Today’s blog post is a guest post by my friend, Bob Bennett. Bob has struggled through the pain of depression and shares his story through speaking engagements. More of his thoughts on depression can be found at victoryoverdepression.wordpress.com or on Facebook at Victory over Depression.
Holiday time is now upon us. Thanksgiving, Christmas (the birth of Jesus), New Years 2015, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays are to make this a peaceful, enjoyable time of year. Snow, caroling, family get together, lots of food, and family love all lead to the peace and tranquility of the holiday season.
Unfortunately, though, a cloud of darkness hovers over many lives during the holidays. For many, it is the most difficult time of year to live through. Depression becomes an epidemic during this time. It becomes a very lonely time.
Also during the holidays, some grieve over the loss of a loved one. Others are just plain lonely people who are envious of those who enjoy life during the holiday season.
From one who suffered depression for decades, I have a good understanding about depression. For many, depression develops over many years. Depression is primarily due to a deeply, wounded heart that has never been healed. When adverse circumstances and trials occur, most are not handled in a productive, healthy way. Thus, (1) depression increases, (2) the pain of a broken heart increases, and (3) withdrawal from people and society becomes more common.
Grieving the death of a love one during the holidays. is understandable This is very understandable when it occurs before the first holiday season. The reality of the deep void is unbearable. A love one is no longer there. An empty chair shows the memories of the pain and the void. (Also, experiencing the void and grief two or three years later is still very understandable.)
A challenge, however, is not permitting the pain to affect other loved ones. (Each person is affected in her own way with the death.) There comes a time when too much grief can easily turn into depression. For as painful the death of a loved one is, it is critical not to make the loss affect other family members and close friends during the holidays.
The entire family and close friends suffer the loss of a loved one. However, it is wrong to permit the grief to turn into depression. (Grieving too long can easily become depression.) Other family members and close friends suffer unnecessarily if one has depression.
However, there comes a time when one grieving must go forward, to move on. This is especially important for the well-being of the person, and children and adolescents. One certainly does not want to drag children and adolescents into someone’s self-pity of depression.
For the Christian, depression during the holidays is not suppose to occur. Reality though shows otherwise. Christian depression is certainly an epidemic.
As much as Christians believe Jesus is the answer to everything, many suffer with horrendous depression. I was one of them for decades. The victory over depression I have learned is CHRIST IN YOU.
For the holiday season, the Christian’s primary focus is Christmas Day – celebrating the birth of Jesus the Savior. The birth of a baby is indeed good news.
The Christian, however, must focus beyond the manger and look to the cross. He must reflect daily that Jesus was born to die and rise from the dead. He is to bring “Christ in you” into the midst of his everyday life.
This is how the Christian avoids depression during the holidays. He is challenged to not look at Holiday Depression, but look at the Babe of Bethlehem. Look beyond Christmas Day and see why Jesus died and rose from the dead. He celebrates Jesus is His everyday life.
This is how depression is avoided and defeated:
CHRIST IN YOU is why you live above depression
CHRIST IN YOU is Who you focus on during the holidays.
CHRIST IN YOU is Who you see in the manger Christmas morning.
CHRIST IN YOU is Who you see going to a cross in your place.
CHRIST IN YOU is Who you see risen and alive living in you.
CHRIST IN YOU is Who you see in you everyday of the holidays.
CHRIST IN YOU is Who you see everyday of every year.
CHRIST IN YOU will overwhelm you with His love.
CHRIST IN YOU is Victory Over Depression (VOD).
In fact, CHRIST IN YOU is Victory Over Everything.
For those suffering depression this holiday season, I pray CHRIST IN ME use what I shared in this blog to draw you closer to His heart, and rise and live above depression.
For those grieving this holiday, I pray God continue to touch your heart and comfort you during this holiday season. I pray for you every day. May God show you when to gradually release your grief so it does not become depression.
*** Enjoy The Holidays ***
***** Jesus Is The Reason For EVERY Season. *****
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.