When one sees oneself negatively (“I am dumb”), looks at the world pessimistically (“life is always unfair”), and contemplates the future hopelessly (“it will never improve”), chances of depression become high. This attitude is called “catastrophic thinking.”
It seems to me when people suffer depression it is not necessarily because of a lack of faith or trust in God, they usually turn to God and ask Him to directly lead out in their lives but still depression remains, doctors have the term clinical depression which generally needs treating by some form of medicine, is this an appropriate response for a christian with depression?
People in General have lost their way, lost their faith and lost their connection with God. Some are so focused on things that we can see that when they are lost we don't know where to turn, left or right. I think if we were to focus more on having a closer relationship with God, this will help us tremendously.
On the other hand because WE who claim to be christians are such great gossipers, people who need someone to turn to when they face problems, and may need some help, do not come to us because they cannot trust us. All Tom, Dick and Harry must know the problem and inevitable makes the person seeking help feel worse.
I think we can be blamed for some of the problems people face. But thank God, he sees and knows all and is able to help those in need when it is needed.
At what point should we leave it to the professionals to deal with depression? and the second part to my question, can it be more dangerous for an individual if we left out the professional and try and treat/manage depression through church processes only (things we've already mentioned)?
I don't think that there is any point where we should give up. I think even when we realise that they are clinically depressed, i.e needing professional help. We still have the responsibilty to them as Christian brothers and sisters, to befriend and pray for them and help wherever we can.
Remember the doctors will look at the physical, but we are to befriend them on a different level.
I wasn't suggesting that we just totally forget about them but to realize that council ling from a professional may be what the person needs and sometimes we (the church) can end up prolonging the illness or making it worse by our continued "advice" I think we as a church should always be there for depressed people, especially other church members, but we also need to be wise enough to recognize when we may be doing more harm than good.
I think laying on of hands and anointing are specific things the pastor and elders can do but should not be the only thing they do. Praying off course can be done by all and should be a constant whether a person is ill or not but getting to the bottom of the distress and alleviating where possible should also be done. This may be practical things like helping them do the shopping or taking them to the doctors or even just hang out and talk or take them out for a fun day, stuff like that just to try and take their minds off of whatever is distressing them.
I did say laying on of hands, anointing and praying is one way we can help as a church, but for a person to open up or get to the bottom of what ones problems are, one has to win the confidence of the person who is depressed, that if the person who is trying to help is trust worthy and really can help, or is qualified,
some can do more harm than good
We should not put our burden or problems on anyone who cannot help us, they themselves has burdens or problems to and is not good to do this
Personal pray taking all our problems to God, is the best thing to do, only God can help us.
Prayer is the best therapy
If the depressed person is physically incapable of caring for oneself and need help, of course we should help