Anxiety & Depression
Yeshua said, "Let not your heart be troubled." THIS IS A COMMAND. He said that He has overcome (conquered) the world (John 16:33). Therefore, we are not to let anything get us down, either with anxiety or depression.
Yeshua listed rumours of war and actual war itself among the things that we are not allowed to become anxious or depressed about. How much less should we let ourselves get depressed about losing a job, or getting dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, or being rejected by our parents, never mind such things as weight gain, hair loss, or cracked heels?
Depression is a gateway to all manner of sin. Many people overeat or eat unhealthy foods, which is the sin of gluttony, because they are depressed. Anxiety and depression can give place to a hair–trigger temper because one is upset over things not working out the way they would have liked, or they fear that their hopes will be disappointed. It can be conducive to letting one's home or car become disordered and dirty due to lack of motivation; this is sloth and apathy. It can destroy godly vision; without a vision, the people perish (cast off discipline). [Proverbs 29:18]
Depression or anxiety can be used as an excuse for drunkenness or taking drugs, and for smoking cigarettes or engaging in other destructive OCD behaviours. It can be an excuse to look at pornography or read unwholesome books in an attempt to fill the need for adventure, romance, and safe companionship, which are legitimate drives, but have not been satisfied. What we put in our mind will eventually be acted out, unless we renew our mind.
Depression can be a gateway to extreme self abuse, such as cutting, and extreme abuse of others, such as molestation and rape. If we cut the enemy off at the gate, by not allowing ourselves to be depressed, he won't be able to gain access to our lives with such devastating sins.
Legitimate remorse and regret is good, but there is such a thing as morbid remorse, the sort that immobilizes progress in our lives, and is yet another form of depression. It is based in shame, (which is of satan) and says that we're losers, not winners who forgot they were winners and did something wrong that we can correct. Nobody really is a loser; all that God made is good. He created us to succeed in life and rule the angels in Eternity. People who behave like losers have believed demons who told them, either through people or circumstances, that they are losers.
Often, people who believe this of themselves were horribly abused in childhood and, in trying to make sense of why it happened, have mistakedly believed that they deserved to be punished. Nobody has ever deserved to be molested or raped and nobody has the right to molest or rape others. The Bible says that rape is as bad as murder and the helpless victim is not guilty of sin. [Deuteronomy 22:26]
Of course, children who molest are not held to as high a standard as a teen or adult, but even playing doctor child to child has a negative effect on the psyche because it goes against God's plan for purity and awakens sexual desire too early in life. It should never been encouraged or ignored. If children are discovered doing this, they should be gently and sensitively detered from doing it again.
When people experience trauma before the age of 13, it triggers a flight or fight response, which causes their adrenaline to take over. Living on adrenaline prevents the release of other chemicals in the brain when we reach puberty, chemicals that help us make good decisions. We get hooked on adrenaline and make all sorts of bad choices that give us an adrenaline rush, which leads to the ruin of our lives. The unhealthy addiction to adrenaline is also why people watch violent shows, horror movies, murder mysteries, dramas with a lot of angst. They want to feel on edge in this manner. Why else would people watch so much strife as entertainment when real life already has plenty of strife to overcome? Really, who needs more of it?
We can recover from brain damage that causes arrested development and get those other chemicals released. We can grow up. Forgiving those who caused our trauma is essential for our healing. Forgiving them does not mean that we trust them and set ourselves up for more abuse.
Sometimes the people who are telling us to grow up have had a lot do do with our brain damage. Yelling at children and hitting them causes brain damage. Swearing at them is another type of abuse. Demanding that their teen–aged or adult children grow up when a parent isn't all that mature themselves is not likely to have much of an impact. We all have the option, though, of turning to God to be the parents that we need. Psalm 27:10†says, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up." We never outgrow the need for wise, loving parents.
When we've made mistakes, we have to pick ourselves up and move on, putting the past behind us through receiving Yeshua's forgiveness for our errors, that we may achieve the good destiny that God planned for us before He even made the universe. Otherwise, we will just go over the same ground again and again, wishing we had done things differently, and not attending to what we are supposed to be doing now.
Giving thanks in all situations, in obedience to 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and praising God, regardless of how we feel, are weapons that God has given us to beat back the insidious invasion of anxiety and depression. We really do not have the excuse that we overeat, drink, do drugs, read trash, watch trash, think trash, etc. because we are depressed. Yeshua said, "DONíT LET YOURSELF GET DEPRESSED."
In the real world, though, there is no such thing as picking ourselves up by our bootstraps. My brother told me to do that when I was going through a nervous breakdown in 1987. He had no idea how frustrating his advice was. When a person is that deep in depression, they need help. God raised up prayer on my behalf and sent wise counsellors to my home, who helped me return to the land of the living. The intercession that was made on my behalf beforehand helped me receive what they said and immediately stop listening to someone who was trying to control me in that situation, making everything worse.
We can avoid getting depressed. We must make a habit of engaging in good spiritual practices, such as reading the Bible aloud and giving ourselves wholesome self talk, based on what God says about us in His Word. The brain needs to hear this good stuff in our voice; it has more impact than when others say it to us. It also has more impact when we say it than if we just think it.
Reading the Bible aloud rewires the brain. It causes new neurons to grow around the parts of our brain that were damaged by early childhood trauma, which results in arrested emotional development. It can also help us recover from physical brain injuries and keep us from developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
We can change the health of our brain because our mind and our will controls our brain. It is not the other way around. When we die, our brain will no longer be accessible to operate our body, but our mind, will, and emotions, which is our soul, will remain conscious. Our senses are sharper after death, which makes Heaven all the more enjoyable and Hell all the more repulsive. They are no longer dulled by a body of clay.
Two really excellent resources for learning how to be mentally and emotionally healthy are Dr. Caroline Leaf and Dr. Paul Hegstrom. They have videos on YouTube, as well as websites. Life gets easier to handle when we are emotionally and spiritually mature, so don't delay receving freedom from immature responses to stress. Healing is within our grasp. I have downloaded their videos to my computer and listen to them repeatedly.
There is great hope for our future. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts (plans) that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." An expected end is a good result that satan cannot steal because God is with us, helping us recover from trauma and rise up strong to live the best destiny here and in Eternity.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Andrew Wommack has written an excellent article about THE EFFECTS OF PRAISE.