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November 2014
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Focus on Depression

In this newsletter:

  • What Causes Depression
  • 8 Things To Do to Help Beat Depression
  • Does Exercise Help Treat Depression?
  • Is depression hereditary?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
  • Is My Child Depressed?
  • Why do Christians get depressed?
  • Will medication help?

What Causes Depression? 

From G. Bowden McElroyThere is no single known cause of depression. Rather, it likely results from a combination of a number of factors. Psychology textbooks like to talk about "nature versus nurture": are people's problems the result of genetics and brain chemistry (nature) or the result of family environment, life experiences, and choices (nurture)? The truth is that nearly all of human experience is some combination of both. (more...)

8 Things To Do to Help Beat Depression

From: Lois Trost, M.S.W.Improve the quality of your life by taking control of depression before it takes control of you. Depression can sometimes be managed with a few techniques. A few suggestions to try when you begin to feel down include:

1.  Pay Attention to Your Self-Talk. Stop reminding yourself of all the things presently going wrong. Instead, conjure up memories from happier times. Remember that thought content = Mood.

 (continue reading...)

Does Exercise Help Treat Depression?


From Tim Doty, Psy.D.: My advice...if you are struggling with depression, the best course of action is to seek out talk therapy with a trusted therapist and increase activities that allow our bodies' neurochemicals to become more balanced:  such as, regular exercise, good sleep hygiene, and well-balanced diet.  Included in talk therapy, I think it is helpful for individuals struggling with depression to take a look at their broader social connections and increase relational satisfaction.  (more...)
Is anxiety/depression hereditary?

This is the age-old question of nature vs. nurture.  Are mood disorders (depression/anxiety) a result of nature (genetics/brain chemistry) or nurture (upbringing/environment)?

It may be beneficial to think in terms of risk factors: the more risk factors that are present, the more likely depression or anxiety is to develop.  Having family members with a mood disorder may elevate the risk, but it doesn't doom someone to the disorder.

At Christian Family Institute we view anxiety and depression as a combination of biological, psychological, social and spiritual factors.  All of these components are considered when treating mood disorders.


What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. When you have depression, however, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness; even those with the most severe depression can get better with treatment.


People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness. (continue reading...)

Is My Child Depressed?

From G. Bowden McErloy, M.Ed.: It is difficult to know how many children (pre-teens) suffer from depression. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that, at any given time, 11% of children under the age of 18 meet the diagnostic criteria for Depression. We know that girls are more likely than boys to suffer from depression and that the risk increases as the child becomes older. But these numbers include teenagers; it is hard to find statistics for children from pre-K through age 12. (continue reading...)

Why do Christians get depressed?

Christians are not immune to depression.  Christians face the same challenges as non-Christians.  Depression can affect anyone, at any age, race or ethnic group.  According to the National Institute for Mental Health, clinical depression affects more than 19 million Americans each year.  Some Christians do not seek help for depression when prayer alone has not led to relief.  Spiritual factors may not be the only contributing factor to one's experience of depression.  Christian Family Institute specializes in treating the spiritual, emotional, and mental health needs of individuals, couples and families.

Will medication help?


Sometimes!  Medication is not the ONLY answer to many psychological, mental health or life stress concerns. However, medication is sometimes indicated during the process of evaluating and treating an issue with long-standing history and severe symptoms.  For example we compare taking medication for severe depression to taking medication for a chronic illness like diabetes.  A diabetic would not have as much success in their overall health, if they were not on a regimen of healthy eating, exercise, and appropriate medical care.  This is true for some mental health concerns as well.  

Research has shown that a combination of talk therapy and medication, under the care of a psychiatrist or primary care doctor, can be the best treatment for chronic or ongoing mental health concerns.

Many situations in life do not require medication, but if during the course of treatment, symptoms persist or increase in intensity, your counselor may recommend a consultation with your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist.

Additional Resources



Check out some of our other articles about services we offer:

If we can be of service, please contact CFI to set up a time to consult with one of our counselors.  To view our full range of services, please visit


Bowden McElroy, M.Ed. on behalf of
Christian Family Institute

Our Staff includes:
Dale R. Doty, Ph.D.
William B. Berman, Ph.D.
G. Bowden McElroy, M.Ed.
Eric L. Clements, M.S. 
Timothy D. Doty, Psy.D.
Krista Caveny, M.A.
Jennifer Giles, M.S.
Chris Giles, M.S.
Joseph James, Psy.D.