Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Feeling depressed?

We had a really good talk at church on Sunday night about the Christian response to depression and how we can help others.  This is a the first of a couple of posts on the theme.

Depression is very common - roughly 1 in 5 will suffer in their life. 1 in 20 will have a big issue that will need major treatment. Women are more likely to be treated than men.  Men generally share their feelings less easily among close people and may not be able to share how they feel. Young men having the worse suicide rates. 

I found this graph of UK data from the Samaritans from 2009.

Defining what is depression can be quite hard because there is a spectrum ranging from feeling low right now to feelings that don't go away for months. 

Feelings include those of despair and lack of hope. 

It is really important to know that it is real and is not a sign of weakness and is not just for those feeble people who can't cope with life. 

This can make it extra difficult for Christians - why can't my faith be strong enough to overcome it?

Features of depression can include feelings of:-

  • Darkness 
  • Withdrawal 
  • Scary 
  • Isolation 
  • Hopelessness 
  • Irrational 
  • No energy / passion 

There are many more both emotional and physical. 

There are many causes which can cause :-

  • Bereavement 
  • Issues arising from childhood 
  • Trauma 
  • A simple illness that changes life 
  • Stressful life events 
  • Redundancy 
  • Retirement 
  • Work 
We are all affected differently and for some people it can be brushed off easily and for others not so.

If you have stumbled across this post after looking for information because you feel desperate please follow this link to the Samaritans.

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