And of course, I say EMPHATICALLY YES! (Plus, I’m not really sure what they mean by ‘real’ Christians anyways). By the way, it’s a good article, and I’m glad they wrote it.
If you know me, know my writing, or have seen any of my posts this last week then you know that I think depression is a huge issue, and that it affects all kinds of people, regardless of race, culture, sex, religion, etc. It knows no boundaries and we are all susceptible to it.
It does not matter if one has a strong faith, or a weak faith, depression can strike at anytime. It doesn’t matter if you pray everyday, or pray every once in a while, depression can strike anytime. It doesn’t matter if you go to church, memorize the Bible and do door to door evangelism…yes, depression can strike anytime.
There are plenty of examples in Scripture where God’s people…prophets, kings, disciples were brought to a place of what looks like depression. To places at times where they didn’t even want to go on with life.
I think that we do a disservice to people when we excuse their depression as simply spiritual, or we treat them as if all they need to do is read their Bible more. As I said before, if I have a heart problem, I’m going to go talk with someone who has been trained to know the inner and outer workings of the heart. If I have cancer, I’m going to go see a specialist who knows about cancer. And if I have depression, then I want to talk with someone who takes me seriously and knows how to treat depression.
Does God, the Bible, our spiritual lives, have a role in depression? Sure! They can be all great sources of comfort and encouragement, especially in dark times. And ultimately, if we are Christians, we place our faith, trust and hope in Christ, and that he is the great healer. But I also think God has created us to help one another, and he has gifted many people with certain skills to help people in certain times. So why not in depression then?
Let me get down off my soapbox now and leave you with a quote from the article that I particularly liked.
Depression should be treated and can be put into remission through a course of psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy and/or antidepressant medication, supplemented by healthy doses of prayer within a loving Christian community. It is nonsensical to tell a depressed person that if he only read his Bible more or had better quiet times, his depression would surely be lifted. That would be like telling a diabetic that faith alone will regulate her insulin levels. Faith alone gives eternal salvation, but in the meantime, God has given us resources by which to make our temporal existences more palatable. Depression is certainly healed by the grace of God, sometimes directly and miraculously, but more often through the tools of His servants, like pharmacists, therapists, pastors and friends.
So what do you think?