Depression from a Christian Perspective
As a Christian, you may wonder how it is possible for you to be depressed. With God by your side, you should not feel the helplessness and sense of isolation that you are feeling. You may doubt your relationship with Jesus, and even harbor thoughts of suicide. If such thoughts have driven you to use addictive substances, you may also feel enormous guilt and shame. Depression is a serious mental health problem that affects more than 15% of American adults, many of them Christians. The condition is a brain disorder involving the neural transmitters that regulate the brain’s mood centers. Genetics, biological changes in the brain, stress, trauma, and hormonal imbalances also play a role in the development of depression. The condition can interrupt your life, making it difficult to continue with ordinary activities like work, family interaction, and for Christians, maintaining a spiritual connection with God.
Signs of Serious Depression
• Feelings of extreme sadness, grief, or helplessness
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Under- or overeating
• Anxiety, irritability & frustration
• Inability to concentrate or make decisions
• Loss of interest in day-to-day activities
• Extreme tiredness & unexplained pain
• Overuse of drugs or alcohol
• Fixation on past failures or thoughts of death
Addiction and Depression Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Depression is not an illness you can fix by yourself. Its diagnosis requires a thorough mental and physical health assessment by trained professionals. When drug and alcohol abuse co-occur with depression, it is necessary that both conditions be recognized and treated at the same time. For someone struggling with these circumstances, the first step is safe, comfortable detox. Only then, after the addictive substances have left the body, can an accurate diagnosis of depression be made and a treatment plan put in place.
Although depression is a serious medical condition, there are effective treatments for it. Non-habit forming medications are used to re-regulate brain chemicals. Individual psychological counseling and group therapy help patients identify irrational beliefs and unsupported emotional responses. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), grief counseling, and trauma therapy help to work through attitudes and thoughts that may trigger unhealthy behavior. Additionally, life skills training, good nutrition, physical exercise, and medication management give patients tools to cope with stress and stick with the treatment plan.
The Spiritual Component
Many Christians worry that depression and addiction are character defects that make them unworthy of a loving relationship with God. This belief leaves them feeling spiritually bereft. For their treatment to be truly effective, they must find their way back to God’s redeeming grace. At Christians Drug Rehab, we know that complete recovery also requires a restoration of the spirit. Faith-based healing workshops, a Christian 12-Step Recovery program, pastoral counseling, and Celebrate Recovery meetings provide Christian support and guidance for those who are journeying toward healing.
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