Tackling Depression

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

The situation happening in the world today is bound to make anyone anxious. But people with depression, anxiety and other mood disorders are even more affected and at risk during these times when many things in the world are uncertain.

This week’s timely topic that may be helpful in your role at a church or organization is Depression and Other Mood Disorders.

People with depression are overwhelmed with suffering daily, and they often hurt themselves because of it. Symptoms of depression include:

  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Persistent aches, headaches, or digestive problems
  • Suicidal thoughts or intentions

Depression can happen at any age, but it often is manifested during teenage years through the 30s and can be very severe. Anyone who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very seriously, and concerns should be relayed to the suicide hotline: 800.784.2433. 

There are two major types of depression:

  • Major depressive disorder involves dealing with the symptoms of depression every single day for more than two weeks. These periods can be so disabling that people can’t work, eat, or sleep.
  • Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is less severe than major depression but has the same symptoms: irritability, stress, and the inability to find pleasure from most everyday activities. These types of moods last for at least two years—with less severe symptoms than major depression.

Psychologists are discovering that more and more people with clinical depression also suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, people experience persistent, overwhelming, and unrealistic phobias, worries, and thoughts about ordinary events. Many people with anxiety issues are especially concerned about money, health, family, work, and other issues with their personal lives. Usually, people haven’t been diagnosed with the disorder unless they’re anxious persistently for six months or more.

For those with an anxiety disorder, sometimes even just getting up or getting through the day creates anxiousness. People don’t know how to “stop being anxious,” and believe that it’s beyond their control. Often, people with uncontrollable anxiety:

  • Bite their fingernails or twirl their hair in their fingers
  • Are overly irritable
  • Feel like their shoulders and other muscles are constantly tensed up
  • Feel easily fatigued by small events or decisions (like getting dressed)

This information has been excerpted from the CongregationU online course “Depression and Other Mood Disorders.” This 25-minute course can be purchased for just $12 per learner. Check out our entire course list here.