Summary: A look at the dangers of depression, and what God has done to help us in our times of emotional overload.

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Humor: Have you ever heard this expression, "It’s enough to make a preacher cuss." It reminds me of story about little boy trying to sell a lawn mower. The local pastor walked up and he was able to persuade him to buy the worn out lawn mower. The pastor pulled on the rope several times to make sure the mower would start, but nothing happen. Not even a spit or a sputter.

The boy told the preacher that he would have to kick the mower and say a few cuss words before the mower would crank. The preacher said, "Son, I can’t do that. It’s been years since I said a cuss word." The little boy replied, "Just keep pulling and it will come back to you."...

The Christians two chief occupational hazards are depression and discouragement.

What is depression? Depression is a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that leads to sadness.

It shocks us when we realize that great men and women go through periods of deep, dark depression. For instance, Winston Churchill said, "Depression followed me around like a black dog all of my life." A young lawyer in the 1800’s suffered such a deep depression that his friends did everything they could to keep all razors and knives away from him. He wrote these words, "I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not." This lawyer later became the 16th president of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln. Even a man by the name of Charles Spurgeon was given to periods of depression. History tells us that there were times when Spurgeon would be so depressed that he would refuse to leave his home to go to church. On more than one occasion, his deacons had to come and physically carry their pastor to the pulpit.

· •Depression affects all classes, races, ages, groups and genders of people.

· •17.6 million Americans will deal with some form of depression this year.

· •One out of every 5 Americans can expect to deal with depression in their lifetime.

· •The rate of clinical depression is twice that of men. Statistics teach that one person out of every seven in this very room will need some form of professional help in dealing with depression in their lifetime.

· •The National Institute of Mental Health estimated that depression cost the nation between $30-$44 billion in 1990 alone. In addition to that, over 2 million work days are lost each year due to depression.

· •Depression is the leading cause of alcoholism, drug abuse, and other addictions.

· •Untreated depression is the number on cause of suicide.

· •Depression is not something to mess with! If you are dealing with depression, get help!

Of course, not all depression is bad. Depression is the body’s natural reaction to shock. When a time of grief, stress, frustration, or illness occurs, the brain will release chemicals that will serve to numb the mind and body. This is like a shock absorber. However, there are times when the brain and its chemicals become so out of balance that clinical depression may occur. Professionals say that a period of depression lasting over 2 weeks should be considered serious and needs treatment.

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