Like many states of being, such as respect and love, depression reveals its level or degree by a person’s thoughts, words, and actions.
Below are definitions from 3 sources … psychiatry, popular culture, and the Bible.
The Penguin Dictionary Of Psychology by Arthur S. Reber
1. Generally, a mood state characterized of a sense of inadequacy, a feeling of despondency, a decrease in activity or reactivity, pessimism, sadness, and related symptoms. In this sense, depressions are quite normal, relatively short-lived and (damnably) frequent.
2. In psychiatry, any of a number of affective disorders in which the above characteristics of mood are extreme and intense. Depression in this sense may be a symptom of some other psychological disorder, a part or syndrome of related symptoms that appears as secondary to another disorder, or a specific disorder to another disorder itself. Note that many psychiatrists regard “anhedonia (a general lack of interest in the pleasures of life) as a defining characteristic of depression … even to the point of regarding it as sufficient for a diagnosis independent of the individual complaining of being depressed. the following entries given the major variations of depressive disorders:
- Agitated (psychomotor)
- Anaclitic (severe, progressive in infants who lost mothers, no replacement)
- Endogenous (results from internal factors, psychological and physiological)
- Exogenous (originating from without)
- Involutional (now called a major depressive episode)
- Neurotic(“Ordinary” severe, not a psychotic depression i.e. no loss of contact with reality)
- Psychotic (severe depression in which the individual loses contact with reality and suffers from an array of impairments of normal functioning)
- Reactive (resulting from events occurring in one’s life)
- Retarded (characteristic of psychomotor retardation as dominant symptom
- Unipoloar (a major depression episode, depressive episodes recur without the appearance of the manic phase that is observed in the classic form of bipolar disorder)
The Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedia Dictionary
1, The act of depressing, or the state of being depressed
2. Low spirits or vitality; dejection; melancholy
Funk and Wagnall’s Edition of Webster’s New World Thesaurus
Despair, despondency, sorrow, unhappiness, gloom, dejection, melancholy, abjectness, abjection, misery, trouble, mortification, worry, abasement, discouragement, dispiritedness, hopelessness, distress, desperation, desolation, dreariness, heaviness of spirit, dullness, disconsolation, downheartedness, woefulness, lugubriosity, vapors, cheerlessness, disconsolateness, melancholia, dolor, dolefulness, darkness, bleakness, oppression, low-spiritedness, spleen, lowness, gloominess, dole, disheartenment, hypochondria, qualm, dumps, mulligrubs, blues, blue devils, doldrums, hangover, horrors, blue funk.
Also see grief, sadness.
The Everyday Life Bible Amplified Version with Lecturing Notes and Commentary by Joyce Meyers
A Biblical Prescription for Depression
Psalm 143:3-10 gives a description of depression and how to overcome it. Let’s looks at this passage in detail to see the steps we can take to defeat this attack of the enemy:
Psalm 143:3 Identify the nature and cause of the problem. David says he feels as if he is dwelling in “dark places as those who have been long dead.” This certainly sounds to me like a description of someone who is depressed. I believe that the source of the depression described here is our enemy, Satan, who attacks the soul.
Psalm 143:4 Recognize that depression steals life and light. Depression oppresses a person’s spiritual freedom and power. Our spirits (empowered and encouraged by God’s Spirit) are powerful and free. Therefore, Satan seeks to oppress our spirits’ power by filling our minds with darkness and gloom. Please realize that it is vital to resist the feeling called “depression” immediately when we begin to sense it. The longer it is allowed to remain, the harder it becomes to resist.
Psalm 143:5 Remember the good times. In this verse we see David’s response to his condition. Remembering, meditating, and pondering are all functions of the mind. He obviously knows that his thoughts will affect his feelings, so he gets busy thinking about the kinds of things that will help overcome the attack upon his mind. He thinks about God and the good things He does.
Psalm 143:6 Praise the Lord in the midst of the problem. David knows the importance of praise; he lifts his hand in worship. He declares what his need truly is: He needs God. Far too often when people get depressed, it is because they are in need of something, and they seek it in the wrong place, which only adds to their problems. God alone can water a thirsty soul. Do not be deceived into thinking that anything else can satisfy you fully and completely. Chasing after the wrong thing will always leave you disappointed, and disappointment opens the door to depression.
Psalm 143:7 Ask for God’s help. David asks for help. He is basically saying, “Hurry up, God, because I am not going to be able to hold on very much longer without you.
Psalm 143:8 Listen to the Lord. David knows that he needs to hear from God. He needs to be assured of God’s love and kindness. He needs God’s attention and directions.
Psalm 143:9 Pray for deliverance. Once again David declares that only God can help him. Please notice that throughout this discourse, he keeps his mind on God and not on the problem.
Psalm 143:10 Seek God’s wisdom, knowledge, and leadership. Perhaps David is indicating that he has gotten out of the will of God and thus opened the door to the attack on his soul. He wants to be in God’s will because he realizes that it is the only safe place to be. Then he requests that God help him to be stable. He wants his unsettled emotions to be level — not up and down.
I encourage you to meditate on God’s word and apply its principles to your life. Let it bring you freedom and peace.
A Psalm of David
Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, and in Your righteousness.
- And enter not into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no man living is (in himself) righteous or justified. (Ps. 130:3; Rom 3:20-26; Gal. 2:16)
- 3. For the enemy has pursued and persecuted my soul, he has crushed my life down to the ground; he has made me dwell in dark places as those who have long been dead.
- Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed and faints within me (wrapped in gloom); my heart within by bosom grows numb.
- I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I ponder the work of Your hands.
- I spread further my hands to You; my soul thirsts after You like a thirsty land (for water). Selah (pause, and calmly think of that!)
- Answer me speedily, O Lord, my spirit fails; hide not Your face from me, lest I become like those who go down into the pit (the grave).
- Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to you.
- Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I flee to You to hide me.
- Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me into a level country and into the land of uprightness.
- Save my life, O Lord, for Your name’s sake; in Your righteousness, bring my life out of trouble and free from distress.
- And in Your mercy and loving kindness, cut off my enemies and destroy all those who afflict my inner self, for I am Your servant.
Personally, from early childhood onwards, my experiences were fairly traumatic, but also repressed for many years, so I acted out until I spent some time talking to a psychologist to deal with the experiences and the related emotions, enrolled in York University with the intent to become a psychologist, which unexpectedly resulted in my leaving university in my second year to write to help people rather than sit in a room as a counselor.
My decision resulted in a series of life changes that people dear to me did not like or approve of, which stunned me for awhile, yet ultimately set me on a course for the work I am doing now … transforming respect from a discretionary value to a principle on a global level with my social business venture, Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle.
Like anyone who ventures into trying new things, experimenting with ideas, and taking risks, there are always mistakes and disappointments to be experienced, which in the end can make us stronger, yet also cause bouts of “normal, relatively short-lived, and damnably frequent depression. Like many other people, I have had to learn a new way of seeing things and handling them after my earlier experiences and responses which worked to a point. But like David, as a believer again, I now turn to God rather than try to do everything myself.
The result? A return to peace because of faith and trust in God because the work I am doing and me are His … accepted by my free will … because the life I experienced before was filled with much pain, worry, anxiety, grief, and a lot of sadness, whereas now, only when I slip out of faith do I experience what once clouded my perspective and at times ruled my life, but much less since I know asking God to do what no one else or I can do has proven to be the best solution.
I hope my sharing this will shine the light on any darkness in your life … because you and your quality of life matter too.
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier
Founder/President of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle
May 9, 2017
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier, Founder/President of Connecting the Dots … with The Respect Principle … the for-profit social business venture raising Respect Levels with original entertaining, educational, and inspirational books, products, and services. ©All Rights Reserved 2016