It is not always easy to tell if someone is depressed or not. If someone are a Christian depression can been hard to identify if the person want to hide it in order to not appear like a “bad” Christian. It can also be hard to know if someone is really depressed or if they just experience some of those days we all have when we feel down and maybe discouraged. You can be sad, feel grief and so on, and it is just natural things that sometimes come your way. That is not necessarily depression. None of us are having constantly uplifting things happen to us all the time and we all are going through things in life.
But it is important to watch out for signs of depression. The sooner we recognize the problem, the sooner we can get help. It is important that we help each other here, because people who are depressed often have a hard time thinking clearly or recognizing their own symptoms.
What are the signs then?
(The following signs are my own observation in dealing with my own and other people’s problem as a pastor. I am no medical expert, so do not treat this information like medical fact.* Read the disclaimer) These symptoms I find to be very common, both with younger people and adults.
Sadness – unable to feel joy and happiness
Feeling forsaken by God
Bad self image – feelings of no value, talking about suicide?
Negativity – constantly repeating the bad things that they been through
Hopelessness – can see no future, no hope for the current situation
Bad temper, anger, irritation
Withdrawing from church, fellowship, activities, etc.
Tired and out of energy
Problems falling asleep, waking up after a few hours etc.
Headache, pain in the body….
Problems with concentration
Problems with memory
As you see, the symptoms can be many. But not all people with those symptoms are depressed! But there is a kind of pattern here, if you find several of those things in yourself or in someone else, and it has been going on for a while, maybe it is time to get some help.
If you are a Christian depression and anxiety, worry and all those feelings might pain you as well as people not saved. But you should know that there is nothing God can not help. He loves you and wants to set you free.
If you feel that you want to have some help with you problem, go see a good counselor. And with good I mean someone who is basing their counseling on the word of God in the first place and not just psychology. Counseling under the word of God, prayer and deliverance is the best way for you to be free I think.
Can a Christian go see a professional psychologist? Yes, of course! You can get secular medical help or therapy for your depression as well as someone who has some physical sickness can go see a medical doctor! But be aware of that there might be spiritual issues going on inside of you that a psychologist, if he/she is not Christian, might not address.
On the other hand – the word of God tells us that there is deliverance and freedom in God. We see people healed and delivered in the body of Christ all the time! My suggestion for you is to seek God for your Christian depression and your emotional health problem. If God can heal people from cancer or diabetes, he surely can help someone who needs to be free from depression!