Depression and suicide is the most common tool that our enemy, the devil has used to capture most of our youths in this our generation. The devil makes us see hopelessness, deadness and constant fear in this world and tells us there is no other option but death. Instead of thinking of the bright future that awaits us, the devil has made that future bleak as he constantly brings the thoughts of our past and our present negative situation in order to hinder us from aspiring for the best. The devil has succeeded in making some youths see that they are of no good to themselves or the society and he is always bringing up this constant fear that captivates the heart of some people and imprisons them from seeking help.
Let me tell you my story.
As an undergraduate, I face so many challenges like no provision for accommodation in the hall of residence. It is a two-hour drive coming from my house to school every morning. I usually have lectures as early as 7 am to school which ended by 7 pm and it was difficult rushing to school and back. It was the most stressful period with the numerous assignments that they gave us. Another thing was that I belonged to a press organization where I had to submit news stories every week. Fortunately for me, I was also a leader in my church and I needed to be in the campus church which seemed almost impossible as I was still coming from home.
When I sat down to think of the numerous things I had on my plate every day, I had no time for myself at all. Like a robot, I lived every passing week. No happy moments and no time to reflect on the things I had done. I became terribly depressed and I coiled back to my shell as fast as I could (Yes, I had a past which I built a shield against never to be remembered). I really wanted to be out of the world. I wanted to quit school and find something less stressful to do. I wanted to end my life. I kept pretending to be fine and alright when I truly wasn’t. When I finally got a closer place to stay around school then I knew what the stress actually meant. I was very lonely and I overworked. One day I saw a knife on my table and the thought of making use of it came so strong that I had to take my eyes off it so I don’t harm myself.
I hardly said my morning prayers and it felt like I was miles away from the Savior. I tried stretching my hands to reach God but it was like I could not get to Him as it seemed that He had left long ago.
“In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you hear my cry for mercy when I called to you for help”. Psalm 31:22 (NIV)
There were days when I could not stop shedding tears because I was extremely tired of life. The only thing that kept me going were my parents and friends that always kept in touch. Then I finally opened up to two of my friends and at that moment I realized that it was the devil that orchestrated all the problems I had been facing to draw me away from God my creator.
Even when it seemed that Christ was miles away from me, He was right beside me, telling me that everything would be alright; hindering from hurting myself and ending up in hell fire. I cannot stop to be ever grateful as He woke me up from that sleep; that slumber. Those negative thoughts disappeared immediately and I found myself back to my Savior and discovered how to live my life daily with Him in control.
Just like me, I told myself that I would be alright even when I knew that I really needed help. It was until I decided to rise up from that solitude and seek spiritual guidance that I was able to stand up and return to my Savior. I stopped listening to those negative voices in my head and went to Christ on my knees for full restoration.
In order to overcome depression, first, we need to find out the root cause of our depression. You need to find out what is making you to feel depressed because you can’t solve a problem you know the root cause of. Next, you need to talk to other people about it. Perhaps, you might be thinking that they would criticize you or push you to the background; it is by not telling them that you will continue to be depressed. Share your problem with a trusted friend because a problem shared is a problem half solved.
Also, learn to laugh heartily. Healthy and spontaneous laughter is incompatible with depression. Find places and people who can help you be in a good mood. Laughter is therapeutic and medicinal as it can bring healing to a wounded and broken heart. Next, develop a positive attitude to life. I know that the voices in your head are always giving you negative vibes but the thing is to develop a positive way of thinking. Stop thinking negatively of yourself and find something tangible you love about yourself and put all the positivity in you.
Accept disappointments and failures as part of life. Some find it difficult to accept disappointments and failures which usually result to prolong depression. You need to accept disappointment and failure as part of life situations you are going to encounter. There are better things and better days ahead of you, so stop thinking in your yesterdays experience, it’s not worth it. Move on with your life.
Lastly, always encourage yourself in the Lord. When you go through hard and depressing times, just like David, ask yourself this question: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
As Christians, we all need to understand that depression is a spirit and it must be fought with the word of God. When you have nobody to talk to, talk to yourself. Preach to yourself. Tell yourself what God says about you. Tell yourself that you can make it. Tell yourself that you are a victor and not a victim.
Always check through the word of God and encourage yourself in Him, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”. 1 Peter 5:7(NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the lord” Psalms 31:24 (NIV)
Bible verses like these will strengthen you and help you to walk with Christ. Also, daily studying of His Word and continuous prayers will help you overcome those times. You can also encourage yourself with beautiful hymns that will bless your soul. Hymns like: “It is well with my Soul”. I love the first stanza so much that it spoke directly to my heart during those hurtful days,
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrow like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has thought me to know,
“It is well; it is well, with my soul.
Always be grateful to God every passing day.