Depression

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LaVieEnRose

Active member
Jun 6, 2018
363
231
43
Alabama
#1
I realize that this thread may be irritating, but when did that ever stop me from stating my opinion?

In the light of the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I would like to state a few things about depression.

I am not a doctor. I have a psychology degree and I worked in a mental hospital for five years.

I have depression.

Those are my “credentials”.

Depression is a MEDICAL issue, not spiritual. I understand people have the best intentions when offering ways for people with depression to “get better”. It is lovely that so many people mean well.

The best advice to give a depressed person is to seek medical help, whether it be through antidepressants or therapy, or both!

Sometimes, the depressed person actually feels worse after hearing advice about how to get better, because the person tries the advice- and they are still depressed.

It has nothing to do with one’s spiritual state. Spurgeon suffered from depression- the Prince of Preachers, and a man very close to God. Elijah was a depressive, and Jeremiah.

Depression is medical.

Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this post.
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
240
63
#2
So was Martin Luther, who very much believed it to be spiritual. I agree that depression is a medical problem, but I think there is a spiritual dimension which most therapists don't even know about or consider.
 

LaVieEnRose

Active member
Jun 6, 2018
363
231
43
Alabama
#3
So was Martin Luther, who very much believed it to be spiritual. I agree that depression is a medical problem, but I think there is a spiritual dimension which most therapists don't even know about or consider.
I want to be careful about this, because I have heard people say that people who are depressed are lacking something spiritually- as in GOOD Christians are not DEPRESSED Christians. This sort of shaming can prevent people from seeking treatment or even talking to their loved ones about what is going on for fear of being told they do not have enough faith or need to read their Bibles more, etc.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
9,890
696
113
#4
I was reading a whole thread on FB in response to the recent suicides. Everyone was pointing out that being a Christian doesn't mean you won't get depression, a disease of the brain, where the neurotransmitters are not working properly. Then one guy says "No, you just need to get closer to Jesus!" Such ignorance!

Many of those people pointed out how much Jesus does help them in their depression. And that they wouldn't be alive without him. But, some people are just rock solid depressed, even with meds, and they are saved, they love and serve Jesus, but they have something wrong with their way their brains work.

I do believe Jesus is a good starting point for anyone! But, sometimes he allows us to go through things. My husband has major depression, always has. The hard part, was the early years. He thought he was just a bad Christian, refused medication, and generally made both of our lives miserable. Then, he finally got on medication and his whole life changed. He found joy in life.

About 5 years later, he got depressed again. They add a second AD, one which supplied different neurotransmitters. He has been doing well for almost 10 years. And he now understands that God does love him, and that he is saved.

Good OP! I hope people will hear and listen. And if anyone is depressed or suicidal, please send me a pm, and we can talk about it. I have taken Biblical counseling and worked with the mentally ill for over 10 years now. Or even better - talk to your GP about it, or get referred to a psychiatrist. Help is available!
 

LaVieEnRose

Active member
Jun 6, 2018
363
231
43
Alabama
#5
I was reading a whole thread on FB in response to the recent suicides. Everyone was pointing out that being a Christian doesn't mean you won't get depression, a disease of the brain, where the neurotransmitters are not working properly. Then one guy says "No, you just need to get closer to Jesus!" Such ignorance!

Many of those people pointed out how much Jesus does help them in their depression. And that they wouldn't be alive without him. But, some people are just rock solid depressed, even with meds, and they are saved, they love and serve Jesus, but they have something wrong with their way their brains work.

I do believe Jesus is a good starting point for anyone! But, sometimes he allows us to go through things. My husband has major depression, always has. The hard part, was the early years. He thought he was just a bad Christian, refused medication, and generally made both of our lives miserable. Then, he finally got on medication and his whole life changed. He found joy in life.

About 5 years later, he got depressed again. They add a second AD, one which supplied different neurotransmitters. He has been doing well for almost 10 years. And he now understands that God does love him, and that he is saved.

Good OP! I hope people will hear and listen. And if anyone is depressed or suicidal, please send me a pm, and we can talk about it. I have taken Biblical counseling and worked with the mentally ill for over 10 years now. Or even better - talk to your GP about it, or get referred to a psychiatrist. Help is available!
Thanks so much for your post and sharing with us about your husband’s struggles. I am glad he has got his depression managed.

I felt compelled to write this after reading what one of my facebook friend’s husband said- that Spade and Bourdain were lacking in spirituality which is why they became suicidal.

I think the more we talk about how mental illnesses are physical diseases and not spiritual, the more people will seek medical help and therapy.
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
240
63
#6
I want to be careful about this, because I have heard people say that people who are depressed are lacking something spiritually- as in GOOD Christians are not DEPRESSED Christians. This sort of shaming can prevent people from seeking treatment or even talking to their loved ones about what is going on for fear of being told they do not have enough faith or need to read their Bibles more, etc.
On the contrary, Martin Luther thought it was GOOD Christians who suffered from spiritual attacks of depression. (Just reading Eric Metaxas' biography on Martin Luther....quite insightful).
 

LaVieEnRose

Active member
Jun 6, 2018
363
231
43
Alabama
#7
On the contrary, Martin Luther thought it was GOOD Christians who suffered from spiritual attacks of depression. (Just reading Eric Metaxas' biography on Martin Luther....quite insightful).
I have never thought about it that way. I’ll have to put his book on my “to read” list.
 

JesseBless

New member
May 29, 2018
8
8
3
#8
I realize that this thread may be irritating, but when did that ever stop me from stating my opinion?

In the light of the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I would like to state a few things about depression.

I am not a doctor. I have a psychology degree and I worked in a mental hospital for five years.

I have depression.

Those are my “credentials”.

Depression is a MEDICAL issue, not spiritual. I understand people have the best intentions when offering ways for people with depression to “get better”. It is lovely that so many people mean well.

The best advice to give a depressed person is to seek medical help, whether it be through antidepressants or therapy, or both!

Sometimes, the depressed person actually feels worse after hearing advice about how to get better, because the person tries the advice- and they are still depressed.

It has nothing to do with one’s spiritual state. Spurgeon suffered from depression- the Prince of Preachers, and a man very close to God. Elijah was a depressive, and Jeremiah.

Depression is medical.

Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this post.
I totally agree. When someone has a physical illness we don't tell them that they just need to be closer with God in order to get better, so why should we with mental illness?
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
9,890
696
113
#9
Metaxas is not a good biography. His work on Bonhoeffer was really hyped. But, Bonhoeffer's best friend wrote the definitive biography, and it differs in many places. One of my professors just hate Metaxas, so beware!
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
9,890
696
113
#10
I totally agree. When someone has a physical illness we don't tell them that they just need to be closer with God in order to get better, so why should we with mental illness?
I wonder if people confuse the words "mental" with "spiritual?" Because they both seem to be about the head?

In fact, neither is about the head! Mental illness is about the brain, in the case of Axis II disorders, about the personality in Axis I disorders. Spiritual depression is about our relationship with God. That starts with our heart, but also affects our spirit, soul and mind.

Of course, we should all try to be closer to God. But, ironically, sometimes suffering, including mental illness can be the catalyst that brings us closer to God.

Our society seems to think that happiness is the goal, and life being perfect achieves that. The Bible says something totally different. The Bible says we rejoice in our suffering! (Romans 5:3). The Bible says we grow in character through our endurance in suffering. (Romans 5:4). The Bible says to count it all joy, when we have trials and tribulations. Because this is how we mature. Note James says "joy", not happiness. Our joy is in Christ, but there is no guarantee of happiness! That is a worldly value.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" James 1:3-5

Sometimes those trials are external, like persecution. Sometimes they are physical, like hunger. The church James pastored in Jerusalem was in the midst of a famine. Sometimes, it is physical or mental illness. But, the result - to be mature and complete and not lacking anything!

How totally different than what the world says! It says avoid pain and suffering of any and all types, at all costs. Within the church, you have the Word Faith people, who place a stigma on suffering people, when the Bible says we learn and grow into the people God created us to be through suffering.

So, do we adopt the mores and world view of a world obsessed with happiness, instead of joy? A world running from pain, instead of learning what we can? A world that is about self, not about God and helping others?

Which brings me to my final point! When we have suffered, God helps us and comforts us, so that we can comfort others. Not with false promises of money or health, but with the compassion that is found in Christ Jesus. If Christ suffered for us, why do we think we will escape, or get a free pass to a perfect life? To me, the perfect life is the one lived for Christ.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." 2 Cor. 1:3-7

And just to close, a verse from my favourite Psalm in the OT, which was instrumental in pulling me out of the depression I went into when I got painful and debilitating RA, and was told by Word Faith people I didn't have enough faith to be healed.

"5 Why am I so depressed?
Why this turmoil within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,
my Savior and my God." Psalm 42:5

No matter how depressed someone is, or the turmoil in our lives, we MUST put our hope in God, and praise him! And sometimes, that means praising God, anyway!
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
22,496
1,115
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#11
Abraham Lincoln suffered from severe depression too.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
22,496
1,115
113
63
#12
I want to be careful about this, because I have heard people say that people who are depressed are lacking something spiritually- as in GOOD Christians are not DEPRESSED Christians. This sort of shaming can prevent people from seeking treatment or even talking to their loved ones about what is going on for fear of being told they do not have enough faith or need to read their Bibles more, etc.
Suffering from depression does not mean you are a bad Christian and being upbeat and cheery all of the time does not mean that your a good Christian either.
 

Ugly

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2011
20,505
512
113
#13
This is a point I have tried to make on this site many times. Often, it seems, people who hold this view have never had to contend with depression and therefore are speaking on a matter they know nothing about.
The body gets sick they say to go to a doctor, the brain gets sick they say you're not spiritual enough. They are too ignorant to see the contradiction.
 

LaVieEnRose

Active member
Jun 6, 2018
363
231
43
Alabama
#14
Suffering from depression does not mean you are a bad Christian and being upbeat and cheery all of the time does not mean that your a good Christian either.
Many people feel this way, that if you have enough faith- then you should be happy and not sad. It is rather sad for people who believe in faith healing, especially.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
22,496
1,115
113
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#15
Many people feel this way, that if you have enough faith- then you should be happy and not sad. It is rather sad for people who believe in faith healing, especially.
Yes, I get where you are coming from. You confide in someone that you feel a little depressed and get a song and dance in return about how you lack faith in the healing power of God. The person that says this crap is probably sicker than the person they're telling it too. Perhaps they don't even realize it, or they're in denial. It could be the result of a sin problem that has not been addressed, or maybe it's because their own faith is lacking. Probably the latter.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
22,496
1,115
113
63
#16
This is a point I have tried to make on this site many times. Often, it seems, people who hold this view have never had to contend with depression and therefore are speaking on a matter they know nothing about.
The body gets sick they say to go to a doctor, the brain gets sick they say you're not spiritual enough. They are too ignorant to see the contradiction.
I fully agree with you, especially about the ignorant part that wherein lies the problem.
 

LPT

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2017
580
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#17
Drop some Ashawangadha 800mg, Walmart about 7.88$ a bottle of 60.

I've been on it, it will improve your mood, combat depression.
 

LaVieEnRose

Active member
Jun 6, 2018
363
231
43
Alabama
#18
Drop some Ashawangadha 800mg, Walmart about 7.88$ a bottle of 60.

I've been on it, it will improve your mood, combat depression.
Thank you for the recommendation, but I am on a prescribed antidepressant and do not want to take anything over the counter that may conflict with my medication.
 

LPT

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2017
580
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28
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#19
Thank you for the recommendation, but I am on a prescribed antidepressant and do not want to take anything over the counter that may conflict with my medication.
Well be careful with those lab made chemicals they can have quite a few side effects. ponder yourself are the man made meds doing the job you want it too? God has provided many ways to help with conditions outside the garden, herbs being one. I've got a sluggish thyriod, the man made crap isn't helping me over the years my thyriod has slowly shutdown I felt worse over the years. somethings I'll tackle on my own somethings I'll go to the doc when I need too.
 

LaVieEnRose

Active member
Jun 6, 2018
363
231
43
Alabama
#20
Well be careful with those lab made chemicals they can have quite a few side effects. ponder yourself are the man made meds doing to job you want it too? God has provided many ways to help with conditions outside the garden, herbs being one.
I have a lot of faith in modern medicine. I believe the trained doctor knows what dosages I should take or not take. I have no such faith in my own knowledge of medicine and may take something that would do me an injury.