Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Are Depressives More Spiritual?

posted by Beyond Blue

Anya flowers quotes for depression.jpgI am what you might call a “depression snob.” I have a rather high opinion of people who suffer from depression and anxiety. I assume that if you carry bottles of Zoloft, Prozac, or Xanax in your purse, you are a deep feeler, brilliant thinker, compassionate healer, and funny joke-teller. My stereotypes haven’t failed me yet.
Don’t get me wrong–I don’t seek out for depressives. They find me. Or we sort of migrate toward each other. They laugh at my jokes and see the bizarre connection I make between Thing One and Thing Two. They don’t fault me for viewing the world through the impractical lens of a poet, for judging “not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing,” as Walt Whitman wrote.
Depressives are complex, interesting people because they can’t stay still for long. The voices of self-doubt will catch up to them and shout lies in their ears if they do. They are spiritual because some days their faith in God is the only thing that keeps them alive. This sensitive bunch uses their suffering to evolve into better people: Emily Dickinson transcribed her pain into the 1,775 poems and fragments found at her death. Teresa of Avila emerged from her dark night to found the Discalced Carmelites and become the first woman Doctor of the Church. Dorothy Day transcended her tumultuous past to co-found with Peter Maurin the Catholic Worker Movement, a community of lay people working on behalf of the poor.
I agree with Kay Redfield Jamison, author of “An Unquiet Mind,” that “intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways that less intense emotions can never do . . . and that those who have particularly passionate temperaments and questioning minds leave the world a different place for their having been there.”
Illustration by Anya Getter.

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  • Larry Parker

    The key, of course, is learning to DIRECT that psychic and spiritual energy when you are “touched by fire.” Medication, meditation, diet and exercise, therapy, support groups — whatever works.
    But that’s why some with depression have brilliant careers (or shining lives in quiet ways) and others — who don’t or can’t learn to direct their fire — tragically end up permanently in the health care system.

  • Valerie

    I definately agree with this article. I think that you can look at depression with two lenses-a scientific one or a spiritual one. I know we have science to back up the chemical imbalances of depression, but I believe that people who are depressed have spiritual imbalances. I have been living on and off with the dreaded disease for so long, and throughout the way, I have grown into a very spirtual person. The disease makes you search for yourself, and who you are. I started my own blog with my thoughts on spirituality, very similiar to yours. I invite you to check it out. http://www.curedepressionwithumbrellas.com. I hope you enjoy it, and tell me what you think. It’s fairly new. Take care.

  • Sharon

    Thank you for the “spiritual” aspect of depression. For so long depression has almost been considered a sin or punishment from God, according to the institutional church. When I face depression and know I need to take my medication to keep me functioning and thinking clearly, it is encouraging to read about and think about how depression and spirituality have a “link” so to speak. Working with depression has drawn me closer to God and the Holy Spirit, depending on the strength and healing that come from that connection.
    Thank you. The replies of other’s working with depression and the information have “uplifted” my spirit.

  • Granny

    I thought this was interesting reading. Whaat do you think?

  • Lynne

    To whom much is given…much is expected. Those words ring oh so true to my soul! It would seem that there is a trade off of pain for passion. If it were not for my depression would I be so intuitively aware of others pain? Would I live a selfish insulate life? Perhaps because of it I do endevour to become a better person. I am willing to stretch out a hand to help others and in doing so help myself in the process. It is perhaps the will of God that I am here not to serve my own interests but seek out those of God’s children in need of some spiritual assistance. The catholic church I left so long ago simply did not provide the answers I sought. There was more to God’s word than was being taught. So I stepped beyond the “conventional wisdom” and followed my heart. To be led “of the spirit” and not so much of the ways of the world is a journey and not a destination. I owe God a lot. Were it not for him I would have given up and ended my life already. I do believe he steered me in this direction (toward Beyond Blue)at a critcal time. I had a decision to make…live or die. I guess you know the outcome. I’m still swimming upstream…but I’ll be stronger for it.

  • Lynne

    To whom much is given…much is expected. Those words ring oh so true to my soul! It would seem that there is a trade off of pain for passion. If it were not for my depression would I be so intuitively aware of others pain? Would I live a selfish insulate life? Perhaps because of it I do endevour to become a better person. I am willing to stretch out a hand to help others and in doing so help myself in the process. It is perhaps the will of God that I am here not to serve my own interests but seek out those of God’s children in need of some spiritual assistance. The catholic church I left so long ago simply did not provide the answers I sought. There was more to God’s word than was being taught. So I stepped beyond the “conventional wisdom” and followed my heart. To be led “of the spirit” and not so much of the ways of the world is a journey and not a destination. I owe God a lot. Were it not for him I would have given up and ended my life already. I do believe he steered me in this direction (toward Beyond Blue)at a critcal time. I had a decision to make…live or die. I guess you know the outcome. I’m still swimming upstream…but I’ll be stronger for it.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, this is great (the article and all of the open and honest responses). The work and writings that have been posted here are most appreciated. Have a beautiful day and God Bless!
    Sincerely,
    Melissa :-)

  • Brenda McCLure

    Sounds like me, thanks.

  • Janet

    That was a wonderful article, thank you. As one who has suffered from bouts of depression almost all of my life, I can relate. I think it has made me a person who is more aware of other peoples feelings and actions. I have more trouble relating to people who swear that they have never been depressed in their lives. Many time I considered suicide during my deepest depressions, but the older you get, the more you can remember that things DID get better and you just have to pull through it again. I am a firm believer in the saying that God never gives you more than you can handle.

  • Janet

    That was a wonderful article, thank you. As one who has suffered from bouts of depression almost all of my life, I can relate. I think it has made me a person who is more aware of other peoples feelings and actions. I have more trouble relating to people who swear that they have never been depressed in their lives. Many time I considered suicide during my deepest depressions, but the older you get, the more you can remember that things DID get better and you just have to pull through it again. I am a firm believer in the saying that God never gives you more than you can handle.

  • Suzanne Staud

    I’m glad to be in such good company. So glad I read this article.
    Twenty days off my anti-depressant I was feeling edgy, but good, when as I’m walking the dog I think, “Today would be a good day to die.” The next day thinking, “It would be OK to get hit by a truck and die.” Later that day, “I think I’ll leave my husband and live in Europe.”
    I dragged myself to morning Mass on Wednesday pleading God for help. The weird thing is I felt closer to God without the anti-depressant, so I’m still a little weepy that I couldn’t continue to be just me . I’m back on a different medication and know I will be just fine. I have faith.
    I think I’ll become a depression snob. :)

  • SAUNDRA KNIGHT

    YOU EVIDENTLY MUST NOT MEET A LOT OF DEPRESSIVE PEOPLE I AM DEPRESSED BECAUSE WHITE PEOPLE KILLED MY CHILD, BECAUSE SHE WAS POOR AND BLACK AND THEY FELT SINCE SHE WASNT WHITE AND RICH SHE DIDNT DESERVE TO LIVE, PLUS BEING STUCK IN THIS WHEELCHAIR, DAILY NO FAMILY, NO FREINDS, MY CHILDREN TAKEN AWAY I GOT A RIGHT TO BE DEPRESSED, ANGRY AND EVERYTHING ELSE. BEING ABUSED, ALL MY LIFE, HURT ON TOP OF HURT, PON TOP OF HURT,

  • Donna

    I’m so sorry, sad, shocked and horrified at what I’ve just read at your comment above Saundra. It’s hard to know what to say to console you & seems so unfair that so many bad things have happened. It’s easy to understand why you’ve lost faith in mankind but there are some kind & decent people out there to talk to – you needn’t feel alone when we have the internet. I sometimes go on dailystrength website or depressiontribe if I’m feeling low or need someone to chat to.
    I can imagine the pain of the loss of your child & am angry & bitter for you… just sorry Xx

  • jean

    i have had depression and anxiety most of my life.my husband recently ask for a divorce.this has made my anxiety worse. this has made me closer to GOD.my husband and i may stay together.we have a lot of people praying for us.

  • Christine Keene

    First I want to say to Saundra that you are in my prayers. Those that took away your child are not getting away with anything because God will deal with them and you can rest assured that when He does, it will out do anything man can inflict on them. I wish I was near you because I would be your friend and be there whenever you needed me. But because I am not, I will pray that God sends friends to you to help you and be with you no matter what.
    To Therese: Yes, I agree with the spiritual end of depression. I often think when I am at the bottom of the barrel and no light seems to be in sight, all I have is God to cling onto. He has patiently listened to me through an endless veil of tears and my wild rants. I have had many “dark nights of the soul”. Maybe there is a blessing in this. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said his time in prison was a blessing because in it he found freedom and blessed that time. Although to the outside world we may appear ordinary or even marred, but to God we are extraordinary; even gifted. Because in it, I think we can perceive things that are not seen by others because our awareness is on a different level. We dance to a different tune but God is right there next to us dancing with us.
    May you always be blessed.

  • Linda C

    This is for Saundra. I have never even read these blogs before, but yours hurt me. It hurt me for you because I could feel the pain thru the words. I can’t imagine all the things that you said have been done against you, but I, too, will pray that God will send you somebody or something to help that pain go away. I don’t know where you are,either, but he does and I trust in him for all things. I have had my share of pain in my life, but nothing compared to what you said. So, from one human being to another, Saundra, this prayer is for you and I will add you to my prayer list and hopefully, some good things will come your way.

  • anonymous

    sometimes i feel that God doesn’t hear me anymore

  • Ann

    Hello there …. i skimmed the above article & comments and read most of the Beliefnet emails (wish they’d nix the blue between pages; I have dial-up and Goes SO Slow ) ….. depression [not when going thru it] can be a gift of sorts. and most often I’ve found those I know who have had one or more bouts of Depr., and not just 3 bluesy days, but REAL ‘deadzone’ depr. are more sensitive, transcendental, creative and spiritual, etc. those who are perpetually Happy and just running around doing Trivia & never have Depr. often are “superficial” — now, maybe they are quite content in their superficiality but I like an Examined & Learned Life. I went thru sev. moderate to clinical deprs., and I don’t get SAD – worse ? ! I get emotionless/flat-liner I think of it …. if I cry now I feel That’s GOOD as when depr. I cannot/do not Cry …..
    do seek out others, we are social creatures: i heard my spouse telling a 50ish man this a.m. to get “Out of the house” {he cannot now work, has gone blind in one eye and other eye has Fair vision — he cannot drive !} go to a cafe 2 blks. away, visit with people, maybe he will find a Friend who’s had a loss (likely different, maybe lost spouse or another major ability than vision) …. the guy said he’d do that. try to see Glass as Half full and “this too shall pass” — I got a distance learning MA after a depr. episode in POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY. we need more of that : how to be the most we can be and
    lead a “meaningful” Life …. take care & LUV, Ann

  • Christine Keene

    I wanted to add one more thing. I listen to a healing CD which has helped a lot. It is produced by a pastor in Atlanta, Georgia. His name is Nathaniel Bronner. Here is the link to the CD which is only $10. I think you can listen to a clip of it on the website. It might help others.
    http://www.wordsforhealing.com/

  • Christine Keene

    To anonymous: I prayed that God reveals Himself to you in a special way so that you know He is listening and is very close to you right now.

  • catherine

    People do not really know what u mean by this. I agree with u that depressives r more spiritual ,absolutely.Everyone needs to open their eyes to the signs god put right in front of their faces. I am a special person and i have know since i was little, my deceased father used to tell me, he must of saw that in me. i am a very old soul and have had pain, heart ache, and misery, and a hard life. I am faced now with an illness but that does not stop me from opening my soul up and loving unconditionally. This was a new thing 4 me and when you try to fight or resist anything, u have not lived and experienced real life on lifes terms. In doing that you can set yourself, ur soul free. Time passes and individuals freeze, and they get crippled. Unconditional love is always there, peolpe need to let it in.smile life is beautiful.

  • sandieganliz

    I once wrote, “I contemplate life. Why must the negative, sad, painful side of things best be ignored or seemingly non-existent, when it should be processed just the same as the positive, vibrant feelings/passings?” –Liz

  • ruetha thompson

    Hi Folks
    I stay depressed in treatment and your are right we need each other and depressed people are more caring and live off faith. GOD has brought me along way
    . And I know that with out him and his vessels here on earth I would not be hrer today. I will keep each and everyone of you in my prayers.

  • Liz Marie

    God is our only help!

  • Emily Sutherland

    I am SO right there with you on the whole “depression snob” thing! I’ve seen over and over again that it isn’t until we reach the end of ourselves that true faith can take hold in our lives. It’s as if we can’t really believe all the things we are told about the power of God’s love, until it’s all we have to hold to while we’re in the fetal position wondering why we’re here. If we’re high on life all the time, we never really get to the bottom of the soul-searching questions that depression pulls out of us.

  • Darlene L.

    I cannot speak for all depressives, but I would have to agree that I’m a spiritual person–is it because of my disorder or was that side of me always there, waiting in the shadows for the day to come when I would need every positive belief out there? I’m not sure, but I do know there are days when my belief in God is about the only thing that gets me through each second, and then there are the ones when I’m so down that I wonder how any God could ignore my pleas for help. Luckily, the latter is much more infrequent. I do find that when I stop worrying and let God take over, the feelings of despair and hopelessness become less.

  • mona l maki

    I was diagnosed with acute manic depressive disorder about 6 years ago, I’ve been to the point where I knew that God had some reason that I should still continue to live. Even now, my downs make me seem like I need to connect with God more. I feel that the lady who wrote this article is absolutely right.

  • Soulja 4 Christ from Saginaw MI

    Hello Everybody
    I ask God to use me to speak to you all- I just want to say first I been thru alot growing up Im 33 years old now but from growing up with an alcholic abusive father(abusing my mother) and my mother past away from cancer I was the age of 14 years old and my father’s alcholic problem gotton worser when my mom died cause he had guilt on him for how he did her. My best friend died I was 20 years old. My father cut me on my arm(5 stiches) when he was drunk I was 20 years old. I forgave him because he had an alcholic problem and the other reason I forgave him because he was the only parent I had left. My father died I was 25 years old of emphasima (lung disease) I was in a unstabled relationship for 10 years (23-33 years of age)unstabled as far as physically, mentally abusive and cheating on me, I was the bread winner(I had the money-working job to job)in our relationship-it had gotton better thru out the years he had stopped cheating and being abusive but being a REAL MAN(supporting his family never achevied). I got tired of being the bread winner. We was going to get married but God showed me- (God didnt want that) So I have been thru STORMS OF LIFE from childhood-growing up in a dysfunctional family, young adulthood-teenager my mother dieing and adult hood my best freind died in a car accident(20 yrs old) and Godfather (2nd dad I knew since birth (dad best friend) died I was 21 years old, my father dieing I was 25 years old and the unstabled unhealthy 10 year relationship (23-33 years old)I just got out of and still praying to Let Go and Let God-SUMMARY:SOMETIMES GOD USE PROBLEMS TO CORRECT US I KNOW IT SOUNDS UNFAIR BUT ALL THE STORMS OF LIFE WAS PUT IN OUR LIVES FOR A REASON: PROBLEMS CAN BE GODS GIFT IN DISGUISE FOR YOUR FURTURE. AND THE BIBLE TELLS US WHEN WE SIN WE ARE GOING TO SUFFER ALSO-NOT OBEYING HIS WORD HE HAS TO GET OUR ATTENTION SOME HOW AND MOST OF THE TIME WE CAN BE BULLHEADED AND DONT WANT TO LISTEN. SUFFERING CAN CORRECT US IF WE ALLOW IT TO CORRECT US. ALL THIS I HAVE BEEN THRU I AM NOT HIGHLY DEPRESSED BUT DONT GET ME WRONG I HAVE MY MOMENTS(AND WHEN I GET THOSE MOMENTS I GO INTO MY PRAYER CLOSET-MY DESIGNATED ROOM I PRAY) I AM NOT ON AN ANTIDEPRESSANTS-MY MEDICATION IS G O D!!! I KNOW GOD TOOK ME THRU ALL THIS FOR A REASON I MIGHT NOT KNOW RIGHT NOW BUT IT WAS TO ACKNOWLEDGE HIM FIRST OF ALL. EVERYBODY ASKES ME HOW DO YOU BE SO STRONG LIKE THAT-I TELL THEM BY THE GRACE OF GOD! IM NOT ALLOWING THE DEVIL TO DESTROY ME WITH RESENTMENT, ANGER, OR DWELLING ON THE PAST. I STAY PRAYED UP KNOWING WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE IN LIFE. REMEMBER WHATEVER GOD TAKES YOU THRU HE WILL WALK YOU AND BRING YOU OUT OF IT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE FAITH THATS ALL HE WANTS FROM US IS FAITH AND HE WILL DO THE REST-GIVE US PEACE, STRENGTH, AND COMFORT.

  • Soulja 4 Christ from Saginaw MI

    Hello Everybody
    I ask God to use me to speak to you all- I just want to say first I been thru alot growing up Im 33 years old now but from growing up with an alcholic abusive father(abusing my mother) and my mother past away from cancer I was the age of 14 years old and my father’s alcholic problem gotton worser when my mom died cause he had guilt on him for how he did her. My best friend died I was 20 years old. My father cut me on my arm(5 stiches) when he was drunk I was 20 years old. I forgave him because he had an alcholic problem and the other reason I forgave him because he was the only parent I had left. My father died I was 25 years old of emphasima (lung disease) I was in a unstabled relationship for 10 years (23-33 years of age)unstabled as far as physically, mentally abusive and cheating on me, I was the bread winner(I had the money-working job to job)in our relationship-it had gotton better thru out the years he had stopped cheating and being abusive but being a REAL MAN(supporting his family never achevied). I got tired of being the bread winner. We was going to get married but God showed me- (God didnt want that) So I have been thru STORMS OF LIFE from childhood-growing up in a dysfunctional family, young adulthood-teenager my mother dieing and adult hood my best freind died in a car accident(20 yrs old) and Godfather (2nd dad I knew since birth (dad best friend) died I was 21 years old, my father dieing I was 25 years old and the unstabled unhealthy 10 year relationship (23-33 years old)I just got out of and still praying to Let Go and Let God-SUMMARY:SOMETIMES GOD USE PROBLEMS TO CORRECT US I KNOW IT SOUNDS UNFAIR BUT ALL THE STORMS OF LIFE WAS PUT IN OUR LIVES FOR A REASON: PROBLEMS CAN BE GODS GIFT IN DISGUISE FOR YOUR FURTURE. AND THE BIBLE TELLS US WHEN WE SIN WE ARE GOING TO SUFFER ALSO-NOT OBEYING HIS WORD HE HAS TO GET OUR ATTENTION SOME HOW AND MOST OF THE TIME WE CAN BE BULLHEADED AND DONT WANT TO LISTEN. SUFFERING CAN CORRECT US IF WE ALLOW IT TO CORRECT US. ALL THIS I HAVE BEEN THRU I AM NOT HIGHLY DEPRESSED BUT DONT GET ME WRONG I HAVE MY MOMENTS(AND WHEN I GET THOSE MOMENTS I GO INTO MY PRAYER CLOSET-MY DESIGNATED ROOM I PRAY) I AM NOT ON AN ANTIDEPRESSANTS-MY MEDICATION IS G O D!!! I KNOW GOD TOOK ME THRU ALL THIS FOR A REASON I MIGHT NOT KNOW RIGHT NOW BUT IT WAS TO ACKNOWLEDGE HIM FIRST OF ALL. EVERYBODY ASKES ME HOW DO YOU BE SO STRONG LIKE THAT-I TELL THEM BY THE GRACE OF GOD! IM NOT ALLOWING THE DEVIL TO DESTROY ME WITH RESENTMENT, ANGER, OR DWELLING ON THE PAST. I STAY PRAYED UP KNOWING WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE IN LIFE. REMEMBER WHATEVER GOD TAKES YOU THRU HE WILL WALK YOU AND BRING YOU OUT OF IT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE FAITH THATS ALL HE WANTS FROM US IS FAITH AND HE WILL DO THE REST-GIVE US PEACE, STRENGTH, AND COMFORT.

  • Heather

    My life has been at times to the point of not wanting to live any longer and praying that God would let me join him peacefully during my sleep. At the age of 36 most would be horrified at the very thought, but all I could think of was the peace and tranquility of Heaven as aposed to the turmoil, pain and grief here on Earth. I have been a ‘depressive’ snce I was about 8 years old and life events have caused me terrible pain and I have asked over and over ‘Why me?’. I am starting to realise ‘why me?’. I have also been spiritual for the same amount of time as I have been a depressive. My spirituality has definately become more pronounced over the last few months when I have been to lows that I have never experienced before and been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The article makes such incredible sense to me as I am a person, despite my own self doubt, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness, will help others to the end of this world. Being a teacher I have worked in jails with some of the most depraved of humanity and in schools with the kids on the edge of expulsion and a career in crime. Yes my experiences have made me someone who has an empathy for others, who understands the needs of others and as the article says, has developed my own awareness of spirit and humanity through my depression in order to serve, help others and make this world a better place. For about the first time ever, I actually thank God for all the hell Ive been through, because God will only give you as much as you can take and from that I have become a person that those who are also in a living hell can turn to fo comfort. Thank God for my depression.

  • NormaJean

    I was so glad for the neighbor that stopped over to take us to church when my siblings and I were young. We had a monster of a father, and a mother that wasn’t much better. I would have not known that the way my father treated us was wrong. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait for the church bus to come to get me. I would be there everytime it was open. Seeing a father who beat his wife and children. Not only beat his children, but also rape. I am almost 44 years old and I have been on my own since I was 15 years old. My mind has been one of my biggest tormentors since getting away from my parents. I at one point and time tried to kill myself, and am so glad that God sent Jesus to save me that night. I hadn’t talked to much in the years prior, and I was 28 at the time. Now, God has guided me to the things in life that everyone deserves. He has given me wonderful poetry to write. I have had several published in the last 13 years. I tell people that God sent me throught hell, and then sat me on my butt, and said now write about. I have been very sick over the last 15 years, but I have never been more at peace, than I am right now. Even though I am in pain every single minute of every single day, I am so glad that God saved me the night I thought I was ready to go. I ran from the paramedics for 3 hours before they got me to a hospital. I am so glad that my selfish decision, was the hit I needed to come back to my “real” Father’s house. For all of those who are struggling with the way this wicked world has turned them, have “HOPE”, and know that He does listen. We just have to be quiet long enough to hear him. I will close this with the very special poem that God gave to me. I share it and others as often as I can.
    “Friends, Again”
    Since I started talking to God again,
    I have discovered a long lost friend.
    As silent as He may be,
    There is always a sign to see.
    I had to wipe my eyes of the Devil,
    And take myself back to God’s level.
    So now I try to talk to Him each day,
    Looking for the signs of His way.
    Even if life begin to look dim,
    I must remember to keep faith in Him.
    Blessings to All,
    NormaJean

  • HELEN

    I ALSO SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION. IS IT REALLY SUFFERING? GREAT ARTICLES, I REALLY ENJOYED THEM.

  • Charlotte

    Reading these letters I feel as if I am reading about myself. I realized long ago that from the pits I was able to write beautiful poetry. My empathy for others has grown and grown and there are very few human experiences I can’t somehow see what the other person is feeling, why they did what they did. Sometimes it gets me in trouble as I seem to trust people I shouldn’t. There are people out there who use others for their own gain, and I think some of them are incapable of true feelings. Why did God create such creatures capable of such wide spectrums with so much that can go wrong. I still find good in some people where no one else can. And, God is the final judge and knows mental and emotional problems so I have always thought that when He judges, it’s not the same for everyone. It’s not an equal playing field here in this life and only God knows where each of us is playing from. I’m glad I think this way and I don’t think I could if it was not for the painful lows in my own life.

  • Tina

    Charlotte-our thoughts are close to kin! Although, the lead-in on this thread pricks up my fur a little bit. I want to say, “No! It’s Diabetics that are more spiritual (put in any difference you want that doesn’t fit the ‘status quo’ within that century). Oh, how we love to lable everything and everybody- atemporary way to quell the anxiety of things we simply don’t understand completely, you know? Just get your arms or a rope around it.
    I’m w/ you on the lows of my life-they have been the proverbial ‘refiner’s fire’. Of all the knowledge gathered in the last twenty years on depression, and attempts to treat the symptoms, I would say that avoiding isolation is the most effective, then proper nutrition and exercise. I’m a Christian, and I don’t read anywhere in my scriptures that Jesus was a depressive. I have read this, though;
    “The clay does not say to its maker, why have you made me thus?”

  • aprilrstapleton

    Thank you so much for this reading.I have been a depressive since age 10.At age 13 I begin attemping suicide to escape tormenting thoughts and the feeling of falling so far down in a deep dark place and each time i tried to climb out of that place I would fall even farther down-there was no light to be seen.I attempted suicide all through my life and the last time was in 2002.I had been to doctors- their medicine didn’t help,I also tried self medicating with drugs and of course that made things even worse.After I attempted suicide in 2002,I lost custody of my children and that really made life not worth living.I remember thinking I can’t even kill myself and GOD saying you’re not coming home home until I say.I had been raised in church and I was saved in 1986-but my life didn’t change.I was still in this very dark place and even when I cried to GOD I felt like HE didn’t hear me.My whole life even when i did drugs I read my Bible and I prayed-I went through a time when i was so mad at GOD for being this way.I led an awful life until about a year ago-GOD let me know HE had a perfect reason for my life and everything I had went through or endured would have a purpose.I honestly don’t know to this day what the purpose is but I trust the LORD.When the devil tells me everyone would be better off if I were dead-I rebuke satan and thank God for being my personal savior.You know now that I think of it Imay have been blessed by being a depressive just so I can give a testimony to how GOD will deliver you and how HE is always there and each of us have a divine purpose and to let other depressives know there not alone. GOD LOVES YOU!!JESUS SAVES!!!

  • kristy

    funny i stumble upon this article. I have been questioning this very fact, myself recently. I too suffer from depression, this year add on the grief of loosing my mother, has made it worse. Yet through all this intense suffering, i have found a more “real” soul, inside myself. yes some days it was disabling, and when i needed it, i asked for help, and other days, i found so much passion.. I am a artist by nature, and also a writer. I go to college for art, and through some of the most intense heart break, i have created the most awe inspiring pieces. so it has made me come to believe, are depressed people, actually lucky? yes the suffering sucks, but depressive people, from earnest hemmingway, to vincent van gogh, they created amazing works, during their depression. it’s like this fine line between genuis, and insanity, or depression and creation, and passion if you perfer. Yes as i am sure all of us don’t like to suffer, and would rather feel happier most of the time, feel this way, but i tend to think, as buddha said it best, without suffering, how can you obtain enlightenment. you need both, i just think people with depression, are more use to it, and learn to cope with it better than non depressives, and that we are more interesting, talented, deeper with insight, than someone who does not suffer with this illness. and i think that people need to stop judging depression, saing either it is not real, or depressive people are crazy, and or will hurt someone, their needs to be more support, understanding, and embracing it. we all need to embrace our stress, fears, and hurt, and go through it, and come out the other side, not avoid it.. but that’s just my opinion..

  • Robbie

    I relate well to this……By the way….NORMAJEAN, if you are there please know you have my prayers as well as deep understanding. We have similarities. I’m so very glad you ARE ALIVE!! God Bless you, and everyone else who reads this.

  • Antonia

    I’m so glad to have read this. For the longest time my deepest pain came from and to an extent still comes from a lack of energy that makes many things seem frightening and just really hard to overcome. What has helped me, too, was my faith. It feels that everytime I ask Jesus to come into my heart I’m suddenly filled with this immense sense of peace and my fears leave me in a way that I don’t thing could occur otherwise. I just hope we can all experience the healing power of God and find the balance we need.

  • NATALIE

    WOW! Timing is everything. I say Amen and Thank You to all of you. I, too, happened upon this as I was “attacking myself” for all that I have not completed while “having the nerve” to want to follow through on plans orchestrated to “take a healthy break and just rest!”. As someone also with an “unquiet mind,” I was pleased to not only see me on paper, but, to be shown there is hope. Just before reading this, I turned in prayer to God and asked for His guidance. I have my answer. Thank you all for contributing to my well-being. Yes, my environment is overwhelming; but, for now, I choose not to “live in isolation” and will “take a break for me” and hopefully “relax” THIS unquiet mind. Again, thanx for the reminders and support. God’s continued blessings to each of you (us)!

  • ELois Poole-Clayton

    I am concerned about people in general, for my personal experience with depression, has sent me, on occasions, into a worldwind, meaning that it depresses me to see a child suffer from abuse of any sort and it hurts me just as much to see any other individual suffer from a depression that has been bestowed upon them. Abuse comes in many forms, but a devestation again for me, is to be put in a position to chestize(so to speak), an individual, who has experienced abuse themselves, to the point that they are convinced that because it was bestowed on them,(and some are at the point where they really believe they are right), that they have a right to expect acceptance of such behavior, FROM them. That’s sometimes, distracts friendships from traveling the distance that they can travel, which is very far, but sometimes, I, personally, has to separate myself from the situation, in order for me to keep myself on the right track. In the end, I feel the best next thing to do, as a friend, is to guide them where they can seek the help that they need and only pray that THAT’S, not taken the wrong way.
    I wish all well, as I DO MY OWN SITUATION!

  • anonymous

    I think that all to often people that one may consider a friend do not know how to deal with someone and their depression. What they do not realize is that the simplest of acts can make the biggest impact. Instead, it is usually the opposite that happens which will in turn send the depressed person into an even deeper state of feeling worthless and alone.

  • GEORGE

    God Bless to All!! I take two different meds for my anxiety & depression but have always been spiritual. i believe with the way things are today with the economy & wars and the election year etc.etc. we ALL have some anxiety and uncertainties about where we are headed. Seeking God for guidance for me has always been a huge help but i think the meds are needed also. For those that are just now finding God because of their anxiety or depression , if thats what it took to make the connection i say AMEN!!!!!!!
    Thats what i call divine intervention!!!
    Blessings to all,
    George

  • agreed

    when I saw the tag on this article, I couldn’t Not look further.
    I see I am so textbook. I’m depressive and lately only way I can function is with much prayer. My motto of late is “I don’t like people, but I do care about them”. Although I claim no talent in writing poetry my latest is titled ,Train of Despair. I have had a soul crushing 18 months and have been left in poverty. Am waiting to be seen by clinic doc to be prescribed meds for depression and anxiety. No one but us depressives seems to understand how powerful human compassion can be. I recently told a social worker that I believe that if everyone were in touch with reality, everyone would be depressed, she laughed. I wasn’t joking. God help us all !

  • Gloria K

    Apparently none of you have been clinically depressed. If it weren’t for the antidepressants, mood altering medication and anxiety meds, I would not be here. God has helped me and He has given those who do research and able to help us who have chemical depletions in the physiology in our brain. It is common just like diabetes. Would you tell a diabetic not to take their insulin. God provides help through people in many ways. I would have taken my life several times until my doctor helped me be guided to the correct medication. My relationships are gone, 2 of my husbands divorced me because of my bipolar depression, because it is a very difficult disorder to live with. Family and friends do the same. No only do we, who have this horrible disorder, it is a very lonely disorder I would not wish on any one. I depend on God for everything, just being with me every day and me talking to Him, is a uplifting and peaceful way to cope with this. Good luck to any of you who are dealing with this, journal, pray, and remember, you have an illness, no matter who says what.

  • agreed

    Gloria-I read your first sentence and said “What?”. I don’t know who you are addressing, I wish you would say. I battle daily, ending my life and have had this illness for 30 years. I am off meds right now due to situations that I had no control over. You wanna know somethin about depression dear, I am sure that I and all the others can tell you a thing or two. Pardon my tone, but you asked for it with your opening assumption. You know what they say about assuming…………

  • LISA

    I have deep critical pains from the past in my family (two brothers) not only them, but I am a very compassionate, I cry when I see someone cry… I am a Christian I hug…! I have times I just think back to good days with my family and now it is all scattered and I did nothing to hurt anyone and if I did I would apologized… I have said to them each brother if I have done something to hurt I am so sorry, but please tell me what I did… neither could tell me…! and most people I am around I get along with and have no problem with… even in a isle in the grocery store… I will half the time in up with at least three to four people all end up talking…! My dad was this way… HE preached here in N.C. evangelist… he died in 1999 of cancer(sarcoma). After dad passed away, I was the only one to stay with mom… they went their own ways and done their way… I stayed with mom because I knew how much this broke her heart…! And, I couldn’t break her heart even more….!
    thanks for your information page here…
    I HAVE FAITH IN GOD!!!!!!!!! when you ever have a problem hit your knees and pray…! prayer closet! PRAYER WORKS!!!
    SINCERELY
    LISA

  • maria

    I have had to have faith my whole life. even as a young child not knowing what it really was. I suffer from depression and have for as long as i can remember. It runs in the family, but i seem to be the one that fights it the most. the last two years have been a living hell and i’m to the point of thinking that i 2 am bipolar. my son commited suicide at the tender age of 14. his 2 year anniversary just passed. i’ve known the struggels of bipolar and have always known that i’m a depressive person, but not until mu son took his life have i ever had such a hard time fighting it. I also have chronic pain and fatigue due to illness that don’t help any either. for those who think that depression is all in one’s head and can be controlled by the way you think, you are SO wrong!! being spiritual is a VERY huge part of my keeping sain!! of course meds are a must too but when you cant afford them its even harder! never think that it is easy to deal with because it is one of the hardest things there is to deal with. GOD BLESS you ALL and keep up the fight!!

  • Kelley

    First of all, Those with depression are not depressives but people who have to deal with depression. Big difference because we are ALL PEOPLE FIRST!!!! Otherwise, I definitely agree with the author of this article and have found that there are many ways that depression has become a blessing for me for I have a depth of understanding for others that is foreign to most. I believe that what we deal with here on earth, although often unbearably painful, is only 70-90 years that are but a blink compared to eternity and our place in that eternal life is the reward for all of this suffering that often turns into sacrifice as you evolve spiritually. And in the end I believe God will reveal ALL to us, and our ability to learn to deal with and/or overcome our pain in order to focus on those less fortunate will lift us even higher! For our pain helps us to identify with God and others, and our understanding here is so terribly limited by our humanity.

  • Yvette R.

    I have been suffering from depression since I was 17yrs old, I am now 43. At this time in my life, through my car accident in May 1, 2004, My left leg sustained the most damaged, femur is damaged have plate put in. My family was great in helping me through the recovery and at the same time was going through a divorce and bankruptcy. God has help me through it, through jesus christ his son. Unfortunetly somehow I get more depressed, I have survived and I am walking, it was a terrible accident, yet I have my own apartment in a beautiful area of New Jersey, and a good paying job, with a good health insurance. Yet I have gotten more depressed, because the job environment is not good, I am treated unfairly, and I let them talk down to me, I have however, fought back now, with my union, but I feel they are going to fire me, I get so depressed that I don’t go to work, and then I rather lie and say I am taking care of a sick family, then to tell them I am depressed because they do look down on you for it, at least the higher management do. But then there are times I am not depressed, and I feel I can accomplish anything, I talk positive, I say I am making it, and then I go back down again, and I am afraid that I will lose my job and my pension. I believe that people that have depression are creative, smart, and capable to do anything. I have to control it better and the only one that can help me to cope is jesus christ, but I also know that I need to make more effort myself along with my pychiatrist and psychotherapist

  • Laura B.

    I become tired of being bipolar and consider weaning off all of my meds, except for 2 or 3, until I read “Beyond Blue,” and remember two days within the past 14 months, when the combination of the wrong meds, coupled with overstress and anxiety, made me want to fall off the planet. Both problems have been somewhat solved. We are not alone; we are never alone. G-d and loving and/or understaning individuals will always be there. Just seek out the comfort that is best for you.

  • Brenda W.

    I was diagnosed 17 years ago as chronically depressed and did not understand the “meaning” of the diagnosis (still not 100% sure :). I am now 56 years old/young and suffering with the condition. I am sure without my strong and tested faith I would have committed suicide as I have wanted peace for so long. I lost my eldest son on Memorial Day this year,(who also suffered with depression but refused treatment) my only solace is that he is now “free” and at peace. My two youngest left for college this weekend and the void is sinking in as I type. Our house was foreclosed on a few weeks ago and we must move this week, a secret we kept from the 2 that just left to college so that they wouldn’t have that stress on them. I feel at my wits end, my husband doesn’t understand depression and “refuses” to accept that I am, therefore I suffer alone except for the fact that I do believe in the Trinity and “know” that the the Holy Spirit abides in me, tho sometimes I wish that he would show a little more visibility :), I must constantly speak to myself and plead for strength as I feel so fragile at times that I wish I would break and fall away. I’ve not taken any meds for several years now, I was on Prozac, which was wonderful but my insurance ran out due to my husband losing his job (yet another test)and I have learned to do without. I am sure that this “life-test” has an eternal reason, and I stopped questioning that years ago. I just hope I pass. I know that there is a God and have been told that he is a loving God, I just must keep reminding myself. Those of you that suffer/persevere as I do keep on keeping on, for it must be worth it, or why else do we do what we do??

  • danielle

    I have been clinically depressed all my life. I have had suicidal thoughts for as long as I can remember. I am 37 years old. I have tried so many antidepressants and anti anxiety meds I cant tell you. But nothing works. My life is a mess and I just dont care. I dont have any energy to do anything about it, nor can I keep a positive thought long enough to make any plans. I am the stereotypical adult abuse victim. The thing with me is, I am still living with my parents and the verbal, emotional and mental abuse goes on. All I wanna do is die so I can go and be with God who I know loves me. I have been divorced twice. I have 4 children. My 3 youngest have recently gone to live with my ex because of reasons that had nothing to do with me, but because of my brother’s drug use in the house. I dont use drugs or alcohol. But I do take pain meds for a bowel disease. I have been told that these narcotics can contribute to the depression, but the pain is just too much for me to do without them. Not to mention I think I am addicted to them by now, it has been 5 years. I also have arthritis and fibromyalgia, all, I am told, are linked to serious depression. Is there any hope for me? Or am I destined to be miserable and make everyone else around me miserable my whole life?

  • James McConnell

    What can I say about this subject, that hasn’t already been said. Its just nice to know, that Im not alone in this quandry?…

  • Charlotte

    I was very touched by this article and the comments that have been posted as a reply. Back in 1998 through 2000 I had gone through a tumultuous time in my life and was forever changed, though I didn’t have a name for it. It wasn’t until I went to see a primary care physician who asked a few simple questions did I find out that I was suffering from depression. I guess he could see in me what I couldn’t put a finger on. I have lost contact with many friends and family from all of the problems that arise from my depression (losing jobs, having to move over and over, etc.) but the one constant that I have found most comforting is my belief in God. I have never asked Him why do I have this condition and why must I suffer. I look to him for the strength to persevere. There have been many times that I wanted to take my own life, but my belief in him and that I would do to hell if I did such a thing has kept me here with my children who mean the world to me. I couldn’t do it without Him!

  • Paul Miller

    I am not Bipolar and have never been clinically diagnosed as depressed. Life can be very difficult and leads one to question their being. Sometimes it seems like one battle after another with no end it sight. But, believe me there is always light at the end of the tunnel. How do I know this? Read my book, A Place to Belong, and you will receive a message that suits and is benificial to just you. You will see how a little boy of 7 years old can be something that a 7 year old should not have to be. How faith, strength, self induced courage, learning by what he see’s, hears and witnesses. Go to my website for a preview on this little guy. You’ll be astounded by his experiences and his travels through a very, very rough 10 years of his young life. And believe me, the story is 99.5% true. http://www.placetobelong.com. Thank you and enjoy.

  • Gina D.

    This is a response to BRENDA W. who posted on August 24. I hope you get to READ THIS response. My heart went out to you as I read your comment. I too have suffered from depression and anxiety. Somedays I still have to fight these feelings from overtaking me.
    As I was reading and I saw you mention God and the Holy Spirit I felt the need to share my experience and thoughts with you. Until recently I always believed in God but I never put that faith into action. I used to say that all the suffering and pain that I was going through was just a test from God and maybe one day it will all be better. Well that didn’t work, in fact things just got worst. I was in college when it seems like everything started to fall apart. I had to leave school because I couldn’t afford it, my family was falling apart, I couldn’t find a decent job to support myself, etc. And when it did seem as if things were looking up something will happen and everything would come crashing down. I used to cry to God asking why is this happening to me, Im a good person and all i want to do is to help people, but God why are you not helping me. It is not until the worst came to pass of which police, courts, my children and my children’s father were involved that I finally said enough is enough. So I began to cry out to God and plead that this nightmare end and for Him to come back into my life by helping me build back my relationship with Him. I was pleading to God everyday to help me and to show me the way back to Him because I was lost. I thought I knew what to do when it came to God but I didn’t until I found my sanctuary (which is a church with pastors that I look up and aspire to). When I went there and I started to hear and listen to what the pastors were TEACHING us, not just preaching, about putting your faith into action equals results, I started to put my faith into action.
    And now I am glad to say that I am truly seeing results. When I opened my heart, really truly believing that there is a Higher Power listening, watching and that truly loves me I started to get my happiness and joy back, I was less worried and anxious all the time and my depression lifted from me. I was happy about life again. I was blessed with a great job that is in the field I wanted to be in, money has been coming in abundantly. As soon as I ask for it in faith and belief that He would take care of it and just let it go He would bless me almost immediately, and I do mean immediately. My family seems to be coming back together, but there is a few members that is resisting, but that just shows me that my prayers are being heard because there is something inside of them that doesn’t want to change just yet. But I just keep fighting and praying. I just began to really start to pray and I stop crying and worrying, because I had to realize that He will see you when You cry or worry but He can’t do anything yet until You decide to stop crying, pick yourself up and be DETERMINED and AGGRESSIVE to fight for what is yours. Don’t let this negative world take from you what is rightfully yours, that could mean your health, your family, your house, your finances, no matter what it is, take it back. GOd doesn’t want to see His Children suffer and be robbed of all that he blessed you with. He wants to see you live abundantly and beyond. If that means if you have to get up in the middle of the night and start crying out to God, shout if you have to, then DO IT. If that means you have to fast, to clean your body of any food that make’s your body tired or your mind unclear, then fast and then pray. If that means going to your church to praise and worship Him(another important aspect of building your relationshipand to just say thank you for being YOU, every sunday even when your feeling lazy, then do it. And you do all of this while expecting something to happen, and don’t put a timeframe on when God is going to do something.
    Now Im not saying everything I just wrote you have to do, this was what I had to do, and this was for my own personal experience. You do what you feel is right for your spirit. And you believe in whatever HIgher being you believe in just as long it is the most highest energy and most sincere and loving. I go to a church that talks only of the Father but I personally believe in My Father and My Mother(both equal parts of one another) and I pray to both and I still feel loved and Im still being blessed.
    I know this was extremely long but I just had to get that out there.
    DON’T THINK THAT YOU HAVE TO SUFFER AND HAVE DEPRESSION IN LIFE. NO, DON’T EXCEPT IT. WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO CHANGE CERTAIN THINGS BUT GOD CAN DO ANYTHING IF WE JUST LET GO AND GIVE ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS TO HIM/HER AND BELIEVE AND EXPECT CHANGES NO MATTER HOW HARD THE SITUATION OR HOW LONG THE SITUATION HAS BEEN GOING ON. AND REMEMBER SOMETHINGS TAKES LONGER TO MANIFEST BECAUSE IT MAY BE A PROCESS THAT THE PERSON OR THE SITUATION HAS BEEN GOING THROUGH FOR A LONG TIME.
    So on that note I wish the best and may God bless you forevermore.

  • Catherine

    Re: Post by Gina
    Well…God Bless to that! That has to be the most personal and from the heart piece of writing Ive ever read! It touched my heart! Im also
    struggling with many different issues, depression being one of the biggest. I think reading that would be an inspiration to anyone struggling with a sad spirit. Thanks so much for posting that!

  • Donald Bradfield

    Out of a dream state I awoke one night to a thought saying to tell those that are Saints of GOD that believe JESUS died on the cross to SAVE US from our SINS. TELL THEM TO — —- —– DON’T LET GO! NEVER GIVE UP… KEEP ON STRIVING—- MAKE GOD’S WILL AND YOUR WILL BE THE SAME WILL. DO IT WHILE THE BLOOD RUNS WARM IN YOUR BODY AND YOU ARE ALIVE.YESS-HALLELUJAH! GET GOD’S WILL AND YOUR WILL TO BE THE SAME WILL. TAKE THE GIFTS GOD GAVE YOU AND BE YOU BLESSED IN YOUR LIFE. GOD’S WILL AND YOUR WILL TOGETHER AS ONE. AMEN.AMEN. THANK YOU! WELL- Donald Bradfield –2008. Do it Now! 214)607-2074

  • Anya

    Amen, sister! LOL

  • JLLB

    Once again, thank you for this article, Terese. I have been feeling very distant from God lately and have no support system to speak of. My faith is very important to me and I want to feel His presence. Your article reminds me that He is with me through my depression. Some days, even though He feels so far away, just knowing that I’m saved helps keep me afloat.

  • Jackie

    “They are spiritual because some days their faith in God is the only thing that keeps them alive.”
    Most of my friends and family don’t understand why I go to church, Why I read so much about religion and why I am always praying, putting God in all I say or do. My answer is always the same, while I am in extreme pain, alone with all my suicidal thoughts, the only thing that keeps me from doing something stupid is my faith.
    Thanks Therese, God bless you.
    Feels good to know somebody understands it!

  • bozo

    WHAT A STUPID ARTICLE ..
    try connecting with a depressive who refuses to take drugs for ‘spirituality’ ..
    drugs repress & numb any hope of self awareness ..
    please do some research on this very serious topic ..
    depression is no joke & is much more complex than the ‘howdy-doody’ tone of this article ..
    please re-read & consider re writing or trashing it altogether …offensive !!!

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  • Jeannie

    Journey Home last night had a story on a Norwegian woman who had suffered from depression and other psychological disorder. It was clear that choosing Catholicism gave her something. She did not say she was magically cured of depression, but she had direction, focus, hope and a better sense of herself.
    Those of us who do question ourselves into quagmires, who take on worry beyond the strength of ourselves and alternate between flagellating ourselves mentally and trying to find a way to give ourselves a break do need our faith enormously. We also need to connect because with only ourselves as advisors we spiral.
    There is nothing like focus on another to turn depression into joy and I’m so glad that my faith gives me this certainty.

  • San

    Obviously not everyone who suffers from depression is able to find the spirituality of which you speak. Many fear anything that they connect with the pain of childhood religion, etc. In the midst of depression so deep there is no “light,” it is sometimes very hard to find God/hope. Yet, for me, too, believing and experiencing God’s leading into things and to people who give my life meaning and purpose has saved me many times. In the past year, one of my most dramatic, both “in sickness and in health,” I have seen the pattern of God’s leading move me from devastation to amazing clarity and purpose that both brought things I have dreamed of and things happening a way I could not have brought about with my own intellect or will. I have not been psychotic as such, so I don’t know how that works, but I am bipolar and have those days of great insight and self-confidence followed by great despair and disordered thoughts that destroy my confidence. The thing is that some of my best poetry has come from those periods of depression when I was trying to find my way to wanting to live.

  • charles morris

    I aagree with the writer on everything except a faith in God. God does not exist.

  • Tea Girl

    Bozo, it’s sad you found this article to be offensive. I suggest you try to do more research because I think she would find that there are MANY more people who can identify with this article than would leave harsh words such as yours. Being a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), yes – there is a book about it, I have some of the same assumptions about creativity :) As I wrote a friend, it almost seems like as gang members may flash private signs, “depressives” flash pill bottles so we can identify “our” people :) The image is so absurd it makes me laugh! Bravo (NOT Bozo) Therese!

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