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Biblical Answers for Depressed Teens!

Depressed - To be low, to be down emotionally or physically...

If you've come to this page it's either because you need help dealing with depression or you want to help a friend or family member deal with their depression. We have some answers from God's Word and some practical advice on how to deal with your emotional or physical ups and downs that we call depression.

To be depressed may not be a sign that you have something wrong in your life spiritually, although sometimes it is a spiritual problem. We'll deal with both of these problem areas in this article. Being depressed is simply being in a low point or low state physically or emotionally. As teens go through the physical and emotional changes in their life, they often wrestle with being down or depressed. Sometimes combinations of physical and social difficulties or changes cause some to draw into themselves. Other times people only see the Negative things that surround them and this makes them depressed. These physical, emotional and social circumstances are very real. There's no question about the reality of these issues in a teen's life. The question we want to answer biblically is "How should teens handle all these physical, emotional and social circumstances in their life? Let's first deal with the physical lows that people, especially teens, can go through.

Physical or Hormonal lows!

At this point some of the guys are saying, "hormonal lows, not me." Guess again, "Yes you, guys." Both teen guys and girls are going through major changes in their bodies, "whether you're ready or not."

The good news is this: All the hormonal gymnastics that are taking place in your life will level out as you reach physical maturity. Young ladies will still have some changes each month, but at least you'll be prepared for it and well adjusted to how God wants you to handle your regular ups and downs emotionally.

Perhaps you find yourself trapped in a body that seems to be changing at light speed. Many new things are happening. New appearances. New feelings. New problems, like acne for some! Yes, for some this is a very unpleasant change that seems to RULE the life of a teen, but even this will pass and with good hygiene and perhaps some medical help, you can even live with acne for a few years.

Some teens may hit a period in their teens when they seem down or depressed about everything. They could have just won $ 1000 dollars, but they're still down! What's happening? Physically, your body is changing, that's good! However, along with this change comes new or increased hormone levels. Sometimes, during early adolescence, teens are RUN OVER by these hormonal changes that they cannot avoid. OK, you cannot change the new hormone levels, but you certainly can be careful about how you view your life. So often teens that are changing start focusing on themselves. All they can see is their own problems, their own changes and they're VERY REAL ISSUES. But if teens don't keep these issues and changes in their proper perspective, it can lead to focusing on all the negative things that may be happening to you.

So what should you do? First of all, realize that puberty and all that comes with the process of becoming an adult physically, is like a train ride you must take, whether you like it or not. So, you might as well make the best of the trip! Some things in life just HAVE TO BE DONE and dealing with physical changes during the teen years is one of them! But hey, sit back and make the best of the trip through the teens years!

Sometimes when teens are having a low day hormonally, they blame their parents, their teachers, their siblings or the family dog or cat for all their troubles in life. This may sound over simplified, but during times like that, just start thinking about all the positive things in your life. # 1. If you're a Christian, you have eternal life and a relationship with God the Father and God the Son. # 2. You're alive! # 3. You have a computer (or else you wouldn't be reading this.) # 4. You've got your whole life ahead of you to change directions if you don't like where you're headed. And the list goes on and on, you know what I'm saying.

You cannot avoid the hormonal ups and downs that come with being a teen, but you can avoid having a low out look on yourself and on what's happening around you when your body chemistry is making you feel low. Don't let your happiness and spiritual well being depend on your physical circumstances. Paul and Silas were in a cold dark smelly prison with their hands and feet in uncomfortable shackles. What did they do? They sang hymns, prayed and soon they had an opportunity to lead a whole family to Christ. They certainly had every reason to complain didn't they. Yet, at the same time they had MORE reasons to rejoice. Teens, think about that! Don't you have more reasons to rejoice as a young Christian, than you have reasons to complain. Besides, to complain is to complain against God for the conditions He's allowed you to be in for the moment. To complain is an indication of being unthankful to God! If your a Christian Teen, you have MUCH to be thankful for and your life and attitude should show it.

Now let's deal with depression that results from having spiritual problems. I'd like you to go back in time with me and visit Adam and Eve's two sons in Genesis chapter 4.

Gen. 4:3, And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4, Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6, So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7, "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." 8, Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

Cain is the perfect example of a depressed man who had a spiritual problem. The Bible says, "he was angry and his countenance fell." Why was Cain angry? Because he didn't get his own way, which points to a problem of selfishness and rebellion. Sometimes teens get mad then sad, because they didn't get their own way. Teens can get upset that they have to be under someone's authority, just like Cain got mad then sad about being under a God that didn't appreciate what he offered Him. God never does the wrong thing, but we do. God always gives the best and right advice, but we don't always take it.

Cain didn't want God's advice. God asked a question (not that God needed an answer, but he wanted Cain to deal with his problem), "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?" Cain was Mad and Sad, but why? The bottom line is that Cain did not like God's rules, His standards for worship! Does this sound familiar? Teen, have you ever been upset at mom or dad's rules? Have you ever been mad at the rules in church? If you continue to be mad you'll soon be sad, because you haven't got your own way. This is really a spiritual problem. Let's see how God dealt with Cain and how Cain responded.

God said to Cain, "If you do well, will you not be accepted?" God was saying, "Cain, if you'll just do the right thing I'll be pleased. Then you'll have done right and you can be happy again." You see, no one get sad over doing the right things with the right motives, but people do get sad and depressed from doing the wrong things and having the wrong motives. If you're a child of God, as mad and sad as you get, you cannot remove the guilt that the Holy Spirit brings down on you. The only way to be happy when you're a Christian is to do right. I believe the most miserable and depressed people on earth are Christians living in disobedience, because unlike an unbeliever that is insensitive to God, the TRUE Christian has a sensitive heart towards the Lord and they will feel the guilt and lack of close fellowship with God.

God went on to say to Cain, "And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." Here, God is explaining to Cain the consequences of not doing right. To choose to do wrong results in more than just unhappiness for a Christian. Unconfused disobedience will result in continued disobedience, which will lead to more and more sadness and depression. Sadly, Cain did not listen to God and allowed sin to rule him, allowed his anger and depression to get the best of him, to the point that he killed his own brother. Terrible consequences will result when you choose to not do the right thing. There's always a consequence to not doing the right thing, even for you Christian teens today. Your sadness and depression is just the beginning.

Don't stop now, were just getting to the Practical "How to Handle Depression" section:

Depression is really the mishandling of life's problems and situations, some of which, people bring on themselves. Remember Cain, he brought on his own set of problems and then mishandled them. We're all going to have difficulties and problems come our way. The question is, "How do we respond to these problems and difficulties?"

Proverbs 5:22 "His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin."

Depression because of spiritual problems is like being caught in the "Spider's Web of your own sin." The ONLY way OUT is to deal with the sin that Entraps you! Let's look at some examples that a typical teen may encounter:

PROBLEM: You're depressed because of your parents rules or standards:

SOLUTION: You've responded unbiblical to God and your parents, Eph. 6:1, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2, Honor your father and mother..." There's no wiggle room when it comes to obedience to your parents, is there. There's no in-between, it's either obedience or disobedience on your part. Your depression, that you're blaming on your parents rules, really has little to do with your parents standards, but it has everything to do with your wrong response towards your parents, which is a sinful response. In this case, you've disobeyed God first, for He gave the command for children to obey their parents. If you've been complaining about Dad and Mom's rules, confess it, then apologize to your parents and see what happens when your relationship with God and your parents is right. I know what will happen! You begin to be a much happier teen! However, if you continue to do wrong, plan on being depressed more and more, because your choosing to respond unbiblically towards your problems and circumstances.

PROBLEM: You're depressed because your boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you and things are not going well with the relationship.

SOLUTION: You've responded improperly to the state of singleness that God requires of unmarried Christians. You're not content to be single and pure until your ready for a marriage commitment for life. You want the World's way of dating rather than God's principles and commands of finding a spouse and remaining pure while you're looking.

First, is the relationship biblical to begin with? Does God want you to have the type of relationship your having with this teen guy or girl? Are you getting more involved emotionally or physically than you should be? Have you sinned in the process of having this relationship? Teen depression over boyfriend / girlfriend struggles are common, but does God want His Christian teens following the world's way in this area? Biblically, teens should not be doing anything that is only intended for married couples to be involved in, including developing emotional attachments or physical attachments. Often teens will directly or indirectly make a promise of commitment to another, then later break of the commitment. People, this is sin. Making promises or vows is a serious issue from God's perspective and it should be with teens also. I believe that God is angered at the turmoil teens put themselves in when following the World's way of dating, that involves so many break ups and breaking of vows. The solution to dating depression is to obey God's Word and NOT develop a serious relationship until:

1. You're Spiritually mature enough.

2. You're ready to commit to marriage FOR LIFE!

3. You already have the approval of your parents to pursue a relationship with the intention of marriage.

4. You're ready to have a godly relationship with no physical involvement until marriage.

5. You've found a Christian person who's ready to commit to the previous four things.

Any other approach will set you up to sin and for future depression and perhaps marriage problems when you do finally get married. See the suggested articles below.

We suggest you also read:

What does the Bible say about dating?

The Battle for Purity!

Running away from Sexual Sin!

Abstinence - waiting until marriage!

Understanding Biblical Modesty!

PROBLEM: You don't like your life, the way you look, where you live, the parents God gave you, the church you're in... and on and on...

SOLUTION: You've responded unbiblically to God's provision. Learning to be Content and Happy with what you have is the proper response.

Philippians 4:11"...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content"

1Timothy 6:8 "And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content."

God always knows what you have, whether your looks, your money, your home, your parents, or your church. God is never surprised at these things, because He provided them. If you're mad at what you have, then you're really angry at God and you're not content with what He's given you.

I've met some people that were so disfigured from birth defects or accidents, yet they're happy to be alive. People like this are not focusing on "what they don't have", but rather on what they do have. If you've been depressed about what you don't have, start being thankful for what you do have.

Eph 5:20, "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"

When you start giving thanks, you'll stop being sad and depressed! Make it a habit to view your cup of life as being Half full, not Half empty. So much of our happiness depends on our perspective. Let it be a godly perspective!

Last of all, realize, other than genuine physical issues that can cause depression, you hold the key to being happy! You can choose to respond positively and properly to life's problems and circumstances. God sees your every move and thought. Seek to please Him with every response and Happiness and Joy will surround you. In fact, if you live a life that pleases God, many will come to see your happiness and ask how they can get it for themselves. However, the opposite is true, if you continue, as a Christian, to respond improperly and ignore your sinful responses, your sadness and depression will drive others away. Happiness and Joy attracts, so Do RIGHT and Be Happy!


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