I love springtime in Michigan!! Springtime is invigorating because it follows the darkest, coldest season of the year. Winters can be long, cold, and depressing, but thank God they do not last forever. Spring ALWAYS comes, even when we wonder if it ever will. Spring is a time when people emerge from their homes with smiles on their faces and a walk in their step. Many are out cleaning up what was left undone during the cold winter months. We can hear birds chirping, see trees in full bloom; feel the warmth of the sun; and smell worms after an April rain. We feel alive again after being shut up for so long.
One of my favorite things about spring is seeing the beauty of so many trees filled with flowers. I love flowers!! Every year, the same excitement wells up within me as if I’m seeing them for the first time. Sometimes I wonder if people tire of me pointing them out year after year. I just can’t help myself. I feel like God gives them to me to energize me and send me on my way. He lets me know that I am special and He is not done with me yet. He still has more for me to do.
Flowers motivate us and let us know we are loved and life is worth living. Think about it! When someone passes away, funeral homes are usually filled with flowers to let loved ones know that they are special and there is still a life to be lived. On Valentine’s Day, so often a man will bring his love flowers to let her know that she holds an extraordinary place in his heart. When someone is sick or feeling down, often flowers are brought to cheer the person up. Yes, flowers are special!!
Maybe you’ve been going through a cold, dark season in your life. I can assure you there is an end and spring is here!! Whenever you see a flower, know that God placed it there just for you and you hold a special place in His heart. He wants you to know that you are loved and unique. Like that flower, you are one-of-a-kind, created for a purpose that only you can fulfill. Trees filled with flowers are God’s bouquets to you!! You have a life to be lived and a purpose to be fulfilled! Get up and go!! It’s time to go clean up the debris from the past so you can live your life to the fullest and complete the purpose you were created for!!
Thank you God for spring!!!
By: Linda Svacha 🙂
Depression can affect anyone:
- One in five people will experience significant and persistent levels of depression.
- Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression. (Gotta love those hormones. lol)
- More people miss work because of depression than because of diabetes and heart disease.
- Eighty-five percent of women will have “the baby blues” after delivering their baby.
- Eight to fifteen percent will have more severe symptoms after delivery.
- Depression affects more people than just the depressed person. Family members, friends, and co-workers are affected, as well.
What is Depression? Depression is when a person feels sad, unhappy, miserable, or “down-in-the-dumps” for more than one to two weeks. Depression interferes with your everyday living.
There are different kinds of depression:
- Clinical Depression ~ A sad mood that goes beyond one to two weeks.
- Seasonal Depression ~ Your mood matches the seasons. In the summer, you feel happy and bright. In the winter, you feel dark and dreary.
- Post-partum ~ Due to the drop in estrogen levels, many women feel down and sad when they should be experiencing joy and happiness.
- Childhood ~ About two percent of grade school and ten percent of teenagers will suffer depression.
Some of the symptoms of depression are:
- Loss of interest in activities once found enjoyable
- Haunted with a sense of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness
- Thoughts of death and suicide
- Decreased energy
- Sleeping problems: Insomnia, early morning waking, or sleeping excessively
- Persistent aches, pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Loss of concentration and ability to make good decisions
There are many different causes that lead to depression.
- Altered brain structure and/or chemical imbalance
- Hormonal ~ Estrogen acts as a serotonin multiplier. Estrogen levels drop before the onset of a period. Estrogen levels are high during pregnancy and drop after. (This is why so many women suffer from the “baby blues”) Feeling down after pregnancy is very common and natural.
- Thyroid abnormalities
- Nutritional shortages such as B-12, iron, and Vitamin D
- Stressful and Traumatic Events:
- Loss of a close loved one
- Natural disaster such as tornados, fire, hurricane, and war
- Job loss
- Suffering abuse ~ physical, sexual, or emotional
- Life style:
- Living in a stressful environment
- Having an excess of stress in your daily life
- No social interaction
- Living contrary to God’s commands
- Drugs, alcohol, pornography, food, shopping, etc. Addictions put you on a serotonin high and crash cycle. You have to continue your addiction just to “feel normal.” Your body then needs more and more to feel good.
The good news is that seventy-five to eighty percent of all depression is treatable. Here are some of the treatments offered:
- Talk Therapy: This therapy is great for mild to moderate depression.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-helps change thoughts and behaviors that contribute to depression.
- Interpersonal Therapy-helps you to see how your relationships impact your moods.
- Psychodynamic Therapy-helps with unresolved issues and unconscious feelings.
- Medications: Anti-depressants (serotonin helpers). In some cases, it is good to have talk therapy, as well. Many times life situations need to be worked out and anti-depressants can be an easy way out. By doing both, in many cases, people are able to work through the issues causing the depression and will no longer need the anti-depressants. Note: some anti-depressants can cause weight gain and sexual dysfunction.
- Stay healthy by exercising, making sure you are not deficient nutritionally, avoid junk food, salt, and caffeine, and make sure you are getting enough sleep (your body makes serotonin while you sleep).
- Educate yourself concerning depression.
- Chart your cycles to see if there is a pattern around your cycle (females)
- ElectroconvulsiveTtherapy (ECT)-This is used for major depression. Electric charges create a controlled seizure. ECT helps 80-90% of the time.
- Light Therapy.
Some Christians will look down on those who suffer from depression. They will say if the person would have more faith and trust, they would not be depressed. We can see with all the different causes that is not always the case. There were people in the Bible who suffered from depression for different reasons, as well.
- Job ~ Job was hit with many loses in a short amount of time. Multiple loses can tax your coping abilities. Sadness is there to let us know that something is not right. Grief is a natural emotion when you experience a loss.
- David ~ Psalm 38 ~ David experienced great sorrow and sadness stemming back to his sin with Bathsheba. Sin separates us from fellowshipping with God which causes great sadness.
- Elijah ~ I Kings 18:20-19:21 ~ Elijah had just experienced a great victory, yet when Jezebel was going after him to take his life, he suffered depression causing his thinking to become faulty. God was gracious with Elijah to help him out of his depression.
- Saul ~ I Samuel 15:1-26, 6:14-17 ~ Saul disobeyed God. He was removed from being a king. The Bible says that the Spirit of the Lord left Saul and a distressing spirit from the Lord came upon him.
We can see that at times sin is the root of depression, other times it has to do with medical issues, or is due to a loss. If you are suffering from depression, do not be ashamed to go seek the help necessary to get to the root of the depression. When you know the cause, measures can be taken to help cure the depression. Years ago, they did not have an understanding of the causes like they do today. Just think how many could have been helped properly had doctors known what they do today. Don’t be ashamed; go and seek the necessary help you need.
Most of the information presented was received from the following sources:
A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001941/
American Association of Christian Counselors. Extraordinary Women: Women and Depression