Depression and eating disorders sometimes go together. In some cases the eating disorder may have existed first and in others, the depression may have been present prior to the onset of the eating disorder. Regardless of which occurred first, both are difficult challenges to work through.
If you’re feeling particularly sad, hopeless, desperate or lethargic, please tell your counselor or medical provider. If your depressed feelings are feeding the eating disorder, if you’re sleeping too much or too little, feeling especially down on yourself or having suicidal thoughts, it’s imperative that you tell someone. There are professionals available to help you rise up out of this dark place.
There are a number of ways a professional may treat you for depression. Working through issues with a therapist of some kind will likely be one of them. Of course, there are antidepressants and other medications they may be helpful for you. Some may also recommend a type of light therapy. If you’re more comfortable with alternatives, find someone under whose supervision you can try herbs or other therapies.
Regardless of what you try, make sure you are being honest with the person who is helping you. The more this individual knows about what you’re experiencing, the better chance that he/she can help you. Also please keep in mind how important it is to follow medication instructions carefully. Making adjustments or going off a medication on your own could be dangerous for you. You’re already facing enough with depression and an eating disorder. You don’t need any complications on top of everything else you’re trying to work through.
Depression can feed the eating disorder and the eating disorder can feed the depression. As much as you may not feel up to asking for help, your life may very well depend on it. The combination of depression and an eating disorder is too much to work through alone.
Remember that you can always cling to the One who can help you pull out of the darkness of depression. He stands ready to help you any time. I personally like to think that He is waiting for our prayers. As our Father, I believe He is happy to have us come to Him with our needs. While you work through your depression, here are some scriptures you may focus on to comfort you, to give you hope of feeling better again, to provide some light to pierce the darkness.
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Ps. 62:8
“…The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” Ps. 145:13b-14
“…For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” Isa. 49:13b
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph. 3:17
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” II Cor. 4:8
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Eph. 3:20
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in or time of need.” Heb. 4:16
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Pet. 5:7
As you work through your depression as well as your eating disorder, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. There are multitudes of people who have experienced the same thing and there are professionals trained to help you with either or both of these issues. There is no reason you shouldn’t receive the help you need. Make the most of the help and support that is available to you. There is a better life waiting for you. Although it will take time and effort to work through depression and an eating disorder to find this better life, it will be more than worth the effort.
By Laurie Glass