Overcoming Spiritual Blues: Your Guide to Managing Spiritual Depression

Last Update on February 27, 2024 : Published on February 28, 2024

Some days, my self-confidence keeps me going, but on others, I turn to my spiritual guides for support during challenging times when life becomes too overwhelming. I know you get what I mean. Sometimes, the high of joy and contentment seems enough, while other times, we find ourselves plummeting into a pit of despair. 

It’s OK to experience emotional fluctuations in our mood and mindset, but what happens when these feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair come from something deep inside us? From a more spiritual level? 

When I talk about depression, it’s very easy to see that the condition is more than just a pervasive feeling of sadness and emptiness. It’s a deep and constant sense of loss that can affect how we feel, think, act, and even live. Now, I know that depression is easy to understand on a more realistic level, but depression is something that can impact us on a more psychic level too. 

I’m not counting on the fact that you might be a spiritual person, but if you’re here reading this article, then you must believe – at least a little – in a higher power. On that note, I want you to understand that spirituality plays an important role in our well-being. It’s the core of our innermost beliefs, values, and connections to something that we can’t see or perceive. 

Whether it’s through organized religion, your beliefs, or a connection to the world around you, spirituality can offer a sense of purpose, meaning, and comfort in our lives. So, when you begin to feel a disconnect with yourself on a spiritual level, lose the meaning of your life, or form a disconnect with your faith, that’s when the loss turns into spiritual depression. 

If you’re still with me, then keep reading to learn more about spiritual depression, what it looks like, and how you can manage it. 

What is Spiritual Depression?

What is Spiritual Depression

Unlike clinical depression, which often comes from biological or psychological roots, spiritual depression comes from a crisis of faith or a disconnect from your spiritual beliefs and practices. However, like depression, spiritual depression can also feel like a dark cloud hangs over your soul, casting shadows on your spiritual journey. 

The term “spiritual depression” first gained popularity with the works of theologian and author, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in, “Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure” in 1954. Dr. Martyn explored the connection between spirituality and mental health, emphasizing the challenges faced by people struggling with spiritual blues. 

While spiritual depression shares some commonalities with clinical depression, such as feelings of sadness and hopelessness, there are distinct differences too. Spiritual depression tends to revolve around existential questions, doubts about one’s faith, and a sense of loss from one’s spiritual beliefs. On the other hand, clinical depression involves a wide range of symptoms and is often a result of chemical imbalances in the brain. 

Spiritual Depression Symptoms To Watch 

Spotting the signs of spiritual depression can help you find your way toward healing. Some common spiritual depression symptoms can include; 

  • A loss of interest in religious or spiritual practices that meant a lot to you once 
  • Persistent feelings of guilt, unworthiness, or shame related to your spiritual beliefs
  • Thinking existential questions about the meaning of life, death, and the presence of a higher power 
  • Feeling emotionally disconnected or numb 
  • Withdrawing from social interactions and community – spiritual or religious 
  • Feeling a deep sense of emptiness on a more spiritual level 

What Causes Spiritual Depression?

We all have different faiths and beliefs. I am a spiritual person at heart; however, it doesn’t mean that everyone in my life and found family shares the same beliefs and values. The causes of spiritual depression work the same way. You can’t expect everyone to have the same causes, as it might depend on person to person. However, some common triggers or causes of spiritual depression can include; 

  • Experiencing doubt or crisis regarding your religion or spiritual beliefs 
  • Experiencing trauma or loss that has shaken your faith and caused spiritual distress 
  • Experiencing inner conflicts and struggles such as unresolved guilt or shame 
  • Feeling disconnected from a supportive spiritual community, causing heightened loneliness and isolation 

While research is limited on spiritual depression, various small-scale studies show a strong relation between spirituality and mental health. Practices such as prayers, meditation, and community involvement can also be linked to reduced symptoms of depression and better overall well-being. 

Overcoming Spiritual Depression

Overcoming Spiritual Depression

Managing and coping with spiritual depression is a part of self-discovery, healing, and finding a renewed you. Here are some ways you can figure out your way from the maze of spiritual blues and come out the other end with a sense of your faith restored; 

1. Connect With Your Higher Power

Strengthening your relationship with your higher power or God through prayer, meditation, and reflection can offer you some comfort and guidance in times of spiritual distress. You can – at this phase – begin to trust in your higher power to offer you comfort and reassurance. This simple act of trusting your higher power can help you reduce feelings of hopelessness and isolation. 

2. Connect With Yourself

Take some time for self-reflection and introspection to explore what you’re thinking and feeling. Take time to understand your spiritual needs. Figure out any unresolved issues or conflicts contributing to your spiritual depression symptoms, and work on healing yourself. Practice self-care and engage in hobbies that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. You can begin with some mindfulness exercises, journaling, or expressive arts. 

3. Connect With Others 

Most of all, seek support from your trusted friends and family, or even members of your spiritual community. Share your struggles and feelings with them openly, and allow yourself to receive love, empathy, and encouragement from your community. Surrounding yourself with supportive people and relationships can offer you a sense of belonging and connection. It can also reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

4. Connect With Nature 

Spend some time in the arms of nature and reconnect with the beauty and serenity of the natural world. Whether it’s taking a walk, sitting by the beach, or hiking in the mountains, immerse yourself in nature. Nature can be your healer and can help uplift your soul and spirit. Allow yourself to be there in the moment and appreciate the little things around you. Try to find peace and inspiration in the beauty you’re surrounded with. 

5. Seek Professional Help 

If spiritual depression persists despite your efforts to manage it, consider seeking professional help. You can reach out to a therapist or a counselor who understands the connection between spirituality and mental health. Therapy can provide you a safe and non-judgmental space to explore your feelings and experiences, and develop healthy coping strategies to manage spiritual distress. 

Wrap Up… 

Spiritual depression is a challenging – and misunderstood – experience, but it’s important to remember that even with this, it’s possible to find the path toward healing and recovery. By taking care of your spiritual needs, fostering a connection with your community, and seeking help when needed, you can come out of the darkness with a renewed sense of purpose, hope, and yes – faith. 

Remember, you are not alone. Reach out, lean on your faith, and trust that everything will – one day – be OK. 

I hope this article helped you understand what is spiritual depression and how to overcome spiritual blues. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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