I have battled intense stress and suicidal thoughts almost every week for over a decade without medication or professional psychological visits. I am not opposed to the use of psychiatry, counseling or most forms of therapy. However, I personally could not afford it without significant financial consequences to my family, affecting my medical records, talking to someone will not get me out of my current situation, and it is in my personality or nature to research solutions and seek God before seeking such help.
The purpose of this article is not to discuss what is stress or depression or where it comes from; it is meant to supplement our work on Overcoming SUICIDE and SEVERE DEPRESSION This editorial will examine several ways to relieve intense stress, pressure, anxiety and or depression. Before beginning consider I personally have experienced: the death and loss of a parent, grandparent, and friends; years of financial stress; feeling like a failure or loser; serious marital problems; life’s regrets; loss of close friendships; the inability due to age to go back to Law School or Grad-school and change my occupation; loss of business by close friends, family and even my pastor (after justified conflict) to other sources for the same exact product (insurances; investments); raising four children; and a myriad of things we must endure in life.
If you are on the edge and are struggling even to finish this page – there are many that truly desire to help (1-800-784-2433 (SUICIDE) and 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). However, depression and suicide is a battle; and for some it lasts a lifetime. Thus, understanding the causes (DEPRESSION: Disease, Disorder, Choice and or spirit) and solutions are extremely important. A great many of the approximate 1 million people who will commit suicide, or of the 10-30 million that will attempt suicide annually in the world; as well as of the 200 to 300+ million people globally that suffer from moderate to severe depression, can find relief through one or more of the following ways.
Virtually for nearly all people, every method (including drug and counseling therapy) provides only temporary relief – whether for days, weeks or until the next application. Below are about a dozen methods of temporary and permanent relief, including many suggested by secular professionals, as well as spiritual solutions. Before getting to those solutions that could help most people; there are some who are in such serious and terrible abusive crisis that they deserve the first look and care.
May need to Get OUT of your Situation for Permanent Relief
There is normal abuse in the world. At times a parent, friend, teacher, training or employer may verbally go beyond what is reasonable or just. These things should and must be forgiven. Likewise, the occasional and appropriate level of whipping or spanking of a child is nothing to justify running away. And being rightly or wrongly passed over or demoted in work, school, athletics, etc. is common to all people and is a part of life we must face head on. This is not to say you should not quit a sport or look for another job – only be reasonable about the situation.
However, if you are being subjected to real abuse – sexually, physically or mental torture – then you should QUICKLY seek and find appropriate sources (professional, wise and reliable friends and/or family members, police, minister, priest, etc.) and explain to them your situation and weight their advice. Obviously, do not try and explain to your Abuser. And regardless of the advice of others; IF you are being beaten or raped or there is a reasonable expectation due to real evidence that your life is in danger or you will be sexually assaulted, THEN make a plan to GET OUT of your Situation immediately or asap (if you have children; remove them with yourself).
Understand, based on many surveys, about half of those abused return to their abuser when they could not afford to stay elsewhere or could not find another place. Some people can repent and change; but if there is no clear and spiritual sign of change – then, you should not be surprised to be abused again and again; therefore, do not stop seeking options.
For Sexual Assault, contact: 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE), www.rainn.org; for domestic violence or immediate danger contact 1-800-799-7233, www.domesticshelters.org; also 1-800-382-5603, www.familycrisiscenters.org; and of course seek help from trusted family and friends, as well as many large churches give aid and or have temporary shelters/homes for such cases.
Steps to Solutions
Like any problem with human beings; wisdom, reason and logic tells us to first identify the conditions. 1. What is causing your depression or anxiety condition? What in your body is causing or affecting the condition? Is it physical, mental (neurotransmitters, emotions, etc.) and or spiritual? Millions of people are suffering from undiagnosed conditions; like a cancer that is found to late after spreading through vital organs, severe depression can fill the soul or spirit and affect the multiple parts of the body. Many people suffer from fatigue and other health conditions that lead to anxiety and depression. Things like adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, nutrient deficiencies, or loss of muscle tissue could be root problems. See SOURCES of INFLUENCE
2 & 3: Examine your diet and adjust if needed. Certain foods can create inflammation in our bodies which often leads to depression. Studies show too much sugar, gluten and alcohol will harm the body (and of course illegal drugs will damage your body). It is debatable at which point dairy and caffeine becomes bad for you. Natural dairy products are naturally good for most humans; and caffeine is often used to treat severe headaches, boost energy levels and memory – but high levels can cause high blood pressure, decrease bone density and damage eyes, nerves and organs by causing high blood sugar.
Depression and obesity (unhealthy weight) often go hand in hand, directly related and causing each other. Unlike many traumatic experiences – the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, abuse, etc. – most people have flexibility to change their body and health (physically and mentally).
BMI = (Weight in Pounds / (Height in inches x Height in inches)) x 703
I know people that leave out entire food groups (grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, and diary) because they don’t like the taste of them. Eating from all the food groups is not only beneficial to our bodies; it is essential. Many people supplement with vitamin and mineral pills; by natural and fresh seem best.
Also, studies reveal that what is in stomach and intestines can be harming use and directly or indirectly affecting our health, energy and moods. Bacteria lives in our gut, as well as nerve cells that manufacture the vast majority (about 80+%) of our body’s serotonin (mood hormone). Nutritionists recommend dark green vegetables, garlic, onions, artichokes, leeks and probiotic foods, like active-culture yogurt. I also use virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to help my weekly gallbladder problems.
- Sleep and Rest (Naps). Ok I am one to talk, I average about 6 hours a day and often wake up after 3 or 4 hours to write or watch TV because of insomnia (I probably should take melatonin) – then go back for 1 or 2 hours not allowing RIM sleep. Children require much more sleep than adults (babies can spend 50% of sleep in REM and adults between about 20% to 25%) – their pituitary gland (growth; metabolism, etc.) works best during sleep and secretes HGH during REM. REM (rapid eye movement) typically begins after about 90 minutes of sleep and last in cycles of 90 to 120 minutes on average. During deep sleep stages, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle tissue, and strengthens the immune system.
5. Take Supplements and medication it absolutely necessary.
6 & 7, etc. Reduce Stress, Fine Purpose in your life, Monitor with reasonable flexibility, and Endure to the End.
Some Temporary Distractions
Watching TV or a good movie, playing a video or board game, doing art or a puzzle, or reading an interesting book can be outlets for very temporary relief. However, too much or the wrong video games or TV can not only lead to bad time management and choices, but can for many add to stress levels.
Discipline your Mind and Body: Temporary to Permanent Relief
Numerous studies prove EXERCISING according to your appropriate means provides great mental and physical benefits. And 15+ minutes of aerobic exercise or about 30 minutes of moderate activity triggers neurochemical that reduces stress hormones and stimulates production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Exercise can also increase energy levels and reduce excess naps, sleeping and grogginess (fatigue).
Regular exercise, even 10-minute walks, can be a significant factor in your stress/depression reduction arsenal. It is best if you can push yourself to do some dynamic tension (self-resistance) exercises (no exercise equipment required), and aerobic exercise (average 20 minutes a day if possible; jogging, cycling, brisk walking, swimming, dancing, etc.); also some strength training is beneficial. Children 5-17 should get at least 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity everyday – the vast majority do not! Do not forget to stretch before any exercise or sport.
Meditation, acupuncture, massage and deep breathing can provide temporary relief and cause your body to produce endorphins. But again, all of these require regular discipline and do not typically address the root cause of the stress or depression.
For a great many that suffer from severe depression, certain mental disorders (such as bipolar, PTSD or schizophrenia) and suicidal thoughts, a long or constant use of medication will be require. Additionally, counseling (usually professional) typically accompanies medicine. However, for millions with all forms of depression, anxiety and other disorders (such as eating disorders, alcohol related, or anxiety) there are other methods to provide relief.
Also consider, nearly every pharmaceutical manufacturer has been lost billions of dollars in class action lawsuits due lack of warnings and due to the side effects (including elevated blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, nausea, fatigue, birth defects, suicide) of their antidepressant (SSRI’s – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; third-generation SSRIs are from 1990s and newer such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft). Many antidepressants came from failed weight loss studies, where pharmaceutical companies looked for alternative uses and found that in moderate to severe depression they had some reasonable success; but at the same time caused side effects in many. Pharmaceutical companies facture lawsuits and insurance premiums into the cost of doing business; through most sincerely want cures, all certainly want profits.
Homosexuality / LGBT
New laws in some states such as California do not allow pastors to counsel LGBTs against their choices; and even professionals can be barred against ‘gay-conversion-therapy’ supported by groups like NARTH) and changed mindsets concerning the LGBT. LGBT lifestyle is a serious mental struggle, not because of the significantly increased risk of AIDS, but because of the immortality and confusion – emotions, spirits, opinions, advice and truths – all at play.
Before WWII, Sigmund Freud said, “Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of…. It cannot be classified as an illness…” In the 1950s and 1960s Alfred Kinsey biased studies were used to overturn old sodomy (Buggery) laws and support same-sex unions and later marriage. In 1973, centuries of agreement was ignored when the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Because Freud and Kinsey were bisexual and agnostic they turned away from religion and truth. If God is God and His word is truth (which are both correct), than homosexuality is not only a sin leading to hell to continued (1 Cor. 6:9; Heb. 10:26); but also an unnatural abomination to God (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:27). No matter have much love and or lust one may feel for another, there are times that it is simply fighting an unwinnable battle against the will and laws of the Lord God – such in the cases of adultery, homosexuality, rape, etc. Many may seem to live normal lives as LGBTs, but in the end their will be loss and judgment.
Just like most services performed by humans, counseling experiences can vary from extremely helpful to really terrible. The advice that counselors give or do not give (due to liability fears) can significantly affect those being counseled. If medication is required, I doctor such as a psychologists is required. But there are many types of counselors, including friends.
Often, such as in the case of children, teens and young adults, they desire help (understanding, talking, financial, emotional care, loving, etc.) from a close relative – usually a parent – and for various reasons real and affective communication is broken down. When the parent, grand-parent, sibling, guardian, pastor, friend, etc. does not fulfill their natural role; then, often a person will need someone else to fill that void – this is not to say that in many circumstances a professional is needed in addition to these.
In 2016, the National Health Interview Survey by the National Center for Health Statistics found that 3.6% of the American population suffered from serious psychological distress. Yet for many, counselling does not change their situation, and in frustration many have even committed suicide while receiving counselling and feeling no hope. Even professional counseling typically does not provide permanent relief; and for many, the see their therapist for years and even decades.
Note, according to the National Comorbidity Survey, approximately 22% of patients quit treatment ‘prematurely;’ for many of them the counseling did not treat the root cause or address spiritual solutions. Also, in poor nations counselling is not an option for tens of millions of people. And even in the U.K., in 2014, according to the NHS, in England it was reported that a little less than half of anxiety and depression sufferers who asked for help (433,000; 49%) received any treatment. People were caught in the delays or turned down and forced to coup with their situation and or find solutions on their own – and for many it is possible.
Spiritual Law, Forgiveness, Love and Purpose
Most people with severe depression and pressure/stress are dealing with a spiritual problem(s).
Judaism (Adam – Enoch – Noah – Abraham – Moses) came before all other religions and lead to Christianity [which came before Islam – though the Qur’an acknowledges the Torah and Injil (Gospel of Jesus Christ)]. In the Torah and both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible we are taught the 2 greatest commands of God: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30; see Deut. 6:4; 10:12).” Additionally, Christians are taught, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).”
If you truly want to know how to fight depression and stress; you will have to confront the TRUTH that we live in an emotional and spiritual world. And that we were created to help each other and for God’s pleasure (Rev. 4:11). And there are millions of human counselors in the world; but only ONE “Wonderful Counselor, mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” in the Universe.
FORGIVE yourself and those that hurt you. This does not mean you have to be associated with them; but forgiveness leads to bitterness and bitterness to physical and spiritual destruction. Be open to the LOVE of God and others that truly care.
If you will “cast your cares/burdens upon Him (Jesus Christ); he will care for you; but your adversary the devil and his spirits go about seeking to depress and devour whom they may; (learn to) resist steadfast in the faith (1 Peter 5:7-9).”
Meditation, Prayer and Worship
Many find relaxation in meditation; but meditation with the Word and Spirit of God, along with prayer truly brings “the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord (Isa. 11:2).”
Now, for me the deepest relief from depression comes during deep worship of my God and King – the Lord Jesus Christ. General prayer, praise and worship can be done almost anytime; but deep worship involved directional focus and freedom from all other things. And from some there is a method to this process (although time is relative and varies).
- Enter the Lord’s Courts (atmosphere; church; your personal prayer space; etc.) with “thanks and praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name (Psa. 100:4).” God is “worthy” of our all; but if you want something understand “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).” Offer Praise and Thanksgiving on the Altar of Offering (Jesus Christ – the Holy Son and Lamb of God was and is the only Burnt Offering that will cleanse us from sin).
- Yet, “we know that God does not listen to sinners (except with repentance), “but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will; God hears them (John 9:31).” Thus, the Laver or Wash basin represents the washing of sin; if we come humbly and repent of sins (especially willful wrongs; Gen. 4:7); then the sacrifice and “blood of Jesus will cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).” ALL – wrongs that we have done; let it go – but, do not return to sin (adultery, drunkenness, stealing, sexually immorality, hatred, etc. (1Cor. 6:9-; Gal. 5:19-) lest you are harshly judged in the End (Heb. 10:26).
- So the truth worshipper comes with thanks and praise; repents in their heart and mind and pass wrongs; then enter the Temple (place of worship). In the great part of the Tabernacle/Temple is the Table of Shewbread which represents the Word of God (through ultimately Christ is call the Word (with the ‘words of eternal life,’ John 6:68); this includes the Holy Scriptures (words of the Prophets, Apostles, Moses, Jesus, etc.) and it is often helpful to meditate on these.
- The Menorah or 7-prong Candlestick represents the seven (complete) spirits of God (Rev. 4:5; 5:6; Isa. 11:2). The Spirit of God is strong in the place of worship.
- The Altar of Incense represents the place we get to when we offer sincere prayers and worship to God (Rev. 5:8; 8:3). Best New Christian Worship Songs
- Then, when we have cast of our cares and fleshly thoughts, with focus and intent we pass through the veil (which was torn/opened by Christ Jesus sacrifice – Matt. 27:51) that leads to the Holy of Holies.
- The Holy of Holies once held the Ark of the Covenant – that contained the 2 stones with the Ten Commandments (Heb. 9:4); no sin is welcome and “no other gods.” It is here that the deepest and most satisfying and cleansing worship is done and found. It is where you do not think of anything else, or at least all other things are secondary, and where you give Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ adoration; and it is where the cries of your heart go out; for many even with groans and spiritual form.
Although, we cannot live our lives in the Temple; or our secret place of prayer and worship; we can go there often and be renew and strengthen. May the Lord God bless you and keep you…