Kindness & Depression

Keeping with the theme of kindness this week, while adding to it the theme of depression, this article on the Washington Post really shows how committing acts of kindness can help those who have depression.

First of all, I didn’t realize how many social media platforms there are and how useful they can become. Personally, I’ve never used Reddit, and I really don’t know anything about it, but it sounds like the Pittsburgh area has really benefitted from Jon Potter’s use of it. According to Potter, “pushing himself to interact with people by helping them has given him new appreciation for others” and that “helping others has brought on a big turn for the better in his own life, especially by keeping his depression and anxiety at bay.” I think this is probably true for most people. I know that when I am busy serving others, for one, it helps me keep my mind on better things and two, it makes me feel better.

I do want to address one other thing in this article, though. Potter admits that he is not very religious, but that he believes there is “an order to the universe.” While I believe service and kindness helps immensely, I think that developing a relationship with God (regardless of one’s religious affiliation) is one of the best ways of overcoming depression. In my experience, God is personally interested in every one of us. One of the worst feelings of depression I ever experienced (over a period of a full week) was ended when I started to write about my experiences in life. These experiences were eventually framed into my book, A 21st Century Christmas Carol. It was the realization of God’s hand in my life, and the feeling of the Spirit of the Lord in my heart again, that helped me get out of a spiraling depressive cycle.