By: Rick Qualls
What does depression look like? It wears many faces. Here are some of the common signs. You experience depressed affect or feel down for more than two weeks. You lose interest in things that once brought you pleasure. Fatigue makes it hard to get out of bed. You have no energy to do required tasks, even personal care habits. Irritability takes many forms even anger that comes from nowhere.
Eating may increase or decrease. Your emotions may be uncontrollable, as suddenly bursting into tears. Thoughts such as, They would be better to be without me. Or I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up.” , may pop into your mind. Destructive thoughts may take over your mind.
Psalms 42 and 43 describe the symptoms of depression. the psalmist is so desperately thirst for God that his “tears are his food day and night.” Accusers mock him , just as depression mocks us with thoughts of being unworthy and helpless. The writer of Psalms remembers leaving processions into the temple with singing and joy. But even remembering does not help, it causes his soul to be downcast.
Likewise for us, remembering joyful times remind us that there will be a time when life will return to normal. It is healthy to remember that day we will again sing with joy. Remembering the years of blessings give us hope when we feel defeated.
Psalm 43 continues where 42 leave off. Here we see a gradual improvement in the Psalmist’s mood. He writes, “Why are you downcast O my soul? Why are you so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
We too will have to travel through the struggle to arrive on the other side. Remember, thoughts of hopelessness are a distortion of reality. In our desert, we must trust that Jesus is the water of life.
“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give will become in them a spring of water welling up to every life.” John 4:14