depression is an invisible war, intended to keep you contained from hope and joy.

So many in their struggle will say, “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just get over it?” Yet they fail to realize they have a spiritual war within their members that is keeping them bound. Although getting free does not simply involve a one time prayer (it is a process) recognizing that you have something that is “not you” working to keep you bound is a key to overcoming.

2. Loss of hope is key to address.

Depression is often a manifestation of heavy disappointment or lost hope that has taken place. Proverbs 13:12 tells us “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” When helping people break through depression, I often ask, “Where did you lose hope?”

Hope is our divine vision for life. It grids how we see the potential around us and the future in front of us. Biblical hope is  a joyful expectation. Hope is a spiritual anchor. We lose a sense of hope and expectation, we open ourselves to mental toxicity and physical illness.

When we identify the areas where hope was lost, we can begin to come before God and friends in our life to begin rebuilding hope. If we lose our desire to regain and preserve our hope, we lose a key foundation to our hearts that is meant to keep us stable.

3. Love needs to be experienced.

If you struggle with hope, then you do not have an intelligence problem. You have a love problem. Your ability to remain hopeful is founded on your ability to be loved, give love and experience love freely. Heaviness is a loss of hope and hope is fuel by a healthy understanding of love. Love gives us the lens that hope stands on. When you know the love of God and others, it fills you with a hope that is sure.

When you are loved, you become empowered. You know someone has your back. People believe in you. Most of all, you realize God believes in you as His child.

Love comforts us and repairs areas of damage. Love nurtures us, healing us where we carry battle scars. If we have a hard time receiving that from God and others, this identifies where we our recovery lies–in experiencing love.

A key to recovering hope is in recovering love. To recover love, we often have to ask, “Who broke your heart? Where has love been compromised in your life.” As we uncover these areas, we create a launching pad for God to take us on a journey of knowing and relying on His love to heal us from our despair. Love is always the answer.

Question: Where do you need the spiritual aspect of your battles? Where has hope been lost? Where has love been compromised in your life, where it needs to be experienced more fully?