The comprehensive analysis of a man who walked through darkness.
Depression can be described as a bleak dark time with no light in sight, but there is hope.
Depression disorders lead to a “loss of appetite” for life and is clinically defined as major depressive disorder if mental health continues to decline over time in an environment that is unhealthy for the individual or in a situation where loss, poverty, or slavery (oppression) leads to lasting biochemical changes that needs to be addressed with medication, nutrition, exercise, and practical therapy.
It is not that the biochemistry caused the depression, but rather an external trigger like trauma. Unless the trigger is removed, or the soul healed through therapy, the individual will revert back to comfort to get the same chemical-emotional-response which leads to default coping mechanisms. And it only gets worse with rejection, oppression, and self-defeating thoughts like “I’m not good enough”. Depression is the leading cause of suicide in the United States and in South Africa.
My desire is to highlight the importance of your habitat, your nutrition, and the strategic actions you must take to defend your mental health against these unseen forces. And please remember NO ONE is immune to depression disorders, PTSD, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. It only takes one traumatizing event to open the door for a spirit of heaviness to come over you like in the Bible (Read Jeremiah 15)
Many Christians including myself have and are suffering in silence with depression as they feel judged or misunderstood by other Christian brothers or sisters, and in some cases they are, but sharing my experience with depression and my insights with this fight can and will liberate you. Depression is an attack on your life, to steal, kill, and destroy the potential God placed in you.
YOUR 1ST DEFENCE: A GOOD OFFENCE
People are quick to reach for pills and potions, and many love to play the victim, but here at Bodybuilding for Christ we’re not about that life. No pity parties here. We are serious about fighting back with the right weapons. As it is written, “Our battle is not physical, but spiritual.”
The first area of neglect when it comes to emotional disturbances like depression is ourselves. Feeling like absolute worthless dog poop is a space no one wants to be in, and no one feels like exercising or eating healthy when all they really want is someone to comfort them, and treats.
Individual personality types express themselves in different ways to cope with major depressive disorders and/or anxiety. Extroverted personalities might start drinking to “take the edge off” as they are familiar with the comfort of social gatherings whereas introverted personalities will self-medicate with recreational drugs, prescription drugs, online gaming, gambling, and much worse.
The hardest part about taking care of yourself is to get started if you’ve been neglecting yourself. When you feel depressed everything weighs you down like that cross, and you can only get stronger if you attempt to, but it demands hard work (effort) from your side. However, I’m also at your side.
As the cliché saying goes, “Nothing works unless we do.” – Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:7)
I believe we all intuitively understand what we should be doing. Exercise more, eat less sugar, drink more water, and breathe deep more frequently, but without someone who can support you to get you out of that “pit of despair”, it can be very challenging, if not impossible. That’s why I’m here.
nEXT: DON’T SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST
The food and drug administration (FDA) work hand-in-hand to provide us with nutrition guidelines and pharmaceutical medicine for improved wellbeing. However, if we look at the annual mortality rates for non-communicable diseases like cancer(s), heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity (now classified as a disease), we can clearly see that whatever they are doing is not really working.
Depression is complex and each person’s experience differs from the other, but the underlying root cause can usually be brought to light with the right kind of questions, self-reflection, and professional therapy sessions. There are also more and more research showing the use of psychoactive plants (psilocybin) for reversal of treatment-resistant depression and PTSD.
Depression has a very big impact on the economy and on your productivity. If you stay in bed for an entire day as an adult… that is kind of sad don’t you think? It’s like a kid who stays away from school. Don’t be offended by what I’m saying. I totally get it because I was once there as a student who had given up. The campus therapist showed up at my house to get me out of bed. How embarrassing??
So, I get it. It’s easy to stay weak. I was weak. My father never took me by the hand to help me become a man, and I had to figure it out myself, but once Jesus Christ stepped into my life and heart I was reconciled with my heavenly Father and He restored me and taught me His Ways. It was hard and it was challenging, but with the Spirit of Christ leading the way I was able to rise above darkness.
MY 3RD TIP: DITCH THE SCRIPT.
Don’t tell your doctor I said that. They will crucify me for it. But on a more serious note… Pharmakeia is not a long-term solution. Yes it might numb the pain, even make you feel euphoric for a while, but “lekker is net n vinger lank” and it won’t be long before you find yourself feeling like dog poo again.
I’ve used Prozac, Ritalin, Ephedrine, pain meds, Mary-Jane, Magic Mushrooms, and lots of red wine, and I can tell you with all honesty… Nothing compares to the intimate love of another human and nothing can replace what God designed us for. Love and unity in the family and community.
The problem is our community and family has become all f’d up as my father would say. People are living in survival mode. Nobody trusts. Families are divided. Sons are angry. Fathers are grumpy. Mothers are neglected. Brothers are depressed. Sisters are distressed. Things are pretty crazy.
It’s why I’m all about that natural life. Walk away from the noise. Ditch the temporary solutions. Trust God to set your free from slavery and poverty as you break the chains holding you in an all out attempt (effort) to heal from the past and strengthen your soul to such an extent that you become like a shield for others. Iron. As it is written, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
AND #4: HEALING TAKES TIME
It’s not a good idea to go cold turkey unless you can get away from the triggers and the environment that is leading you to act and think in a certain way. I would personally love to do getaway retreats for people who can afford to go away for 1 – 2 weeks on a road trip down the garden route of South Africa to find peace and healing with me as the facilitator, but that is one of my pipe(line) dreams.
I’ve lived in a home where there was idols of oppression and statues of men with horns hanging on the wall. I know what depression, perversity, addiction, and all the other forms of darkness feels and looks like, and I can tell you one thing… Plant medicine can really help you from losing your mind.
But all forms of medicine are temporary, and only useful until you have found healing. Clean the space you are in, put your home in order, and seek God above all else as He is the good Shepherd who will lead you through the valley of the shadow of death into a land flowing with milk & honey.
Depression cannot be cured with pills and potions. If you want to be set free from the torment and the suffering you’re experiencing then you need to reach out for help like the women who reached out to touch the hem and Jesus. She had a desire for healing and restoration, and she found Jesus.
Jesus will open your eyes to see what’s going on.
Awareness is the first step towards healing.