==== ====Click Here For Information On How To End Your Depression<a href="http://ffac46s9iw6y0z8c-4-pno4meq.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=CA0002" target="_top">ClickHere!</a>==== ====PURPOSE OF ARTICLEThe Bible has much to say about depression; interestingly, the causes and solutions are not whatare commonly thought in Christian circles. This article will offer insights that may help erase thestigmaassociated with depression and to see it in a new light. When seen correctly, there is no morestigma or shame associated with depression than any other illness.UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSIONWhat is Depression: Depression is a prolonged emotional tone dominating an individuals outlookand mood. Normal moods of sadness, grief, and elation are typically short-lived and part ofeveryday life, but these can progress into a depressed mental state. Other symptoms oftenaccompany depression but the most common symptoms of major depression are:1deep sadness or emptiness,apathy, loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities,agitation or restlessness, physical hyperactivity or inactivity,sleep disturbances,weight/appetite disturbances,diminished ability to think or concentrate,feelings of excessive guilt, self-reproach or worthlessness,feelings of fatigue or loss of energy, andmorbid thoughts of death or suicide.If a person experiences at least five of these symptoms for one month they have major
depression. Mild depression would typically be defined as having two to four of these symptomsfor over one month. Bipolar disorder (manic depression) includes swings from deeply depressivemoods to wildly manic moods (elation, irritability, hostility, inflated thoughts of self, boasting)--withmany intensities andvariations.Biblical Occurrences: Depression is the ascendancy and tyranny of our emotions over our lives.Thus, Proverbs 15:13 says, "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance; but by sorrow of theheart the spirit is broken." Often an initiating discouragement leads to sadness, which leads toprolonged grief, and then into a downhill spiral to depression. Depression is a universal problem,but noone really knows if Biblical characters had what we call depression, or if it would be moreappropriate to say they suffered emotionally. However, Paul in I Corinthians 10:13 says, "Therehath notemptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not suffer you tobe tempted above that ye are able...". Temptation can mean trial, calamity, or affliction.Accordingly, we should understand that our present day afflictions were also common to thegreat Bible characters.David was overwhelmed with grief and sadness, his heart was desolate, and his tears fell all night(Psa. 61:2, 77:2-3, 142:4, and 143:4). Jonah, Jeremiah (Jer. 15), Job, and Elijah (I Kings 19) areotherexamples. Whenever characters express rejection, loneliness, self-pity, hopelessness,overwhelming grief, and wish they had not been born, it seems they are expressing more thantemporary sadness butclassic symptoms of major depression. Paul had classic symptoms: his flesh had no rest, he wastroubled on all sides, he was cast down, he had fears within, and he despaired of life (II Cor. 1:8& 7:5-6).Hannah (I Samuel 1) had many of the symptoms of depression and her spiritual leader instantlyand incorrectly accused her of a spiritual problem.Depression Considerations: Each year depression strikes ten million people in the United States.Older Christians have more depression than younger; does this mean that spiritual maturity isof no avail? No, what this indicates is that older people have more biochemical and brainmalfunctions as they age; depression is a natural consequence. Similarly, more women (two tothree times) have depression than men. Women do not have more spiritual problems than men,but they do process adverse events differently than men, and, they have a complex bodychemistry that can get out ofbalance, both leading to depression. Women tend to take adverse events and internalize themand take the blame--this is a thought-processing problem. Men tend to react to the same eventswith escapism (sports, TV, sexual obsessions, alcohol); which can later result in heart disease,hypertension, diabetes, etc.--again, a thought-processing problem but with different results.There is another difference: women tend to feel their depression (sadness/guilt) while men act itout in their behavior (rage, hostility and frustration).2Causes: Understanding the causes of depression is very helpful to finding the solution. It is rarethat there is only one causative agent, generally there are several at work. Listed below (nospecific order) are some factors known to contribute to depression:3 4 5
nutrient deficiency or excessdrugs (prescription, illicit, caffeine)hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)hormonal imbalancesallergiesheavy metalssexual abuse as a childmicrobial overgrowths/toxinsmedical conditions (stroke, heart disease, cancer, Parkinsons, diabetes, thyroid)natural light deprivationpsychological factors (generally poor thought-processing)spiritual factorsDepression can have its source in our body, soul or spirit. Our body can affect our soul and spiritand vice versa. For example: if one has a low thyroid function it may affect the soul (for examplethe emotions) leading to depression which then affects ones spiritual life. Affecting our spirituallife does not mean it changes our standing or position in Christ, it means things like a lessproductive outreach/ministry and a more self-oriented prayer life.There is now no question that reductions in frontal lobe function lie at the core of depression.Complimenting this research is the finding that depressed children have significantly smallerfrontallobes than non-depressed children. The evidence indicates that frontal lobe problems are thecause and not the effect. The frontal lobes proper function requires adequate blood flow andnerve chemistry.As fog veils a beautiful meadow, so depression clouds life itself; existence becomes dreary anddark. It has been described as darkness visible. One can go to bed feeling fine only to wake withan overwhelming gloom that cannot be explained or escaped. With proper nutrition, lifestylechanges and a renewed way of processing the events of our lives we can break through that foginto a sunny day.Consequences: Now that it is clear that depression is related to many factors, primarily to frontal
lobe malfunction, lets consider the consequences of depression. Depression weakens theimmunesystems power to attack cancer cells, increases the risk of fatal stroke by 50%, increases the riskof sudden cardiac death in heart attack survivors by 250%, and increases the complications ofpneumonia.3 It has been found that depression increase stress hormone levels,hypertension, and headaches; it complicates diabetes and is the leading cause of suicide (its closerelative). The point is clear, depression should be addressed early or it may lead to fatalconsequences.However, because of their illness depressed persons have diminished ability to combat their owndisease, so help is often needed to lift them out of the pit of despair.How the Brain Works: By Gods design, all brain activity (every thought, feeling and emotion,every order the brain sends to the organs and cells) is the product of electrochemical signals. Thebrains electrical signals require a chemical to carry the signal across a small opening (synapse)between cells. The chemicals used to do this are called neurotransmitters. To have a properlyfunctioning systemwe need an adequate amount of neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitter most commonlyassociated with depression is serotonin.Depressed people have low serotonin levels. Thus, they have impaired brain message sending,especially relating to emotions and mood. Serotonin is produced in the brain from tryptophan (aprotein), which is converted into 5-HTP, and then into serotonin. Some serotonin is convertedinto melatonin, the hormone needed for proper sleep (thus the connection between depressionand sleep disorders). One cause of low serotonin is the lack of an enzyme that convertstryptophan to 5-HTP.1 Before proceeding, just think how unfair it would be to tell a depressedperson that is missing this neededenzyme that they have a spiritual problem. As a doctor told a dear sister in Christ who just couldnot understand why she could not get over her depression, "quit beating yourself up about it, yourbodyjust does not produce enough serotonin."THERAPEUTIC CONSIDERATIONSBotanical Medicines: The Scripture makes it clear that because of sin the earth today is notyielding its strength (Gen. 4:12). As a result of this Romans 8:22 says, "For we know that thewhole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." Knowing this, the Lord hasmade special provisions for us. Psalms 104:14 says, "...and herb for the service of man:...", whichmeans the botanical (herbal) kingdom was designed for the many services of humans, includingmedicine.Often herbal products are slower acting than pharmaceutical medications, but the advantages ofherbal supplements is that they can often affect a cure (rather than just address symptoms) andthe side effects are minor compared to pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs can be considered themedicine from Godspharmacy. The most important and well tested herbs to consider in connection with depressionare:1 4
St. Johns Wort (SJW): relieves depression, anxiety, apathy, sleep disturbance, anorexia, andfeeling of worthlessness. All these symptoms are caused by low serotonin and SJW increases thelevel of serotonin in the brain.Ginkgo biloba: improves blood flow and function of the frontal lobe. Ginkgo increases the ability ofserotonin to do its job in the brain.5-HTP: a plant extract that is just one step from becoming serotonin--the brain readily makes thisconversion. It raises the level of serotonin and other brain neurotransmitters. This productovercomes the genetic problem that does not allow for the conversion of tryptophan to 5-HTP.Pharmaceutical Medications: There are times when medications can save a persons life. Ifbotanical medicines do not work (in conjunction with the lifestyle, thought processing, andconsideration of other causes) then medications are an option. A short-term use of antidepressantdrugs may be needed in order to get the mind operating sufficiently well so that a person canfunction. Medications generally work by keeping serotonin (or other neurotransmitters) atadequate levels in the brains synapses. They do not help create increased blood flow or frontallobe function.Nutrition: A deficiency of any single nutrient can alter brain function and lead to depression,anxiety, and other mental disorders. The most common deficiencies are folic acid, vitamin B12and B6.An insufficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids (oils) has been linked to depression. Low Omega 3 oilsresult in cells throughout the body and brain that do not function correctly, and the mind suffers.The needed Omega 3 oils are found in fish oils and flaxseed oil.1 3 4 5 6The diet for helping to prevent and correct depression is based upon Biblical insights:Increase the consumption of fiber-rich plant foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and rawnuts and seeds).Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other stimulants; also avoid foods that cause allergic symptoms.A good diet is: low protein, high fiber, low-moderate fat, and high complex carbohydrates.Complex carbohydrates do not include simple carbohydrates (processed foods, snack foods, whitebread, soda). Raw fruit has simple carbohydrates but is good because of the fiber, enzymes andantioxidants.Atkins type diets are poor; they actually lead to depression since carbohydrates are needed to gettryptophan into the brain.Foods high in tryptophan should be consumed regularly: soy flour, meats/poultry (turkey andchicken), tofu, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, raw nuts, eggs, lentils, and garbanzo beans.A good snack before going to bed would be a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread (there is
tryptophan in the turkey and the whole grain bread will help keep sugar levels stable and help getthetryptophan get into the brain).Rule to live by: Eat foods as close to the way God created them as possible: raw, whole, andunprocessed. He created vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. He did not create processedfoods or animal meat full of antibiotics and hormones. Humans cannot improve upon Godsbounty!Lifestyle: Regular exercise and sleep are essential to combat depression. Exercise atleast 30 minutes four times a week. One does not have to jog: but walking, biking, tennis,swimming, gardening, active house/yard work are great. Regular exercise takes time for theeffects to be felt, sometimes weeks.We each have an internal clock that operates on a roughly 24-hour schedule (circadian rhythm).Even mentally healthy people can become depressed if the circadian rhythms are significantlydisturbed. Seasonal Affective Disorder is common in the winter months in northern climatesbecause the lack of natural sunlight disrupts these rhythms. Direct exposure to bright fullspectrum light can help, or, the serotonin boosting botanical medicines.A common factor leading to depression is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar); the brain requires aconstant supply of blood sugar to function properly. Thyroid insufficiency also causes depression.Women with post-partum depression and those approaching menopause (symptoms often start bymid-30 age) are subject to hormonal disturbances that lead to depression.1 5 7Biblical Thought-Processing: How we handle bad or disappointing news has a profound effectupon our mental well-being. As long as we believe we are victims, we are not able to achieve fullmental health.9 Positive thinking is more important for overall health than almost anything else.Negative thinking, on the contrary, can destroy the good done by correct diet and lifestyle.10Many depressed people have a tendency to look at the down side of life. It has been said that it isa positive duty to resist melancholy and discontented thoughts as much as it is our duty to pray.Certainly there will always be things in this imperfect world that give us cause to complain.Often we are helpless to personally do anything about many of these negative things. However,we can focus our mind on the enjoyable and wonderful things of life; this is scriptural, uplifting andtherapeutic.In our self-talk (how we silently talk and think to ourselves) we must replace thenegative/compulsive thoughts with Philippians 4:8. But each person must search-out those thingsthat are true, honest, just, pure, etc.--that is the purpose of meditating on Gods Word. As soon asthe conscious awareness of an unconstructive negative thought is realized, a positive thoughtmust immediately replace it. This takes practice and preparation, but brings our thinking intocaptivity. The instruction of II Corinthians 10:5 & 6 is, "...and bringing into captivity everythought to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, whenyour obedience is fulfilled." Applying these words to ourselves, we cannot allow ourselves toentertain negative thoughts, even if true, even if we have been wronged (Prov. 12:25, 15:13,18:14). Nor can we entertain compulsive thoughts (thoughts that just keep running over and overagain in our mind even though they may not be negative in nature).
The essential basics of cognitive behavioral therapy are shown below; each person should providetheir own verses to make them more personal and meaningful. Whether in the natural world or inthe realm of the mind, science comes to the same conclusion as revealed in the Bible 2000 yearsago.Locate and identify the negative thoughts or misbelief in your self-talk. "I am no good becausethings are not like what I expect or want."Argue against the negative thoughts. "I am not a failure just because I do not meet unrealisticexpectations of myself or others."Learn how to avoid rumination (the constant churning of thoughts in ones mind) by immediatelychanging your thoughts.Replace the negative thoughts the very second they occur with the truth and with empoweringpositive thoughts and beliefs. "In spite of the sorrow, disappointments and feelings I experiencethe Lord will help me carry on."8Finally, Philippians 3:13 & 14 says, "...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things whichare behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for theprize ofthe high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Paul is using a runners analogy to put the past and futurein their proper perspective. He says that runners in a race cannot look back to see where theotherrunners are, for if they do they may stumble or get out of their lane and be disqualified. A runnercan only look ahead and stretch forward, making the focus the finish line, not what may be behind.We are on a track, running lifes race. The most incredible thing is that each Christian is the onlyperson on his/her track. One does not have to be all that fast, but steady. The only thing that isbehind us on our track is our past (forgetting those things that are behind), with its failures,abuses, hurts, regrets, accomplishments, or fame. If you have your eye on the prize the pastcannot hurt/catch you. The past contains the thoughts that Paul says to forget about, certainly donot ruminate about them, if you do you will stumble (have mental problems). He implies aChristians greatest point of failure in running the race is letting the past keep him/her from runningwell. Look ahead, stretch forward toward a new day and thank God for all you have in ChristJesus our Lord.Spiritual Direction: Depression can have a spiritual source if we live in sin, harbor anger orresentment, etc. We have to be willing to forgive (make the unnatural decision to let someone "offthe hook" even though they do not ask or deserve it) just as God for Christs sake has forgiven us,Ephesians 4:32. (Note, we forgive because we already have been forgiven, not to be forgiven asis thecase in the Gospels.)Regular spiritual exercise (reading, studying, praying, meditation on the Word) requires use of the
frontal lobe of the brain and emphasizes communion with God, thinking His thoughts, sensing Hispresence, and knowing His will. This is active worship and produces the type of brain waves inthe frontal lobe that are very helpful for us all, including the depressed. Hypnosis and the trance-like state of Eastern religious meditation are very harmful; they produce the wrong type of brainwaves and information bypasses the frontal lobe, leading to possible mind control.3Romans 12:2 says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewingof your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."Transformed in Greek is metamorphosis and means a change in form; it implies a struggle likewhen a chrysalis morphs into a butterfly. If we do not become changed from the inside-out--if wedo not morph--we will be tempted to find external things to satisfy our needs.Transformation is not an instantaneous act of God, it is a life-long process (journey). One doesnot get transformed by just praying, asking or believing; there is no "microwave" (quick and easy)way to spiritual maturity.The passive voice in Romans 12:2 means the Holy Spirit will do thetransforming for us if we cooperate with Him (listening, yielding, relying...). Expect spiritualadvancement, you can always mature more, Philippians 3:15-16. Your imperfections will berevealed by the Holy Spirit so that you may continue to grow and become more complete (notsinless, but well-rounded). Maturity versus infancy is the issue. God loves you just the way youare, but refuses to leave you that way; He wants you to be made conformable to Christ, IICorinthians 3:18.Our Lord stripped himself of His glory and "...made himself of no reputation, and took upon him theform of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men...and became obedient unto death..."(Phil. 2:7 & 8). His life reminds us of our spiritual growth which often imposes tough lessons,sometimes so tough we shrink back from learning them. It seems we have to learn from actualexperience that whatever we depend upon in this life (for joy, comfort, acceptance, etc.), ends upcontrolling us. God allows and uses lifes events to teach us about misplaced dependencies, sothat we finally grasp the concept that Christ is our one true sufficiency.EndnotesTextbook of Natural Medicine, 2nd Edition, J. Pizzorno, ND & M. Murray, ND, BastyrUniversity.Unmasking Male Depression, Archibald Hart, PhD, Word Publications.Depression the Way Out, Neil Nedley, MD, Nedley Publishing.5-HTP The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity & Insomnia, M. Murray, ND,Bantom Books.Endocrinology and Naturopathic Therapies, 4th Edition, D. Powell, ND, Bastyr University.
Naturopathic Gastroenterology, E. Yarnell, ND, Naturopathic Medical Press.What Your Doctor May NOT tell you About Premenopause, J. Lee, MD, & J. Hanley, MD,Time-Warner Publishing.Telling Yourself the Truth, W. Backus, MD, & M. Chapian, Bethany House Publ.The Blessings of Brokenness, Dr. C. Stanley, Zondervan Publishing House. Your Health Your Choice, M. T. Morter, DC, Lifetime Books, Inc.Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, offer prescriptive advice orsubstitute for a personal health care provider. Anyone taking prescription medications, or wishingtosignificantly change his/her lifestyle, is advised to consult with a medical professional withappropriate expertise.Steve Shober is a Naturopath (natural health practitioner) and a member of the Berean BibleSociety Board of Directors. If you have questions about this article, would like more information onthe use of herbal products, nutrition or lifestyle issues, or would like a presentation on depressionat your church, contact him at: Biblical Health Ministries, 7179 Clover Hill Dr., Waunakee, WI53597; or firstname.lastname@example.org. Biblical Health Ministries is a non-profit ministry dedicated toteaching Gods provisions for our health.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephen_Shober