Depression is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a medical condition in which a person feels very sad and anxious and often has physical symptoms such as being unable to sleep, etc. Many people experience depression at some point in their lifetime. It is most common among the youth compared with other age groups. It may be precipitated among the youth with obesity and peer problems which affect self-esteem, extended bullying, the birth of a new baby, and academic issues.
The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterises major depression can lead to a range of behavioural and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behaviour, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide. The condition can affect one’s ability to behave normally, hence the need to increase screening of mental disorders among people for prompt medical intervention. The depressed individual may experience guilt, loss of interest in activities, irritability, social isolation, excessive sleeping/unable to sleep, excessive eating/loss of appetite, and weight gain/weight loss.
Biblical text provides inspiration in dealing with depression apart from medical therapy and regular exercises among others. God assures us in Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for l am with you; be not dismayed, for l am your God; l will strengthen you, l will uphold you with my righteous right hand “. This verse reminds one that God is with you and not to be afraid, for He will grant you strength to overcome the storms of life. “l can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) is a biblical antidote to the loss of interest and feeling of impossibility in accomplishing a simple task. It gives assurance of the abiding presence of Christ with us and through whom we are able to triumph even in dark moments.