Let’s Talk

From Disappointment to Depression

Q. You just wrote about disappointment, and I think my disappointments have turned into depression. Would you speak about that connection? 

A. Let’s Talk! You are correct in making a connection between disappointment and depression. Depression is a pervasive mood of sadness or disappointment over a period of time. It is said that one out of every five people experience this mood disorder and would benefit from an appropriate level of treatment. Let’s talk about what it looks like and what to do when you sense it coming.

Here are some of the signs and signals of depression: sleeping problems, physical or emotional exhaustion, poor concentration, changes in appetite or weight, digestive issues, loss of interests, headache, backache, dizziness, sadness, hopelessness, worry, anxiety, fidgeting, anger, indecisiveness, feeling worthless, false guilt feelings, and suicidal ideation. These are the main effects, but you can find more symptoms and effects online. You can already see the effect of a downcast heart over time. It matters what we are thinking and doing and holding in our hearts, doesn’t it?

What do we do? Well, we can choose to stop the progression and pervasiveness. We can admit we need help as we reach out and share with a friend or healthcare professional. Uncovering the mask is a great beginning! Hooray for disclosure!

There are myriad interventions once depression is tagged. On the front end of depression, my favorite exercise is reframing: lasso-ing your thoughts and feelings, putting them on paper, and then asking the Lord to show you what’s happening or what’s the issue below the depression. He will show you through trusted others, His Word, and other avenues. Then you continue to process your new insight. It is this truth that begins the process of freedom from disappointment and depression – not necessarily free from our circumstances, but a freedom on the inside of us. [Next week we’ll talk more in-depth about working through depression.]

For Deeper Reflection

John 8:31-32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.