Monday, July 21, 2014

Believe in Yourself and God: 4 Steps to Overcoming Self-Loathing and Depression

"I will never have a happy life."

"I am stuck where I am."

"Who would love a person like me?"

Do you ever say or think any of these statements about yourself? Odds are at times you do. In the heat of the moment after a tragedy or an argument, it is easy for even the most optimistic and joyful people to become deflated, self-loathe, and become depressed. While moderate depression is healthy due to circumstances that warrant sadness and grief, constant depression, self-loathing, and lack of self-confidence can rock a relationship or marriage to its very core. 

Self-loathing and a lack of self-confidence has been something that has tested and strengthened the bond of Marisa and my relationship several times. Due to our past experiences, mistakes, and regrets, we both have very valid reasons to become depressed, rationalizing our depression by saying statements like "I can never do ____" and "I will never ____." While depression in certain circumstances is healthy, excessive depression, self-loathing, and lack of self-confidence can be poisonous to a relationship. When depression spills over from the circumstances into the relationship and the future of the relationship, that's when couples are in big trouble. 

It is one thing entirely to be distressed or sad because of loss, betrayal, and other forms of pain. However, it is extremely unhealthy to have this depression grow and envelope the relationship. This type of negative self-attitude can choke out the drive and commitment to make a relationship work, as well as the love that's quick to follow. If you suffer from low self-image, low self-confidence, or excessive (clinical) depression, seek out help from professional counselors, self-help groups, your pastor, your family, and your friends to encourage you to help remove these poisonous roots from your life and your relationship. 

I am NOT saying that you need to be arrogant, proud, or be boastful in place of having depression or low self confidence. Humility is admirable in God's eyes, but self-loathing is destructive. If you want to save yourself and your relationship from the ramifications of self-loathing, I urge you to believe in yourself and in God! I know this is a lot easier said than done, but it truly has done miracles for me and Marisa in our relationship, and although we are still recovering from this destructive mentality, I have already seen countless benefits that believing in yourself and in God can have in relationships. 
What are the sources of depression in your life? Source

The following 4 steps can help you learn how to overcome depression. Marisa and I have used and continue to use these steps to help remove the foul roots of depression and self-loathing from our lives and our relationship.
  1. Identify exactly what your type of depression is and what the source of the depression is. Several online resources, like this one, separate depression into various different categories, depending on the type of emotions and the emotions' impact on the person. Common forms of depression are: 
  • Hopelessness, which is defined by people feeling trapped in misery and having no ability to overcome their circumstances. 
  • Self-loathing, which is defined by people thinking they are terrible, evil, not good enough, unworthy of love, and unsuccessful. 
  • Situational depression: which is characterized by brief or continued sadness and grief due to loss, betrayal, or other emotional trauma. 
Being able to identify the type of depression you have will help you seek the best form of treatment should you decide to seek counseling and professional help. Finding the source of your depression is also a major step in understanding why you feel and act the way you do. Some common sources of depression are the following, according to various sources are the following:
  • Abuse: Physical, emotional, and verbal abuse can cause depressive episodes.
  • Conflict: The inability to resolve issues within relationships can prove detrimental to one's emotional health.
  • Death, loss, and major life events: From losing a family member, to losing a job and even getting married, major life-altering events can often cause depression, self-loathing, and feelings of low self-worth. We are creatures of habit and major changes can seem hard to deal with for many people. 
  • Genetics, illness, and drugs: There are genetic, medical, and pathological factors that can cause people to experience major depressive episodes. Odds are if your depression seems completely irrational and unfounded, it may fall into this category. 
While these are just some general causes of depression, it is critical that you carefully examine your past and present experiences and determine exactly what is causing your depression. This can help you and your counselor better understand your depression. 

   2. Readust your focus from negative things and the sources of depression to the many blessings you have in your life instead. Speak life-giving words over yourself and your circumstances. Whenever we feel depressed, it is easy to speak negative words over our life.  God tells us that we have the power and life in death in our words! We need to speak life! If you are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances, do not speak negative words about yourself or your life. You must not condemn or self-loathe. Instead, practice saying the following statements: 
  • I am an overcomer!
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
  • God has amazing plans for my life and he knows the plans. They will make me prosper and have abundant life!
  • I am blessed by my family/husband/wife/children/friends/coworkers.
  • I am blessed with good health.
  • I am blessed with the grace of God.
  • I am blessed to be alive and able to rejoice in you.
  • I am blessed to know that my circumstances do not define me nor my future.
  • Praise be to God for ___________.
You need to get your mind focused on the good in life and the hope that God gives us! The next step will help you with this.

  3. Praise, Pray, Ponder. Every day make it a goal to praise God for how good He is to you and to all of us. Praise him in the sunshine and praise him in the rain. God is good all the time! Also make it a commitment to pray and develop your relationship with God. Pray to God about your life, your circumstances, your enemies, and your joys. Prayer is not a request, but a conversation. Take this time to develop a deep love for God, the healer of all afflictions, including depression. And finally, ponder. Use the energy that you would normally use being consumed by depression, self-loathing, or low self-image to fill your mind with the good news that is the gospel of Christ! God came to heal, redeem, and renew all of us for good. Grow through reading and becoming powerful in the word of God and take away the power that your circumstances and depression once had in your life.

   4. Seek counsel. I wanted to reemphasize this point as the final step. You may not want to go to professional counseling because of cost, but if you have the ability to do so I highly encourage you to find a Christian counselor in your area who specializes in the treatment of depression. You may also want to bring your pastor, friends, and family into your support group on this journey from depression, self-loathing, and self-hate to the promise land of humility, joy, fulfillment, acceptance, love, and peace!

With God, anything is possible... including
overcoming depression! Source
The benefits of following these steps can clearly benefits your personal life, but from our blog's perspective, the ability to overcome your depression can drastically benefit your relationship too. Like I said earlier, self-loathing and depression has been the source of many problems within Marisa and my relationship. However, by following these steps when our relationship has experienced tension due to depression, we have emerged more whole, happy, fulfilled, and in love. When you are able to overcome your depression with your partner, you experience an immense joy from having the burden of your past and your depression lifted from your shoulders and replaced with the joy of unconditional love, acceptance, and support! Marisa and I have been incredibly blessed to help each other along in this process and constantly help remind each other of our worth, ability, and the amazing love and future God has for us. Like any other conflict, overcoming depression and the pains of the past can help bring a couple closer together, drawing them together in the love and encouragement that God himself gives to us! 

Marisa and I are on this journey with those of you who have had depression impact your relationship. At times we are both very discouraged because of our past, our emotions, and the weight of our depression. We both encourage each other, follow these steps, and continue to grow healthier in our self-image as we free ourselves from the shackles of depression. I encourage you to start a new commitment today to believe in yourself and in God! You and your relationship will be tremendously blessed by overcoming depression with God's help. 


Marisa and I have loved talking with those of you that have emailed us about your testimony, questions, and experiences. We encourage you to write us at with your questions, comments, or concerns. We also welcome prayer requests, especially as we encourage you to join us on this journey to overcoming depression. We love uniting with you and being able to share our experiences and grow as we continue to learn more about dating, courtship, marriage, and life! 

God bless you and I hope you have an amazing week!


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