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Summary: This is an evening companion piece with the sermon on Depression -

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Depression - God is Not Silent When People Suffer

Depression is Terrifying. It has been called "Dead, but walking". Most people see their world as:

+Dark +Heavy +Painful +Numb +Directionless +Desperate

Who it affects: As many as 20 - 25 % of the population. At a minimum in the USA that is over 64 million people.

In our area of Houston County, TN - that is over 1,600 to 2,000 people

In any given year over 500 people in the vicinity of our church will be suffering from severe depression. Which means over 1,000 - 2,000 people will be affect as family members.

People in the Bible that had to deal with Depression:

+Abraham - Genesis 15 Jonah - Jonah 4

+Job - The entire book of Job Elijah - 1 Kings 19

+King Saul - 1 Samuel 16 Jeremiah - The entire book of Jeremiah

+David writing in the Psalms ( Psalms 6, 13, 18, 25, 31, 32, 42-43; 51, 62-63, 90-91; 103-104; 123-124; 141-143; 146-147)

+Moses - Numbers 11 +Naomi - Book of Ruth

+Hannah - 1 Samuel 1 +Paul - 2 Corinthians 1

Causes of Depression:

-Inherited predisposition to depression -Health issues - female issues

-Hormonal or chemical imbalance -Money problems

-Feelings of failure or rejection -Problems at work/social life

-Grief or loss -Poor self body image

-Family problems - separation, divorce or abuse

-Thinking one has no control over any part of thier life; feelings of futility

-Negative thinking -Isolation or loneliness

-Substance abuse - alcohol/drugs -Side effects of prescribed medications

-Guilt/Sin -Stress

-Retirement

"Depression is not something you can just SNAP OUT OF; like any serious medical condition it needs treatment, love and concern." While more women attempt suicide than men when they are depressed, more men are successful due to the methods they use to commit suicide. Women tend to turn to medication in their attempts, while men turn to guns and even vehicles to commit suicide.

Depression and the "Blues"

Usually the "blues" last for just a few moments, hours or a couple of days. When people are sad, they keep their self-respect, they feel better after a time of sorrow and they are able to confide in others for help and assistance.

With depression, self-respect fades.

Crying/sorrow does not bring relief

Instead of wanting to be with others - usually depressed people alienate themselves because they do not feel that other people are able to understand their feelings.

DEPRESSION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN1

Women tend to: Men tend to:

Blame themselves Blame others

Feel sad, apathetic, and worthless Feel angry, irritable, and ego inflated

Feel anxious and scared Feel suspicious and guarded

Avoid conflicts at all costs Create conflicts

Feel slowed down and nervous Feel restless and agitated

Have trouble setting boundaries Need to feel in control at all costs

Find it easy to talk about self-doubt and despair Find it “weak” to admit self-doubt or despair

Use food, friends, and "love" to self-medicate Use alcohol, TV, sports, and sex to self-medicate

Other factors that can assist us in knowing if a person could be suffering from depression:

Sadness Loss of energy Marked weight loss (when not dieting)

Insomnia Excessive sleep Slowed motor skills

Agitation Fatigue Feelings of worthlessness

Inappropriate guilt Brain fog - decreased ability to concentrate

Recurrent thoughts about death Digestive problems

Back pain/headaches

Women are more likely according to most studies to suffer depression than men. However, with only about 40% of people suffering from depression actually getting help, that may not be the case. Men probably suffer from depression almost as much as women, but they are more likely to self-medicate. resist help or mask their symptoms. Depression is seen as an extreme weakness in men and therefore many men will not allow themselves to believe that they could be suffering from depression.

Verbal signals:

Verbal signals that can help us know if someone is perhaps suffering from depression:

• 'I’m a failure.' - is heard more and more in their speaking

• 'It’s my fault.' - taking on blame for everything and anything

• 'Nothing good ever happens to me.' - beginning to look at life negatively

• 'I’m worthless.' - losing self-esteem

• 'Life’s not worth living.' - no longer wanting to get out with people

• 'People would be better off without me.' - small hints at inviting death

ACTION HELPS STEPS TO HELP SOMEONE/YOURSELF

1. Come to the LORD with the suffering. God does care. Read the Bible. In reading the Bible one is able to understand that love and suffering can in fact, co-exist. One of the stark realities is that once mankind fell, sin was given free rein over our earth and until glorification we have to live with the results of the Fall. Read scripture (see other handout).

-Openly confess any sin that may have caused depression

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