Faith and Depression
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Title: Faith Healing and Depression? Author: Dave Turo-Shields,
ACSW, LCSW E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright: by Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW Web Address:
http://www.Overcoming-Depression.com Word Count: 948 Category:
Don't worry, I'm not going to get in the pulpit but I will
challenge you to take an objective look at what faith may be
able to do for your depression. In doing so, we'll be looking at
many people who use faith in different ways.
Did you know that someone who practices healing touch, such as
Reiki, which is simply prayer by channeling God's love and
healing energy, can help a hospital patient's wound heal up to 5
Were you aware that the great majority of happily married
couples, couples married 50 years and longer report in public
polls a long and strong faith background? Measure that up
against today's divorce rates!
Did you know that devout Christians have fewer health problems
and live an average of 7 years longer than non- believers?
Most helping professionals, including psychotherapists, never
touch this area of faith in recovery from depression.
Why? Well, I could talk long and hard about this single issue,
but I want to keep the focus on your recovery, so I'll just
tease this out a little bit. We currently live in an
ultra-independent society (United States). Most things only have
value if they can stand on their own. Yes, this particularly
applies to us Americans. But, we've also separated church and
state, medicine and spirituality, healing and faith, and on and
on. I say enough of this immature, black-and-white approach to
life. It's hurting us to live this way and it's time to reclaim
interdependence and begin living holistically again.
Christians are disrespected and often under attack. Most never
talk about their Christian beliefs in public for fear of
reprisal. Others are too embarrassed to admit that they question
the existence of God or are extremely disappointed in God for
one reason or another. Of course, then there are Christian
hypocrites who greatly embarrass Christians of good integrity
and give Christianity a bad rap. Being fair though, I've met
many wonderful Christians, but I've never met a non-hypocrite.
We're all human after all. ;-)
What is the status of your belief in God or a Higher Power?
Remember, you're only answering to yourself as you read this so
p-l-e-a-s-e be honest with yourself. Who or what is God to you?
What kind of a God or Higher Power do you believe in? Are you in
need of a God-belief makeover?
Have you ever wondered if God would help little ol' you and your
depression? Have you tried this angle? Have you given God the
opportunity to BE WITH you as you struggle? Or have you already
put your own judgment above God's and sunk yourself into the
quicksand of self-disgust and despair?
You see, I know. In my deepest depression days I judged myself
unworthy of God's healing embrace. I didn't deserve it. I felt
humiliated to even consider it. There may even be evil in
chronic depression, insofar as it loved the awful things I
thought of myself -- it kept me from a relationship with God, it
kept me from healing and it kept depression growing stronger and
I'm not preaching God or a Higher Power as the ONE and ONLY
answer. That would be joining those I've criticized above. Of
course there are Christians who become depressed, and some
depressed Christians already pray ardently to God for relief
from their suffering. I am simply hoping to get your attention
for a moment.
Belief in something bigger than you is one powerful resource
that you can tap into this very moment. When added to the many
other available depression support resources I have offered and
will continue to write about... Wow, you'll become unstoppable
in your recovery.
Here are five suggestions for you to begin your new journey.
1. The 3rd Step Prayer from page 63 of Alcoholics Anonymous, one
of the best kept secrets around.
"I offer myself to you, to build with me and to do with me as
you will. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better
serve you. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may
bear witness to those I would have of your power, your love and
your way of life. May I do your will always. Amen."
2. This is thanks to my good friend Jill: Visual Prayer Cards -
a wonderfully creative way in which to connect and develop an
ongoing relationship with God. You can find more information
here: www.comfortqueen.com/cgi- local/print.cgi?results.html?291
3. And thanks to my good friend Nancy for this next resource --
the Encouragement Bible was developed by Dave & Jan Dravecky and
Joni Eareckson. Find more about how to order it here:
4. Sit and imagine the most peaceful scene you can in the
theatre of your mind. Now imagine God joining you in this scene
and the two of you spending some time together, perhaps just
holding you in His arms for 5 minutes per day. Do this on a
regular basis and watch the results.
5. Begin a Prayer Journal. Here's a sample outline for your
entries. Begin with 5 gratitudes. Then list one item having to
do with your depression recovery and request God's help in this
area. End with a "Caught Ya!" section, where you document any
time you caught God in action during your day, whether in your
life or in life around you. Look for the "God shot!" It can be
simple or profound. For example, you realized you were
daydreaming while driving, but only noticed this after you
"safely" and unconsciously ran through a red light at a busy
intersection and no one got hurt.
May God's love surround you like a cleansing white light.