Depression is more than sadness. Sadness passes. It moves on its melancholy way when circumstances change. It is lifted with good news, simple pleasures, bright surprises, or even the appearance of a sunny day. But not depression. It stays. It doesn’t go away. It digs in and hunkers down. Good news, simple pleasures, bright surprises and sunny days can make it darker, and harder, and heavier as it robs a person of the ability to enjoy those things. As depression takes root in your spirit, and wraps its brambles about your body, you lose motivation. It becomes physical. You may find it hard to get out of bed, to take the very next step. Everything becomes bland and tasteless. Your eyes become blinded to color. Vibrancy is a word lost on you. Then depression brings in a friend called anxiety. Anxiety suffocates you, fills you with fear, and works in tandem with depression to reinforce dysfunctional ideas about yourself. The two can become weights and baggage that are impossible to carry.
And while depression is an often normal occurrence in the human condition, it is also a lying demon. Jesus tells us that the two greatest commandments are to love God with everything, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34-40). But how can you love your neighbor as yourself when the lying demon of depression has told you that you are not worthy of love? And how can you love God with everything when the satanic lie that you have nothing to offer grows in your mind? From a spiritual perspective, that might be the very purpose of depression — to separate you from the truth that you have worth. Even in your lowest state, you are made in the image of God, and if nothing else, you are worth something for that very reason (Genesis 1:27).
To escape the grip of depression will take more than what you have on your own. Remember, it is a weight and a baggage that you cannot carry alone. And it is an ailment with overt spiritual dimensions. To defeat it requires other people to help you carry the load, to help you get up when you fall down, and to help you defend against attacks that you cannot withstand alone. It is wisdom to have a support network of people who love God, and who love you (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11).
So if you are depressed, one important thing among many that you can do to beat that demon of depression is join with a group of wise, loving people who God can use as his hands to help carry your burdens and heal you (Galatians 6:2).