What is Depression?

Your emotions, believe it or not, help you to understand your life on a deeper level. A significant difference between human beings and the animal kingdom is in our ability to feel a wide variety of emotions. Without emotions, you’d have the personality of a lesser being. You’d be predictable, instinctive—non-unique.

Sadness is a very common emotion that all healthy people experience. Feeling down or sad when something negative happens is a totally normal reaction. Sadness lets your conscience know that you need to take the time to address your disappointment rather than trying to ignore bad things when they happen. In many cases, sadness fades away gradually or even vanishes when something positive happens.

Depression, however, is more than the common emotion of sadness. Depression is actually a condition where sadness and its symptoms linger for extended periods of time. When depression comes to stay it usually brings along other difficulties that interfere with a person’s ability to lead a normal and healthy life. Depression loves to make itself at home. It enjoys influencing the way you think, the way you feel, and even the way you behave. Depression likes to color the canvas of life in dark shades of despair and helplessness.

Depression is a big deal. Depression influences the way your brain functions. Your brain, of course, is that 3-pound organ located in your head. In order to recognize depression, you first have to understand how the human brain works. Your brain has 6 basic functions that are meant to work in unison:

  1. Your brain manages your body. Every time you make a movement, your brain is involved. Every time you breathe or your heart beats, your brain is involved. Your brain works at your command when you want to pick up a pencil. Your brain works on its own when you need to digest food.
  2. Your brain monitors your physical exposure to your environment. Your brain uses your sense of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch to observe your surroundings. Your brain let’s you know when the weather is cold and alerts you to put on a coat. With just a whiff, your brain let’s you know when you’re near fresh baked goodies. You hear, see, taste, feel and smell the world around you with your brain.
  3. Your brain collects, stores and processes data. Your brain enables you to build your favorite playlist, recall vocabulary words, do math problems, remember the names of your friends or find your way around your favorite store. Your brain helps you to make plans with friends or organize your room.
  4. Your brain governs your behavior. Your brain controls all of your interactions with other people; this means the tone of your voice, your level of excitement and your attitude.
  5. Your brain decides how you feel. Your brain not only decides how you feel on the inside, but also determines how you express your feelings to those around you.
  6. Your brain protects you from harm. Your brain constantly monitors your external and internal sensors in order to keep you from trouble. Externally, your brain recognizes the burn of a scalding hot cup of cocoa and will prevent you from taking too big of a sip. Internally, your brain recognizes the pain of hurtful words spoken to you and will raise negative emotions in order to warn you of being exposed to unkindness.

As you can see your brain, in many ways, is the control panel for your life. When your brain is working properly, you have good mental health. Good mental health touches every aspect of your being including your physical health, your appetites, your sleep patterns, your school performance, your confidence, your relationships with people and even the way you view your relationship with God. Having good mental health allows you to deal with every day situations and live a positive life.

When depression moves in, it can get you stuck in a pattern of thinking that actually alters the way your brain is meant to function. Over time, your brain can get used to working in an incorrect way. When this happens, your mental health suffers making things like physical health, work, academics, and relationships very difficult. Depression can decrease your enthusiasm and strip away your self-confidence and trust in God. Depression impacts your whole outlook on life.

Depression, however, does not have the power to define a person. It is sometimes helpful to think of depression as an unwanted traveling companion that wants to tag along in your journey. The keys to combatting depression is in understanding how this hitchhiker wangled a ride in the first place and how is it depression can be kicked to the curb…

For more on combating depression and finding hope, contact the Resolutions Counseling Inc. office. 304-848-0303 or contact us.

10 Spot Challenge...$10 to make a difference

So… a few weeks ago I attended a Sunday morning worship service where the strangest thing happened. Instead of me being compelled to make a donation, the church leadership actually gave away money to everyone in attendance! I kid you not. Everyone in this sizable crowd received a 10-spot ($10 bill). The challenge was “Take this money and use it to bless others.”

So here is my idea. Please take a minute to read this proposition and consider joining me in this 10-Spot Challenge.

About a month ago there was a nationwide sting conducted by the FBI that resulted in the arrest of over 150 domestic human traffickers/pimps and the subsequent liberation and processing of over 100 teens who were domestic sex trafficking victims. In case you missed it, here is the link for the details:


While a bust like this is all well and good, it is easy to overlook the intensive work now involved with caring for these rescued teens, the youngest of which is just 13 years old! Many of these teens have no real family to speak of and will be assigned by the courts to group homes and rehabilitation centers. It is very important to remember that just because a person has been freed does not mean that they will intuitively know how to live like a free person. These girls have suffered terrible abuse, exploitation, manipulation and neglect. Many struggle with drug addiction, mental disorder, personality disorder, physical sickness and spiritual anguish as a result of their enslavement. They now face a difficult journey of recovery, rehab and redemption.

Through ongoing activism in the fight against human trafficking, I have come to know a highly effective intervention center that is trying valiantly to increase their intake capacity in the wake of this most recent sting. So here is my challenge. I am going to lead with a $20 donation to StreetLight USA

$10 is the original 10 spot I received at church and the additional $10 is on behalf of the Campbell family. I have well over 600 Facebook friends. If everyone donates a 10 spot to StreetLight USA we will raise over $6000 in a virtual flash. If you want to be a part of this 10 Spot Challenge, click “like” and then immediately go to streetlightusa.org and donate. Spread the word and let’s see if we can pay this original $10 forward in a major way.