The Pit Of Depression
In Psalm 40:2, David said, “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.” That’s a great description of depression. In Bible times, they would dig pits in clay soil and mine the clay for potters to make vessels from. When the clay got wet, the pit became too slick to climb out of by yourself, so you became mired, or stuck, in the “miry clay”. Are you stuck in the mire of a depression you can’t climb out of?
Everyone experiences temporary sadness and grief at times, but if you’re feeling down or hopeless all the time, you could have depression. Depression is a mood disorder that persists and interferes with your everyday life. It doesn’t go away without treatment. If you have depression, you feel heavy. The world seems dark. It takes all the strength you have just to get through the day. You can’t sleep or sleep too much. You overeat or have no appetite. You don’t want to be around people. You have no interest in things you used to enjoy. You can’t concentrate. You cry for no reason. You’re very tired. You feel hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty. You might use drugs or alcohol to cope. Perhaps you even think about taking your life. That is a miry pit, indeed.
Depression often begins in the teen or young adult years. It is more common in women. Women often get depression in pregnancy and/or post-partum depression after childbirth. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in winter, which is a kind of depression. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.
Some common causes of depression are:
Chemical imbalance in the brain
Genetics – family history of depression or mood disorders
Early childhood trauma
Medical conditions - insomnia, chronic illness/pain, Parkinson’s, stroke, heart attack, cancer
Substance abuse – alcohol and/or drugs make depression worse
Many People Suffer From Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression affects 17.3 million American adults – about 7.1% of the U.S. population age 18 and older – in a given year. Fifteen percent of adults in America will experience depression in their life at some point. The CDC estimates that around 19% of American adults have symptoms of depression in any given 2-week period. The CDC also reports that 1.9 million children ages 3 – 17 have depression.
But everyone doesn’t experience depression the same. Some people have severe and ongoing depressive episodes while others have mild and temporary episodes. The most severe form of depression is called “Major Depressive Disorder,” which is characterized by persistent sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. The milder but chronic form of depression is called “Persistent Depressive Disorder.”
One in nine new mothers experience postpartum depression after they have a baby. If you’ve recently given birth, you might feel sadness or emptiness. Usually, those feelings go away after a couple of days. But if those feelings last longer than two weeks, you may have postpartum depression. It’s not your fault. It’s caused by changes in your hormones that take place after pregnancy.
If you have been diagnosed as bipolar, you may experience bipolar depression. Bipolar disorder includes manic periods where you are extremely energized, elated, and “up,” followed by depressive periods where you are extremely “down,” sad, or hopeless. However, if your bipolar disorder is treated, you will a good chance of fewer and less severe depressive episodes.
If you have been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), it’s not unusual for people with OCD to also have depression. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Up to 80% of people with OCD also have major depressive episodes.
There Is A Way Out Of The Pit Of Depression
In Psalm 40, David said that God brought him up from his pit and set his feet on a rock. And He can do that for you. Sadly, two-thirds of people living with depression don’t get the treatment they need, but depression can be treated. Even though there is no one treatment for depression that works for everyone, there are many effective treatment options and one or a combination of therapies is bound to help you.
Treatment For Depression
The most successful treatment for depression is medication and talk-therapy. While we don’t prescribe medication, we excel at talk-therapy. A trained therapist can help you get to the root of what is causing your depression and give you techniques for coping with it and manage your emotions so that you are able to find joy, satisfaction, and hope again.
Working with a trained Christian counselor for your depression will help you to identify the negative or false beliefs you are operating under and replace them with healthy, positive ones. You will explore your relationships and experiences and develop positive interactions that bolster your sense of well-being. You will find better ways to cope and solve your problems. You will identify issues that contribute to your depression and change behaviors that make it worse. You will regain a sense of control of your own life, which helps ease the symptoms of depression. And you will learn to set realistic goals and use healthier behaviors.
Common Reasons Why People Don’t Get Counseling For Depression
“I’ll be committed or forced to take medication.”
Only psychiatrists, who have medical degrees, are allowed to commit people to in-patient care or prescribe medications. No one was every committed to an institution or put on medication by a counselor. Counselors only do talk therapy. All that will happen in counseling is that you’ll have a safe space in which to talk about your depression and work with your therapist to find the source of your problems and a workable solution for you. No hospitalization, no drugs. Just talk.
“Counseling won’t help my depression.”
If you are suffering from depression, part of your depression is a pessimistic, negative outlook and belief system. So, of course, you believe that counseling won’t help, medicine won’t help, doctors won’t help, nothing will help. That is your depression speaking. But it is true that nothing won’t help. That is, if you do nothing, you definitely won’t be helped. In fact, your depression will get worse. Depression never goes away by itself. The only help there is for depression is treatment from your doctor and a good talk therapist like those at Christian Counseling Associates.
“I don’t know where to go to get help for my depression.”
You’ve taken the right first step. You’re here on this website reading this page about getting help for your depression. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. If you see yourself in the descriptions of what depression looks like, the next step for you is to call your doctor for an appointment. He or she will give you a checkup to determine if you do, indeed, have clinical depression. They may even prescribe medication. They will probably also tell you that you should see a good counselor. That is where Christian Counseling Associates comes in. We are ready to help you with good talk therapy. Every website you visit will tell you that the treatment for depression is medication and talk therapy.
Take The Next Step
Whether you are suffering from clinical depression, or you are just “blue” and overwhelmed with sadness, depressed feelings, and heaviness, you need a counselor. If you are in the Dallas area or the Fort Worth area, we have an office with counseling near you: one in Grapevine and one in Plano. Scheduling a free consultation with one of our counselors is easy. Just click the “Schedule Appointment” button below or call 972-422-8383. The road to your new life is here, just take that first step.