From the Christian Parenting Corner
by Sylvia Cochran
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in all circumstances give thanks…" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Depression is a hot potato in Christian circles. Church leaders and Christian faithful alike are unsure how to treat a disease with symptoms that look decidedly unscriptural. Of course, unlike adultery and lying, suffering from depression is not a choice. Nevertheless, depressed adults are frequently marginalized and earnestly counseled to be 'more joyful.'
Over time, some adults may choose to put on a game-face and thus fit in with the rank and file. Children, on the other hand, do not choose to do so. Being spiritually pure and unwilling to become false, signs of depression are quickly and consistently visible - until parents force them to mask their condition or they choose to walk away from the faith.
Depression in Children: Causes
Current estimates suggest that about one in 33 children and one in eight teens suffer from depression. Suicides affect even the five year-old demographic and parents will do well to remember that for teens it is the third leading cause of death.
Signs of Depression in Christian Kids
Against the Christian backdrop, the children may suddenly dread going to Sunday school, participate in Vacation Bible School or attend summer camp. Anger may become paramount while sadness is far less common. Frustration may give way to destructive behaviors.
>Depression Treatment: A Must for Christian Families
The kind of scripture use I refer to here is instead the use of God's word as a whip, designed to scare a child into following the herd and pretend to be or feel something she is or does not.
Not surprisingly, depression treatments involve prescription drugs as indicated, an intervention for the entire family - not just the affected child - and also a familial education on the disease and its treatment. Christian families in particular may require a fundamental education about the physical manifestations of depression in addition to the behavioral signs.
Parents must understand that depression - just like a broken leg - have a physical component that demands mending. This may sometimes place the parent in a quandary when counseled by church leaders about their parenting. To this end, here are some suggestions:
Free Christian Parenting Courses:
1. Bible 101 offers an introduction to the greatest book ever written in 8 easy lessons.
2. Christian Parenting 101 is a step by step guide to transforming your home into a Christian household, no matter how old your children are.
3. Money Skills for Kids is a "must for any parent/caregiver who is not entirely certain how to raise a fiscally responsible child.4. Grief ... Getting Beyond the Pain will help you to help yourself and others to survive, overcome, and move past this most powerful emotion.
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