Depression and Faith

Who here suffers from clinical depression?

How does your faith help you cope with your situation? Does it?

Disclaimer: It is prohibited by CAF rules to provide medical advice, so let’s please confine our discussion to the spiritual aspect of coping with depression and not exchange recommendations on therapy, medications, etc. :slight_smile:

I have found that having a spiritual counselor helps along with frequent reconciliation (every 1-2 weeks). Also, going to Mass as often as possible, the Rosary/Novenas, and sitting down to go over an examination of conscience thoroughly each day helps when things get really bad. My favorite Novena is Our Lady Undoer of Knots.

Praying for others who are alone & in the similar situation you find yourself can help because it helps to focus love of others through Christ, which then helps to adjust the thoughts & feelings of the self on the love of Christ & others…at least in my case it seems to help.

I suffer from clinical depression as part of my schizoaffective disorder.

My faith is both a help and a hindrance. You have asked how it helps, so I will focus on that :slight_smile:

My faith gives me a reason to keep going, keep trying and keep living. It often brings me solace and a sense that someone is there who cares and has got control of the situation, even if I don’t :blush: Due to strong beliefs about the sanctity of life, even though I have suicidal thoughts and tendencies I very rarely give in, because I believe my life is not belonging to me, but to God; also, that somehow with and through these illnesses, I can bring glory to God’s name and share Him and His love with others :thumbsup:

I kind of feel the same way.

How is it a hindrance to you?

I was abused by someone, and the abuse happened mostly in/around a chapel at my university (I should hasten to add it was not sexual abuse - more psychological - and it was not at the hands of clergy). So churches and anything to do with Christianity is a constant reminder of that and sometimes a trigger for my psychosis.

Although I have a strong faith, I do spend a lot of time wondering why God let all this happen to me in a chapel, of all places :shrug: These kind of doubts contribute a lot to my poor state of mental health :frowning:

sometimes keeping yourself busy would help a lot. Too much spirituality triggers self-analysis and depression as in my case. I was fond of Ignatian Contemplation and Meditation for my daily prayer. I frequented the Blessed Sacrament and all those meditation. It turned out to be really dangerous when done alone after a traumatic experience—I constantly wept, cried and became depressed (these self-analysis prayers opened up constantly my wounds). So I really stopped it and only do it in the context of the community. I mean, I could not really discern whatever the Holy Spirit was telling me. I was only seeing myself. Since I could not stop prayer, God showed me another road through vocal prayers: Divine Mercy, Rosary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena.

Yes, I also went through some suicidal thoughts. It comes usually when I am not pleased with my day, when I’m complaining with a lot of things and perhaps some hormonal thing , but I noticed that if I beg to God to drive this demonic thoughts, he gives me the grace.

So

  1. simply pray to the Holy Spirit to banish from you such depressive thoughts, everyday
  2. ask for intercession from St. Michael to defend you from depressive thoughts.
  3. You have to fight and change your attitude (there may be some hormonal factors but then it’s also a choice to give in to depression or not). Bad attitude worsens it and playing the victims role.
  4. I also believe that if you offer your suffering to God, it would benefit many souls. That’s what I do when I’m attacked–I see it as an opportunity to help and heal the mystical body of Christ (For instance, I imagine the body of Christ crucified and I recall that every soul is a part of the body of Christ. I offer my sufferings to them/ HIM. I imagine them being healed). I feel this prayer is very powerful and I noticed that this is really pleasing to Christ.
  5. Believe that this is also our mission (for those suffering from psychological/mental disorders) we are called to heal and participate in the redemptive act of Christ by our intercession to other souls. Since we feel pain more vividly, we also feel Christ more closely—and his suffering.

I don’t have depression but have been diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD. My faith has given me something to focus some energy on. I arrive to mass bout 30 min early to pray, clear my mind, etc. I know it doesn’t seem like much but by the time I leave mass, I feel so much more calm and relaxed.

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