Author, Depression Exposed (2007)
Co-Pastor and Executive Director of Soteria Christian Center International
Co-Founder of the Soteria
Community Resource Center, a non-profit organization consisting of various programs to support
community growth and expansion
Retired Air Force Intelligence Officer for 17 years; Education:
Two Masters' Degrees and a Doctorate in Counseling Supervision & Education
Married to Rev. Perry
Moss, Jr., one adult daughter, Dawn Nicole (from previous marriage), one granddaughter, Breanna Octavia
Finding Victory Over Depression
The 700 Club
Looking at Dr. Belinda Moss today, you would never think she had suffered with depression for over 20 years. She is a highly educated honor graduate, a retired career Air Force officer, a humanitarian, minister, and prolific orator. However, as a child, she was never happy with herself and longed for acceptance. Dr. Moss had low self-esteem and was unhappy with her appearance. She used her intelligence to mask her insecurities. Unfortunately, she grew into a woman with insecurities. Dr. Moss says, “Most of my adult life was spent meditating on me.” Though she was saved in 1980 she struggled with depression.
Many people suffer from depression, she says. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) statistics from 2006 during any given year, 9.5% of the American population or about 18.8 million people will suffer from a depressive disorder. Mental health professionals admit there is no cure for depression. However, there are a variety of drugs to treat the symptoms. Unfortunately, in every prescription, the list of side effects is troubling. The cost for treating this ailment in America is reportedly over 40 billion dollars and the prognosis is recurrence.
There is a misconception in the military that depression can’t be beaten. In the Air Force, Air Combat Command suicide deaths have decreased from 14 in 2010 to 10 in 2011, and the command currently had 7 suicide deaths within 2012. Dr. Moss says airmen must understand that it is not pressure that causes suicide, but "an emotional pattern that they've been dealing with most of their lives." She offers a program that teaches Airmen how to understand and change their emotional pattern. "If we can teach them self-awareness and personal mastery, then we can stop it," Dr. Moss says. "How masterful you are on the outside depends on the degree of mastery you have on the inside."
MORE OF DR. MOSS’ STORY
In the early 1980s, Dr. Moss became an Intelligence Officer in the military. She was handpicked to brief visiting high ranking officers and dignitaries, including members of the House Appropriations Committee and a host of International leaders. She also became an ordained minister and planted churches. Her work in the Philippines was even featured on CBS 60 Minutes.
Nevertheless, inside, she was empty and desperately sad but masked it well – “There was a black cloud hovering over me.” By 1983, she was so severely depressed that she contemplated seeking professional help but couldn't because the military thought it made one susceptible to espionage and participating in therapy could cost her military career. Dr. Moss says, “I needed an escape, and committing suicide seemed like my only hope.” She swallowed a bottle of pills only to wake up a few hours later feeling physically sick. Dr. Moss continues, “My first attempt at suicide was a failure. This really messed with my head.” She subsequently married. Her husband got involved in drugs and had multiple affairs. All during this time,s he was promoted along the ranks in the military and led a confusing double life. After four years, she finally divorced her husband. The failure of her marriage thrust her into an even deeper depression. She decided once again, that “enough was enough”.
After her divorce and her daughter (from this marriage) went to college, Dr. Moss was being stalked. Unaware of her despair, a friend gave her a .357 Magnum to protect herself. One night in 1994 while alone, Dr. Moss was having a “serious pity party.” She took the cold barrel of the .357 to her head and said, “Lord, please take care of my daughter.” The gun didn't go off. Gripped by fear, Dr. Moss could not pull the trigger.
However, depression still prevailed. Dr. Moss says, “I would go out to minister and see thousands of people delivered by the power of God, but I didn't use that Word to get me delivered. After seeing God move, I would go to the hotel and get into a fetal position. Depression had such a grip on me.”
In 1995, she married her current husband after knowing him a few months. He witnessed her mood swings and days of despair. One day in 1997, he confronted her. He said, “You don't believe what you preach. I can't believe you live like this. You need to get in the Word and build yourself up.” He suggested she go upstairs and pray in the Spirit until she got delivered – “I got angry at him.” She went upstairs and prayed. She began praying in the Spirit every day whether she felt like it or not. She increased her study in the Word. Dr. Moss began to understand she was standing too much on the problem rather than the promises, like the book of Proverbs says, “As a man thinks, so is he.”
Pouring herself into the Word, applying it, and praying in the Spirit whether or not she felt like it, Dr. Moss's depression slowly lifted. It occurred less and less often until by 2000 she had experienced total freedom from depression. Today, she co-pastors with her husband and consults with the military on suicide prevention.
THE ROAD TO FREEDOM
Dr. Moss says depression is a total pre-occupation with self. In Proverbs 15:15 in the Amplified Bible it says, “All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].” In other words, if we are focused on ourselves, we bring on evil. For example, Dr. Moss was in a bad marriage and she didn’t like her appearance. It consumed her. She thought the only way out was to end her life. When Dr. Moss stood on the Word of God and believed what it said, she finally broke free from depression. She learned how she was wired and renewed her mind with the Word of God. Whenever bad thoughts would come to her or Satan attacked her she would respond, “No! I have the mind of Christ!” She disciplined the way she thought. She would say who she was in Christ even when she didn’t feel like it. The process took a few years before she was free. After that, her mind was opened to the Holy Spirit.
With depression, you don’t have to “manage” it; you can annihilate it, according to Dr. Moss. Depression wants to linger so you have to train yourself to do it - to manage it and get rid of it. You have to understand the spirit of depression vs. the attack of depression. You need to ask yourself if depression is coming out of you or someone/something else. If you are not generating it, then it is an attack. Here is how Dr. Moss says you will know the difference. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy. If you are not thinking about these things and are thinking about the things that are troubling you then you are generating depression. If you are thinking thoughts that align with God’s Word and something is coming at you then that is an attack (or if you are thinking the right thoughts that align with God’s Word and there are still things coming at you, that is an attack). For Dr. Moss, attacks of depression will try to come back but the difference is they can’t penetrate or come near her. Keeping a renewed mind through the Word of God keeps her in a place of peace. If you have lost your peace Dr. Moss says you have to find the place where your peace was interrupted, find where you are not at rest, and renew your mind in that area.
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