Tag Archives: anti-depressants

Throwback Thursday: Laughter vs. Depression

LAUGHTER VERSES DEPRESSION

By Carolyn Dale Newell

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

Prov. 17:22 (NKJV)

Several years ago, I was very depressed. Don’t let someone tell you Christians do not get depressed. Elijah was depressed, and he prayed for God to take his life (1 Kin. 19:2-4). I had a chemical imbalance that was intensified when my teen-age daughter left home and cut off all communications. I cried uncontrollably, and I did not want to leave the house. Food didn’t taste good, and I had interest in nothing. I could not sleep, and like the prophet, I wanted to die. My husband did not believe in depression or anti-depressants, but he quickly became a believer in both.

I loved to watch TV shows that made me laugh, but I didn’t realize at the time that the Bible tells us that laughter, a merry heart, is like a medicine. I guess that is why I am so silly now. Sometimes, I will be the only one in a room who will laugh at something.

Did you know that laughter relieves stress? It causes the body to release endorphins; our natural chemicals that make us feel good. Laughter can lower high blood pressure, and it burns calories.

It is wonderful when Christian comedians and gospel singers can put a smile on a face. They encourage us with reminders of God’s love and promises, but they also make us laugh. People are going through trials, and a few minutes of laughter is just what they need.

If you think you may be suffering from depression, I urge you to please seek medical help. I also want to reinforce that depression is normal, so don’t feel ashamed. God gives us grace and mercy, but He has allowed scientists to develop meds for certain circumstances. If you know someone who may be depressed, please get them out of the house for some fun. God knows us so well, and He knew that we need laughter.

Dear God,

Thank You for giving us laughter. Thank You for blessing us with people who make us laugh. Father, be with each one who may be suffering from depression. Guide them to the right place for help, and pour out Your comfort and grace upon them. Thank You. In Jesus‘ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read 1 Kings 19:1-18.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Did you see yourself in this devotion? If you can identify with my symptoms of depression, or you recognize them in a family member, please seek medical help.

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.

What Christians Should Know About Depression

WHAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION

By Carolyn Dale Newell

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Psalm 34:17 NKJV

I almost don’t recognize her. She cried, trying to make sense of what was happening. She prayed, but God felt so far away. She feared something was spiritually wrong.

She recognized the familiar symptoms: endless tears for no reason, or any reason, Loss of appetite, lack of interest in life’s activities, and loss of interest in life itself, lack of sleep, and at times, too much sleep.

That was me, one year ago. God has brought me so far from those days. Ten years had passed since my initial bout with depression. How did it happen again? I had declared victory over it. I am the strong author encouraging others, but Christ’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. Strength isn’t an immunity to depression. Maybe, that is why God wanted me to tell my story.

Depression carries an alarming stigma in the church. Many people have never been touched by depression, including preachers. Some wrongly consider depression a sin or a curse from the devil. The result can be deadly: someone stops their meds and they experience the withdraw symptom of suicidal tendencies.

Depression is prevalent in Scripture. Jessie lacked confidence in his son, David, to become king. David did not immediately take possession of the throne, still occupied by Saul. David ran for his life, like a hunted animal, from King Saul. Possibly the one good relationship David experienced was with Jonathan, Saul’s son. King David’s family was dysfunctional His children committed rape and murder amongst themselves.

King David, a man after God’s own heart, slayed giants, but he traveled many roads of despondency. We cannot consider ourselves weak if the mighty warrior, David, suffered the same emotional sting.

Elijah, a prophet, prayed for the widow’s dead son, and the boy was revived. Elijah prayed for rain, and God showered the dry land with rain after three years of drought. Elijah mocked the false prophets, putting them to shame when God licked up water with flames. Yet, Elijah ran, hiding, fearful of one woman, Jezebel. Elijah begged God to take his life. Have you been there? I have, and God ministered to me, like He ministered to David and Elijah. He will tend to your troubles also.

God cares for His hurting children. Like our focal verse says, He will deliver us from all our troubles. Not part, not some, but all of our troubles. Not in our timing, but in His. Perhaps, not the way we expect to be set free, but God’s plans exceed anything we can ask or think.

I realized I am one of many people who need to stick with anti-depressants. It is a physical condition, a chemical imbalance. I can testify that God can bring you through anything. He will make a way, when no way seems possible.

Lord, Thank You for including the weaknesses of strong men like David and Elijah in Scripture. Help me not be ashamed of depression. I need You so much during this time. Thank You for unconditional love, my Abba Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read 1 Kings 19:1-18.

HIKING THE TRAIL

If you are suffering from depression, please see a doctor for help. It is not a sin. It is not a demon or a curse. It is a medical condition which likely needs medication. Perhaps, you are not the one with depression, but you feel pretty blue today. You are not alone either. God loves you, and He wants to carry your burdens.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.