What It Means To Have Spiritual Depression & How To Resolve A Crisis Of Faith

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depressed women praying

When people consider themselves to be on a spiritual path, they expect they will always feel joyful. They may expect to spread that joy to others without ever feeling empty or scared.

This couldn't be further from the truth. It might also lead you to feel like you're falling into spiritual depression.

What is spiritual depression?

Spiritual depression is a sudden loss of spiritual energy and happiness in your practice.

This can include losing touch with your faith or spirituality, questioning God's will, neglecting to spend time on spiritual study, or having an overall and sense of unhappiness or dejection. This can affect your mind and spirit equally.

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In Christianity, spiritual depression is referenced in the Bible. Psalm 42 asks, “Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

What causes spiritual depression?

There are many reasons why you, as an otherwise optimistic, faith-filled being, might suddenly feel you're plunging into darkness.

1. Neglecting your needs

The world of spirit makes sense to those who can tap into it. It's a place of love and manifestation. But when you struggle between connecting with your spirituality while maintaining a social life, sometimes your spiritual side can be affected.

You may be neglecting this side of yourself. There are times in Christian life when God and the universe give you a break from the high-energy connection with the divine, so you can live your life tethered to the material world.

Many spiritual people who are healers and contributors to making this world a better place forget about themselves as human beings.

2. Overwhelm

When you resonate with the universe, you can experience connections, signs, and synchronicities that make everything feel alright. But this is a world of duality.

Though there are blessings in every challenge, it is only human to feel overwhelmed when things do not go as planned.

3. Life challenges

The everyday stressors of life can contribute to spiritual depression. These can include losing your job, suffering from financial problems, concerns in relationships or your family, or worries regarding your physical or mental health.

4. Obsessing over errors

Though everyone makes mistakes from time to time, obsessing over them won't do any good. If you are struggling to move on from your past errors, this could be the reason for your spiritual depression.

In a sermon on spiritual depression, former Welsh Protestant minister and medical doctor, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, explains why meditating on past mistakes does nothing and is a waste of time.

"The Apostle Paul was a man whose past was filled with sin, and his energies were devoted to harming and destroying the Christian message. Yet, with all of his past sins, Paul does not find misery in the present. His past does not affect his new identity in Jesus Christ," he says.

You need to accept that you made errors in life and move on from them.

5. Crisis of faith

After experiencing the hardships, suffering and pain of people and communities around you, you may begin to doubt that there is even a God. Why would such a powerful deity create this much misery?

This can leave you feeling guilty, angry, confused, beginning to doubt your own faith, and thinking about life's biggest questions. Your existential crisis can give way to a disconnect of sorts, leaving you depressed and unsure of how to continue worshiping.

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What are the signs of spiritual depression?

Though there is no solid agreed upon list of the signs of spiritual depression, there are common warning signs to look for.

1. You remove yourself from spiritual practices.

You suddenly stop practicing your spirituality or religion, like withdrawing from your worship community and no longer going face-to-face with members of your group.

You no longer volunteer at your congregation's activities or get involved with your spiritual community and member celebrations.

2. You no longer find joy in your spirituality.

If you are no longer happy with your spiritual practices and are looking at them as a chore, rather than a part of your life, you may be experiencing spiritual depression.

You may also no longer see the value of spirituality and what it adds to your life.

3. You question your faith.

You may find yourself doubting the spirituality or religion that you follow. You may feel discouraged and view spirituality or biblical truth as hopeless.

Questioning whether you should continue or not can be a major sign of spiritual depression, especially if it's not like you to do so.

4. You're examining your spiritual expectations.

It's not uncommon to feel that God has deserted you when you're faced with the realities of day-to-day living. The way to overcome this darkness of spiritual disconnect is to examine your expectations of God and the universe.

Is it God abandoning you when things don't go your way? Does God cause the horrible things that happen in your world and all the injustices surrounding us? Could God just remove all the suffering of this world with one thought?

How to Overcome Spiritual Depression

There may be times when you don't feel the pleasure of your spiritual connection to the divine. In those moments, try to appreciate the world and all that is in it. Maybe you need to rest, work in your garden, or watch a lot of mindless television.

Do your best to pinpoint the source of your depression so you can develop a plan to get out of it. The important thing to remember is the divine generator of unconditional love is an endless source for each of us.

Avoid falling into fear and hopelessness. Those are the paths to darkness and despair. If you find this happening to you, pray, pet an animal, or reach out to someone else. They most likely feel the same as you.

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Deborah Herman is a writer, author, spiritual healer, mystic, medium, and New Age pioneer. Visit her Facebook for more of her content.