4 and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life.’” • Job, who suffered great losses, which resulted in depression, prompting him to declare: “My soul loathes my life” (Job 10:1). • Jeremiah, who painfully felt the rejection of his ministry, complained: “Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me” (Jeremiah 15:10). Other biblical examples can be found in the Psalms where the writers express feelings of depression—Psalm 31:10: “For my life is spent with grief.” Psalm 42:6: “O my God, my soul is cast down within me.” Psalm 69:3, 4: “I am weary with my crying; my throat is dry; my eyes fail while I wait for my God. Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head.” Some even believe Jesus experienced depression when He admitted to His disciples: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38). Let these biblical individuals serve as a reminder that you are not alone or unique in experiencing depression. Furthermore, remind yourself that in spite of their depression, they lived productive lives and so can you.
5 2 Know What You Are Dealing With Do a self-examination, asking yourself if your depression is the result of: • Environmental Factors: Have you experienced a significant loss, a difficult relationship, financial problems? Any of these can produce stress, resulting in depressive feelings. • Psychological Factors: Are you a person prone to pessimistic thinking, low selfesteem or excessive worrying? These can lead to depression. • Genetic Factors: Is there a family history of depression? If so, many authorities believe that some people can inherit a tendency toward depression when it runs in a family. • Biochemical Factors: Is it possible that you may have a chemical or hormonal imbalance? • Seasonal Factors: Hippocrates identified a type of depression related to the changing seasons. This is now referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Does your depression come with the onset of winter and shorter days?