HEALING HURTS :: Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic about twice as many women as men experience depression. Let’s examine a few factors that increase a woman’s risk of depression.

Puberty: emerging sexuality and identity issues; parental conflicts; school pressures
Premenstrual problems: cyclical hormones changes disrupts brain chemicals that control moods.
Pregnancy: hormonal changes affect moods; mixed feelings about pregnancy; relationship issues
Postpartum depression: anxiety, inability to care for baby, thoughts of suicide
Perimenopause and menopause: erratically fluctuating hormone levels


Aside from hormone and chemical imbalances, all too often we allow life situations and culture to send us into anxiety and depression. When life isn’t going our way we may throw an emotional temper tantrum because God isn’t doing things our way. In time the anger takes root and grows into depression.

As Christian women, how can we overcome anxiety and depression?

Give up the illusion of control.
We must realize only God has the power to control how our lives play out.

Let your emotions lead you to ask questions.
Rather than ignore the depression, face your feelings and ask, “What’s going on? Why do I feel this way?”
Turn worries into prayers.
When anxiety hits, pray! Unlike worry, prayer accomplishes something positive. 
Discipline your mind.
Think about what you’re thinking about! Instead of problems focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (Phil.4:8) You can’t be depressed and do this! 
Don’t blame illness when the problem is poor choices.
Half our problems we bring on ourselves by bad decisions we’ve made. Taking responsibility for our attitudes and actions leads to maturity and healing.
Exercise discernment considering medication.
Pray for wisdom to discern emotional stress from a true medical condition.

Check to see if physical symptoms are tied to feelings.
Are you sleeping, have stomach problems, headaches, etc… See a doctor if physical symptoms continue.

Let go of what you cant change, change what you can.
Stop trying to change things that are out of your control. Let go and let God!

Look for meaning in your suffering.
Ask God to help you learn what He wants you to learn in your time of trouble, so that you can help others in the future.

Pray for the right perspective.
Ask God to show you His perspective on the situations that are troubling you. This will help you make better choices.

Forget about suicide!
More than anything else, if you are considering suicide, PLEASE TALK TO SOMEONE! Know that there is always hope. Turn to God and trust Him with your life. Things will get better.

Make time for rest and relaxation.
Overwork, lack of sleep can cause a great deal of anxiety and depression. Take time to enjoy life, play games, soak in a hot bath, walk the dogs… Whatever can help you relax… Do it! 

Change the way you talk to yourself.
We must recognize the negative recordings that play in our head. To change them, find scriptures that you can write into declarations and speak them over your life. If you don’t know any, email me and I’ll send you some!

Tap into the power of forgiveness.
Often we can forgive others, but can’t forgive ourselves. Ask God to show you any area where you need help with forgiveness. 

Draw strength from Scripture.
Most importantly, let the Truth of God’s Word refresh your mind and soul. Read, study and meditate on Scripture daily. It will make you glad!

Take a few moments and relax with this video of Darlene Zschech singing “Made Me Glad”

**Excerpts from Crosswalk.com “Overcome Anxiety and Depression” by Whitney Hopler;
MayoClinic.com “Depression in Women: Understanding the gender gap”

Copyright © Reaching Hurting Women Blog

Healing Hurts :: DENIAL

We started the first week of the year working Step One. Next, I shared a review of my new favorite book. And in week three we started our series Virtues-n-Vices with the topic of Honesty. This week we begin a series of posts called Healing Hurts with the focus today on Denial.

Denial: is a defense mechanism in which a person, faced with an uncomfortable fact, rejects it, insisting that it isn’t true despite overwhelming evidence. It’s an unrealistic hope that a problem is not really happening.

We use one of the following…

  • Simple denial: denying the reality of the unpleasant reality altogether.
  • Minimization: admitting the reality but denying it’s seriousness (rationalization).
  • Projection: admit both the reality and the seriousness but deny any responsibility.
Denial, a type of pain reliever, represses stressful thoughts from the mind; whether subconsciously or consciously, the goal is to avoid dealing with the situation or problem. People expend exhausting amounts of energy maintaining their denial state.

Denial is serious. We can’t heal as long as we pretend our hurts don’t exist.

The Celebrate Recovery Bible lists six negative effects DENIAL has on our lives:

– isables our feelings
E – nergy drain
– egates our growth
I  – solates us from God
– lienates us from other human relationships
– engthens our pain

The bottom line…
The faster we engage (feel) our feelings, even though it hurts, the quicker the pain will end and our life will truly be happier.

God will be with us if we will just let Him into the pain with us.
Press through the pain, step out of denial into the victory of freedom! Trust God, He will take care of you!

Listen to this sweet song as you receive God’s help…

Copyright © 2012 Reaching Hurting Women Ministry

Heart Affections

“The nature of human beings is to be inactive unless influenced by some affection; love or hatred, desire, hope, fear, etc. These affections are the ‘spring of action,’ the things that set us moving in our lives, that move us to engage in activities.” ~ Jonathan Edwards

Our heart affections, desires and dreams, determine our actions; which in turn, will determine our future. But without our will being put in place to take action these desires and dreams never take life. 

For as she thinks in her heart, so is she.~ Proverbs 23:7
The actions of our will are a barometer, a visual side effect, of the deeper, inner affections of our heart and soul. Good or bad, what our heart desires can and will come about. This is why it is critical that we guard what’s in our hearts.
Sick inside : sick outside.
Healthy inside : Healthy outside 

What’s affecting your heart today?  

Photo courtesy of 123RF Stock Photos