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What Do I Have to Give? Treating Depression Through Giving

One of the trickiest elements of depression is the tendancy to start to believe that we have nothing to give. Depression causes us to lose purpose and begin to feel ineffective and worthless. Whether you're in a season of depression or it's been a constant companion for much of your life you know the discouraging voice that drains your energy. Depression also makes it especially hard to enjoy things, even things you've always loved, just deepening the feelings of numbness.

There are lots of things that can add to depression, such as high stress, lack of support, generational trauma, major grief, and unfair oppression. But there are also some solid researched methods to treat depression, including counseling, sunlight, and medication. One thing we know doesn't work is ignoring it.

If you are struggling to believe you have anything to give, I dare you to spend even five minutes serving someone around you. Send some encouragement to a friend. Pick up trash along the side of the road. Take a meal to a sick neighbor or mow their yard. Almost any effort to care for another is going to help you remember your purpose in the world. We're made for community and community is where we will find our healing.

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