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Eleven Ways to Practically Destroy Depression

Statistics to Inspire a Need for Change 

  • Every 40 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone will kill themselves. 
  • There are 123 suicides every day in the United States. That’s twice as many suicides than murders.
  • Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year.

It Began at Age 18

At age 18, Ben Courson became a pastor at Applegate Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Oregon. Around that time, he also began a 10-year deep struggle with depression, complex PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, and suicide attempts. In the midst of this struggle, Ben was processing the death of his sister from a car crash, heartbreak after a long-term relationship abruptly ended, and a man who would continually stalk and revile him publicly. All the while, he was working in full-time ministry. Ben came out of that decade-long struggle with a breakthrough in his mental health only to experience a two-year relapse after the death of his brother from cancer. He wrote Flirting with Darkness as part of his healing process during those years & now walks in daily hope through the keys to victory outlined in the book. 
 

Flirting with Darkness

In Flirting with Darkness: Building Hope In The Face Of Depression, Ben shares his story, claiming he was “flirting with darkness” in his attempts to commit suicide through reckless behavior like walking around the edges of skyscrapers, riding motorcycles at top speeds without a helmet, and even considering taking his own life with a knife at home. Through it all, he says God divinely protected him and guided him out of that darkness holistically through prayer & scripture along with counseling, practical coping skills, and a healthy workout regimen. 

In the book, Ben lays out 11 weapons to defeat what he calls the “Dark Lord of Depression.”

  1. Prayer Walks – The combination of exercise, meditation on scripture, and prayer is scientifically proven to combat depression on a neuropathic level. 
  2. Scripture Scholar Scuba Gear – Dive deep in scripture to drill God’s truth into your soul. 
  3. The Magic Number of Greatness – it takes 10,000 hours to become great at anything. Instead of spending 10,000 hours fretting over what you lack, aim to spend 10,000 focusing on what you do have and preparing for the success that is to come. 
  4. Endorphins, anyone? – Working out to push past your physical limits releases endorphins, and can also be a spiritual tool towards freedom. Research shows jogging for 40-minutes has the same effect as taking an anti-depressant.                                                                                                          
  5. Rewrite your story – Don’t focus on the shame of your past. Rest in the knowledge that the Author and Finisher of your Faith is still writing your story. 
  6. Own your Oddness – Instead of being lulled into the comparison trap on social media, remember you are the masterpiece designed specifically and uniquely by the Master Artist. There is no comparison, because you are one-of-a-kind. 
  7. Friendventures – Healing can be received not just through prayer circles and healing services but through the power of good friends who get you out of your head and cure loneliness with the joy of their company. 
  8. Heaven – Remember this life is not the end. The imperfections of this life will one day be washed away and made new. 
  9. El Roi “The God Who Sees Me” – Seeking out professional help from a licensed therapist or counselor is not a shameful thing. When it’s the right fit, a good counselor will leave you feeling seen, just as God your Heavenly Father sees you right where you are. Pain is meant to be processed, not pushed down. When ignored, the pain won’t go away, but will eventually rear its ugly head. 
  10. Let God Love on You – Often, we are so focused on religious works that we forget God is our Heavenly Father and Loving Creator who just wants to love on us. Take time to just sit in His Presence, not asking questions or trying to “do” anything for Him, but just to let His love wash all the despair away. 
  11. Dreamality – What would you do with your life if you knew you couldn’t fail? The Bible promises us victory in Christ. We are no longer on the defensive, trying to protect what little we have, but we are on the offensive, taking ground for the Kingdom of God. We can afford to dream – and to dream big! 

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