Living with Depression

Whether you are personally experiencing depression or supporting someone who is, we recognize that depression can be a complex and overwhelming experience. Through a wide range of resources, including personal stories, self-care strategies, and spiritual insights, our goal is to be a compassionate and supportive resource as you navigate the challenges of living with depression. We encourage you to reach out, seek help, and lean on your faith. Most of all we pray that you remember this truth—that with Jesus, there is light and hope even in the darkest of times. 

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“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil with in me” (Ps. 42:11, ESV)? 


The writer of Psalm 42 was no stranger to depression. “My tears have been my food day and night,” he proclaims in verse 3. He knew what it was like to feel hopeless and desperate.


Everyone feels sad once in awhile, but sometimes that sadness doesn’t go away, no matter how hard you try to “turn that frown upside down.” Loss, grief or devastating news can trigger feelings of depression that can last a few days or a few months. But if you, or a loved one, is experiencing ongoing signs of depression that just won’t go away, it’s best to seek professional help.


For a diagnosis of clinical depression, at least five of the following symptoms must be present, nearly every day for two weeks:


  • Depressed mood (hopelessness, despair)
  • Diminished interest in usual activities and passions
  • Weight loss without dieting, weight gain or change in appetite
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping (hypersomnia)
  • Physical agitation or lethargy
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or shame/guilt
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide


It is not a moral failure to admit when you can’t just “cheer up” or “get over it.” Just as we seek medical attention when our bodies are sick, we should seek professional help from a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist when we need help with our minds or emotions.


Sometimes minor depression will pass with prayer support or a talk with a pastor or wise Christian friend. Sometimes talk therapy with a professional counselor is the answer. Other times, medication may be the best course of treatment. Some forms of depression are caused by a genetic predisposition or a chemical imbalance in the brain.


To learn more about depression, how to recognize its signs and where to get help, look over some of the following articles. If you think your teen may be experiencing clinical depression, read “Is My Teen Depressed?”. To learn about other ways depression can manifest itself, check out “Faces of Depression”. For advice in seeking medical help, read “Healthy Emotions and Medication Myths”. For more information about treating depression with medication, see “Medications and Restoring Healthy Emotions”. And for additional resources, check out our Depression Help Resources.


If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For signs that someone may be contemplating suicide, read this article.

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