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Coping With Seasonal Affective Disorder as a Christian

Updated on December 21, 2011

Christians Face SAD, But They Have Hope

Being a Christian does not make you exempt from the pain of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is not a result of the colder temperatures but an absence of light -- both the shorter daylight hours of winter and the increased gloom of overcast skies. The cold certainly can aggravate the symptoms, though, especially if you are a cold natured person.

I have walked through many seasons of SAD, fighting it bravely as I held on to my hope in God. I offer my tips with expectation that God is sufficient to meet your needs even when facing SAD.

Facing the burden of Seasonal Affective Disorder as a Christian
Facing the burden of Seasonal Affective Disorder as a Christian | Source

Meditate on Scripture

There is power in God's word, and when you face SAD, you need to arm yourself with the "sword of the Spirit." When the emotional darkness falls, quote Scripture and meditate on the truth of it.

My favorite verse for dealing with SAD is Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light."

I have quoted that verse to myself over and over during dark winter days. Although I face the gloomy, short days of winter, I have God as my ultimate Light. I meditate on the sufficiency of God to provide all the light I need -- both literal light and spiritual light.

Then I meditate on the many people around me who lack not only physical light but alsospiritual light. Those thoughts cause me to be thankful for the light I do have rather than obsess over the lack of daylight.

Another key scripture in my fight against SAD is Psalm 18:28 "For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness."

This kind of self-talk is effective. It rejects the lies and replaces them with truth.

Lies

  • l can't cope in this cold, dark, dreary time.
  • This gloom is killing me.
  • Life is not worth living.
  • I'm never going to see the sun again.

Truth

  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • God ordained this winter; He will get me through it.
  • Christ is my life -- all year long.
  • Spring will come. Summer will come. I will see the sun again.
  • The Lord is my light.

Scriptures for Battling the Spiritual Fight Against SAD

Yes, SAD is a form of spiritual warfare. The enemy of your soul desires you to be incapacitated and hopeless. He may use the dark days of winter to attack you. Be on your guard with these weapons of truth.

Psalm 119:130 says, "The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple." Light here certainly means understanding, but God's word can meet our literal desire for light during the throes of SAD. Meditate on the symbolism of light in God's word and how He is the True Light. Consider how you do walk in true light when you have a relationship with him.

Meditation Helps

  • Mark these verses in your Bible.
  • Write these verses on cards that you carry with you through the day, especially when you are walking outside in the light.
  • Post these verses around your home.
  • Record these verses and listen to them over and over.
  • Memorize a new verse each week, and repeat it to yourself whenever the weight of SAD pulls on you.
  • Pray these verses back to God, affirming the truth and claiming the promises.
  • Speak them out loud in a confident voice.

Scriptures for Battling the Spiritual Fight Against SAD

The following verses from the ESV Bible have ministered to me as I fought SAD.

Genesis 1:3

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

2 Samuel 22:29

For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness.

2 Samuel 23:3-5

The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men,ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

Job 12:22

He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light.

Job 29:3

when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness,

Job 33:28-30

He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light. Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be lighted with the light of life.

Psalm 4:6

Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!

Psalm 36:9

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

Psalm 43:3

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!

Psalm 43:3

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!

Psalm 89:15

Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face,

Psalm 139:12

even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

Isaiah 60:1

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

Isaiah 60:19-20

The sun shall be no more your light by day,nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself;for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.

Micah 7:8

Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.

John 8:12

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

John 12:46

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

2 Corinthians 4:6

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:8

for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Revelation 21:23

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Take a Walk Outside to Fight the Winter Blues

Bathe yourself in daylight as much as possible.
Bathe yourself in daylight as much as possible. | Source

Get Outside in the Light

Exposing yourself to natural daylight is essential for fighting SAD. Ecclesiastes 11:7 says, "Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun."

So get outside. Walk during the noontime hours when the sun is at its brightest. The sunlight, however gloomy the sky may be, and the exercise truly work wonders for the heavy weight that SAD exerts on your soul. Isaiah 2:5 says, "let us walk in the light of the LORD." You can walk in the literal light of the sun which God provides as you walk in the light of his truth by meditating on scripture.

As you walk, look at the sky and focus on the scientific truth that the sun is still there. Even if the sky is totally overcast, you know that the sun is behind that overarching gray. Imagine yourself flying in an airplane and getting above the gloom where you can see vivid blue skies and a radiant sun. The sun is there and it will return in its full glory one day. Speak that truth to yourself to fight off the SAD.

Be Kind to Yourself

Do the things that cheer you up. Small indulgences can go a long way to lifting your spirits.

  • eat chocolate
  • drink hot tea
  • wear warm wool thermals to insulate yourself from the cold
  • take hot showers or baths
  • invest in a natural light lamp and soak in its light
  • buy a small gift for yourself -- a colorful scarf, or hat for facing the cold
  • enjoy colorful art of spring and summer scenes
  • take Vitamin D supplements
  • spend time with loved friend who will encourage you

As you enjoy these small pleasures, meditate on God's goodness to provide them for you. Don't merely take them for granted. Really contemplate the treasure that each one is. One way to do that is to consider life without access to these things. Imagine living somewhere that does not have good chocolate (yes, those places exist) or picture yourself without hot water. Count your blessings and be thankful. Gratitude goes a long way towards fighting the depression of SAD.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Nicole Gorton 

      2 years ago

      Very encouraging and an anchor of Hope

    • profile image

      kevin 

      2 years ago

      Thanks for this!

    • NonnyK profile image

      NonnyK 

      6 years ago from My Home Usually!

      A comprehensive list of scripture that can help people deal with depression. Excellent!!

    • JimmieWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Jimmie Quick 

      6 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

      Apryl, I am so glad to hear from you. It is always encouraging to hear from another person who understands the very real power of prayer.

    • Apryl Schwarz profile image

      Apryl Schwarz 

      6 years ago from Nebraska

      This is a fantastic HUB! I face bouts of depression, not always SAD but the wintertime definitely seems to bring it out more often. Meditation and scripture are such powerful weapons against depression and I will definitely be coming back to these when in need. Thanks!

    • JimmieWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Jimmie Quick 

      6 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

      Thanks, Laura. I hope that God's truth about His Light helps those with SAD.

    • profile image

      Loquacious Laura 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the scripture and truth about spiritual warfare. I don't get SAD but I have some friends that suffer from it every year. I am going to give them your link.

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