1. Consult your doctor
If you think you have depression, the first thing you should do is to consult your doctor so that they can:
- Evaluate you to determine whether your symptoms are due to depression or to another medical or mental condition
- Determine the cause of your depression
- Change any medications that you may be on that may be causing the depression. Medications which can cause depression include Acyclovir or Zovirax (used to treat herpes or shingles), Atenolol or Tenormin (used to treat high blood pressure, angina chest pain, abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure), Atorvastatin or Lipitor (used to lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks) and many other medications.
- Prescribe treatment for your depression such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor), paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), escitalopram (Lexapro), citalopram (Celexa) bupropion (Wellbutrin) and amitriptyline.
Are you suffering? Pray.(James 5:13) Pray if you are suffering from depression because God promises you that If you call on Him, He will answer you and He will be with you in trouble and He will deliver you and honor you. (Psalm 91:15) Medical research also assures us that prayer works therefore, present your problems to God each day in prayer and experience the tranquillity that comes as prayer lifts the issues that were depressing you.
Cast all you care upon Jesus in prayer because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5: 6-7) Cast the mental burdens that are weighing you down in your mind to Him and He shall sustain you. (Psalm 55: 22) Cast and then ask for whatever you need to heal your depression for you are to Ask and you will receive so that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)
The following is a sample prayer for depression
Save me O my God!
For problems have come up to my neck.
I am sinking in deep depression,
I am in deep trouble and problems overwhelm me.
I am tired of crying and my prayer is to You.
O Lord, in the multitude of Your mercy hear me.
Deliver me out of this depression and let me not sink in it.
Let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of these deep troubles.
Do not let problems overwhelm me and do not let depression swallow me.
(Adapted from Psalm 69)
3. Think Positively
Since thoughts contribute to how you feel and who you become, if you consistently think depressing thoughts, you will begin to feel depressed and you may even become depressedFor as a person becomes what they think in their heart. (Proverbs 23:7) Therefore, constantly monitor your thoughts and if negative ones enter your mind, replace them with thoughts that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy (Philippians 4: 8) and you will begin to feel and to become truthful, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy instead of depressed.
4. Establish Social Support
Establish your social support system because Two people are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor and if one falls down, they other will lift up their companion. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) Therefore, find a friend whose company you enjoy and spend time with them to ease the loneliness of depression.
5. Take an Aromatherapy Bath
Adding essential oils such as bergamot, rose, rosemary, ylang ylang and chamomile to you bath water may help you feel better since these essential oil may raise your spirits. You can make a blues busting bath blend by adding 3 drops of bergamot, 3 drops of rosemary, 3 drops of ylang ylang and 3 drops of chamomile to your bath water.
Writing therapy can be updated to the 21st century by creating a blog and posting your deepest uncensored feelings online without revealing your identity as this can help you heal from pain and recover from depression.
7. Sing Praises
The Bible tells us to put on The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3) therefore sing praises to God whenever the spirit of heaviness or depression tries to pull you down. Sing praises to God every day even if you don't feel like singing for as you continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, (Hebrews 13:15) you will break the spiritual chains of sadness trying to constrain you for God is enthroned in the praises. (Psalm 22:3) You can sing your praises to God as you spruce up after your aromatherapeutic bath or as you exercise since singing will also help you reduce tension and relax.
8. Affirm Yourself
Since Anxiety in the heart causes depression but a good word cheers it, (Proverbs 12:25) you have to speak good words to yourself whether or not others are speaking them to you. Therefore, choose positive, power filled, present tense Scriptural affirmations and repeat them to yourself each day for at least 10 minutes. Scriptures that you can use as affirmations include:
- This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
- I will be happy because the God of Jacob is my help.(Psalm 146:5)
9. Increase dietary omega 3 fatty acids
Increase your dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids as some studies imply they may alleviate mood changes. Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, halibut, tuna and other fatty fish as well as flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, winter squash, extra virgin olive oil and dark green vegetables To do this you can grind 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds and sprinkle them onto your breakfast cereal, eat salmon or tuna with winter squash for lunch and snack on salads with ground flax seeds and walnuts tossed it in extra virgin olive oil.
10. St John's wort
Though St John's wort or hypericum perforatun can be of some benefit in treating mild depression, always consult your doctor before you begin taking it since it interacts with other prescription medications and it may reduce their effectiveness.
For more information on depression visit http://www.christianstressmanagement.com for the FREE E-Course on Holistic Treatment of Depression which will be taught every Monday from January 3, 2011. This E-Course will cover the Causes of depression, Symptoms of depression and the Treatment of depression using Medical techniques, Biblical Principles, Psychotherapy, Social therapy, Hydrotherapy, Aromatherapy, Writing therapy, Music therapy, Talk therapy, Art therapy, Laughter therapy, Diet therapy, Herbal therapy, Nature therapy.