Examples of depression, anxiety, and mental illness in the Bible
1. Gerasene demoniac: Psychotic behavior
Jesus healed humans controlled by demonic entities. They were entirely out of control because several demons took control of their faculties and tormented them. In short, they had psychotic behavior.
When Jesus came to their area, He brought deliverance for them from the powers of darkness by commanding legions to leave the body of a demoniac insane man.
There is a distinction between (mild) depression and psychotic behavior. While both are forms of mental illness, the latter is considered demonization in the Bible. Not all diseases are caused by the devil.
When He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men from the tombs met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way…
The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
2. King David’s anguish and anxiety
Although King David was after God’s own heart, his sins caught up with him. God allowed insurmountable problems that caused him great misery. In short, David had depression and anxiety but found solace in God’s mercy.
Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage! 2 Your arrows have struck deep, and your blows are crushing me. 3 Because of your anger, my whole body is sick; my health is broken because of my sins.
4 My guilt overwhelms me—it is a burden too heavy to bear. 5 My wounds fester and stink because of my foolish sins.
3. The testing of Job
The story of Job is the most inspiring story of how to overcome depression. We can have victory in whatever emotional, mental, or physical illness we may face.
Job showed moments of weakness and even questioned his maker. Yet he humbled himself and trusted God’s sovereignty. Job did not sin by blaming God.
Job 1:20 – Then Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship.
21 He said, “I came naked from my “other’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had and has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” 22 In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
4. Divine affliction
Depression and anxiety are common even among believers because Satan is at war with God’s “children. He wants “o devour them.
God may allow the enemy to persecute us to strengthen our faith. In short, we may experience “divine afflictions” purposely.
2 Corinthians 1:6-7
If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but God delivers him from all of them. And he will keep all his bones so that none of them will be broken.