LAST April 26, 2019, the Phil. Mental Health Association held a seminar on Mental Health at Hotel Veniz, which was attended by around 180 people. Their goal was to encourage mental health awareness and remove the stigma attached to it.
The World Health Organization estimates that about 121 million people suffer from depression. In the United States 14.8 million adults or about 6.7 percent of adults have depression.
Here are some ideas on how to “defeat” depression, a lot of which are thoughts of Rick Warren, the author of the Purpose-Driven Life Book:
Physical – When one is physically tired and mentally drained, one is prone to depression. Watch your diet, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Get lots of Sunshine. Sunlight positively affects a mood-lifting chemical in the brain. Physical health has a strong influence on one’s moods.
Seek Professional help - Consider seeing a psychiatrist, and consistently take the prescribed medication. It would help to talk to a Christ-centered psychologist, or a spiritual director who is familiar with depression. Bring out feelings of fear, resentment, guilt, anger, loneliness and worry. Clean out, vent all the things inside of you that push you down and cause you to feel depressed.
Talk to God – Pray. God listens. Even if He already knows what bothers you, tell Him. Pray. God usually speaks to us in stillness and quietness. Sit down and read your Bible. God loves you. Let God speak to you. Commune and fellowship with God.
Let God Direct your Life – Avoid sitting around in self-pity, or closing yourself off from the world. Get your eyes off yourself and look at the needs of other people. Get involved in the lives of others where you are giving out and God is giving through you.
God knows everything about you. He knows how you will act in the future. So you can never disappoint God, because disappointment can only happen when somebody expects you to do something different from what you really do.
Let God give you a new purpose and a new direction. He can lift you out of your depression. He can help you. He can change you. You don’t have to go through life being negatively controlled by your emotions.
Your thoughts control how you feel. Yes, your emotions are controlled by your thoughts. Catch your thoughts. When negativity comes in. Change your thoughts. Do a mental SHIFT.
Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the standards of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, that which is good, pleasing and perfect.”
My Dearest Family Members and Friends,
My late father suffered from depression during the last few years of his life. He would stay in his bed, seldom stand up, except to go to the bathroom, and grudgingly get up only when he had to eat, and with very little appetite, at that. He would shun away from socializing, even if he was such an active, friendly, and lovable person before he got depressed.
It was a pity, as we did not know how to address or handle his situation. Only towards the end, did we get him to take the needed medication that could have helped him earlier.
Hopefully, with early recognition of depression and other mental health issues, we can be strong enough not to mind the stigma associated with seeking professional help, and do what is right and best for those in need of medical intervention.
May we also guide them, pray for them, and pray with them.
May the Divine Healer, heal us from all our afflictions.