Friday, November 9, 2007

Depression

I have heard a few Christians argue that a follower of Christ cannot be or should not be depressed. I have had several conversations lately with believers who have expressed their struggle with depression as of late. I don't understand how one's emotional and sometimes psychological problems make them an unholy person, or one less worthy to call themselves a disciple.

I understand that as a believer in Christ, there is a hope that the world does not have. It is the hope of eternal glory and present peace. But, at some point, life may be overwhelming and a person may not have the coping skills to navigate through their issues.

I guess I am just asking for opinions. When do you encourage someone not to "worry about anything, but in everything present requests to the Lord" and He will give them "peace that transcends all understanding" (Phil 4), and when do you encourage someone to maybe seek the help of a professional?

What are your thoughts on depression in the life of a believer?

7 comments:

Happyness said...

I think it depends on how long a person expresses feelings of depression. As I have shared with you, I go through brief bouts and then I seem to have a realization that God is in control.

Sometimes, I think we forget that depression is just another tool that the enemy uses to keep us from realizing God's true purpose for our lives. It doesn't mean that people don't suffer from it.

I think in all things, we seek wisdom and guidance from God. When we deal with a particular person with this issue, we turn to God. Sometimes, the help of a professional can truly assist a person in dealing with the issue. After all, we seek the assistance of counselors with all sorts of issues in our lives. Pastors are counselors of sorts, so why couldn't we address those same professionals with the issue of depression?

Bethany Patrice said...

Good point...on how determing the length of the depression in relation to the severity, and about how sometimes the enemy can use these times to distract from God.

I don't like how sometimes there seems to be a quilt attached to the "depression" word. What is there to feel guilty of? I read David's words and at this lowest point, he doesn't even want to live...and look at the hero of faith that he was.

Megan said...

Bethany-
Thank you so much for praying!!! I have an updated post up. God is really working all this out! I pray it keeps just getting better.
I personally believe that believers can be depressed. I went thru a time myself of depression and I had christian leader help me thru it. Christians have hard and rough lives too. Everyone deals with stress in different ways. God is here for all those things!

Love-
Megan

Janna Banana said...

i think being humans, we are weak...and in a time of weakness, which we all have at one point or another, we may be attacked with these emotions. How is it fair to say that someone can struggle with something else in their weakness but another cannot be attacked with emotions of depression? It is when we realize we are at this point that we understand what happens in weakness and that we need strength, Christ, and possibly professional help. Believers are a part of professions and vocations such as to help depression...for a reason!

Kelly Weinberg said...

You already have 4 really good comments on the subject, but I wanted to say first of all that I agree with what everyone wrote, and second I'm glad that you asked that question b/c I have been wondering about that lately myself.

Judith and Lance said...

Bethany - I feel pretty strongly about this and believe that although sometimes depression can be a strictly temporary shift in mood, at times it is a very real physical symptom/illness due to a lack of serotonin or other hormonal imbalance in one of the temporal lobes in the brain. Some prescription meds can cause depression b/c they alter hormonal balance, it's kind of a catch 22, a person is taking meds to heal a physical problem which in turn creates another one. I think there are situations where prayer and support can get someone through a tough time, but all to often the literal physcial symptoms of depression are overlooked. Would someone say that the fle is only imagined if you had all of the symptoms? I highly doubt it. Anyway, that's my take on it.

sharonie said...

Is one willing to allow the Lord to work through them during the depression and still seeking Him, or are they dependant on the drug hoping that will heal their depression?