The Basics of Depression

Today we’re gonna talk about: The Basics of Depression

Dr. Jon Benson refers to depression as the “common cold of mental health.” In fact, 10% of the population is depressed at any given time. It’s estimated that 50% of cases go untreated.

So what does this mean for you and those you love? If depression is left untreated it can lead to…

  • Risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Ruined relationships, because it’s hard to cope with everyday stress.
  • Problems at work, or job loss.
  • Difficulty overcoming serious illnesses.

Depression isn’t something to overlook, or to ignore—just hoping that it will get better on its own.  Clinical depression, also known as major depression, lasts for more than 2 weeks. It’s an illness that involves your mood, your thoughts, and your body.

Mood symptoms include:

  • Low mood, sadness, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, feeling worthless, emptiness, guilt or pessimism. Sometimes you might not feel anything at all. Other problems might include agitation, irritability, and anxiety.

Cognitive or thought related symptoms include:

  • Negative thoughts, distorted thinking, poor concentration, memory problems, slowed or racing thoughts, loss of motivation, or suicidal thoughts.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Fatigue, agitation, lethargy, sleep disturbance, changes in appetite or weight, changes in sexual desire, headaches, GI problems, or widespread physical pain.

I recently spoke with a pastor who described experiencing depression. He felt so frustrated by his symptoms because they were profoundly effecting his everyday life, and at the same time he couldn’t articulate or describe some of his emotions.

He loved God, he loved people. He wasn’t walking away from faith. He wasn’t experiencing a spiritual crisis, but depression was affecting his spiritual life, his relationships, and his work.

There’s no clear cause for depression, but it has biological components, and can often be connected to times of stress.

The good news is that most people do really well with treatment. There is hope for depression!


The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8

Question and Action Steps:

Are you fighting with depression? What symptoms are you struggling with? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

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