Shared by Andee Vosters on 2/14/15

“Damn, I hate depression. There’s nothing more saddening than a disorder that tricks amazing people into believing they are completely worthless.” –Unknown

Someone you know is struggling with their self-worth. Depression and other mental disorders affect 26% of Americans 18 and older. That’s one in every four of us.

Here are some tips if you’re the one who’s struggling.

1) Become aware of how to best spend your time. And spend it that way.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you get your energy from within yourself, or from others? Too much time in the company of others is dangerous for an introvert, and too much alone time is toxic for an extrovert.

2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The truth is, people want to help you, they just need to be asked.

3) Know that you are not alone.
And that you are loved. And understood. Depression makes you think you are on an island, but you’re not. If your friends and family aren’t fitting the bill, seek professional help. (Andee has a great recommendation for a grief counselor, email her at andeev@yahoo.com.)

4) Find what fans your flame.
Your fan doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Just find it, and love the heck out of it.

5) Know that what you’re dealing with is real.
Be strong in standing up for your feelings. Not everyone has thin skin like you do, so if hearing advice like “get over it,” “cheer up,” or “it’s not that big of a deal” makes you feel worse, let that person know their advice is detrimental. But then go the extra step to tell them what you do need. Do you need advice? Ask for it. A hug? Say it. Someone to jump in the fox hole and wallow with you for five minutes? Tell them so. But…if you pick the fox hole, don’t wallow too long. Pity loves a party, so set a time for the party to end.

6) Listen to Christian music.
Enough said.

7) Pick the one thing that bothers you most. Figure out what questions you have. Be relentless in finding answers. Move on.
Only light can cast out darkness. Don’t let an issue in your life eat you alive. Turn over every stone and move on when you’re done.

8) Love the idea of therapy.
If you feel ashamed about the idea of therapy, because you’re afraid of what your friends or family might think, then maybe they should be the ones who need to feel ashamed. If you think about it, massages soothe our physical muscles and therapy relaxes our mental muscles. And one of those two is widely considered a luxury. Personally, I think everyone should go to therapy, whether they think they need it or not. Everyone could use a bubble bath for their brain once in a while.

9) Find a way to pray that works for you.
Building an actual relationship with God takes time and energy, just like relationships do here on earth. It requires open communication. So find a way that you feel comfortable talking to God. It doesn’t have to include fancy words, or even words at all. If you really can’t think of something to say, just say Jesus’ name. He knows what you’re thinking anyway.

10) If there’s one verse in the Bible you should adopt as your mantra, it’s…
“Give us this day our daily bread.” This is us asking the Lord to provide for, and only for, the day at hand. Faith in God means we put our trials and fears in His hands and believe that he will get us through today, with the anticipation of tomorrow being premature, and any regrets of yesterday obsolete. Notice we do not say, “Lord, these next few weeks are going to be stressful, please stock me up real good.” Nor do we say, “Lord, I’m still full from yesterday. Thanks anyway.” No. We say, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Because God intends for us to take life one day at a time. It is not our job to worry about problems, it is simply our job to rise above them with the tools God provides us.

11) Surround yourself with godly people.
If you want to be like them, be with them. Surround yourself by people who make you become a better person. The cool thing about being with godly people is it changes you. When you have godly people praying for you and with you, good things start happening exponentially. You start becoming a godly person yourself.

On the flip side of that,

12) Remove toxins.
Whether it’s people or things, if something in your life isn’t helping you to be the best version of yourself, remove it.

13) Travel.
And go somewhere that challenges your comfort zone. You’ll lose yourself and find yourself at the same time.

14) God made you exactly how he wanted you to be.
Fr. Ron of St. John’s Church said, “God made you exactly the way he did because he wants you exactly the way you are.” Embrace who you are.

Sensitivity can be a blessing. Depression can be a blessing. Each one of us in life is given battles. God’s not interested in handing out trials and tribulations; he’s just there to help you through them. He can turn anything into a gift, he just expects you to use it for good.

Depression has a way of making you feel like you are worthless, but the grace of God will give you a new perspective.

What’s your biggest flaw? Take a load off, knowing God gave you the courage to use that as a gift. Now it’s up to you to use it. Your suffering can be your sermon.

And I don’t know how I forgot to add add it, but #15 – Journal! You’ll thank yourself later.