Root cause of depression in the Bible

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Root cause of depression between the Bible, science, and what the doctors say

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Doctors doesn’t know the cause or cure for depression.
  • Christians can suffer chronic depression.
  • Depression is a spiritual battle.
  • Triggered by our sinful nature.
  • Unforgiveness linked to depression.

What doctors says about depression

Science says depression is a result of chemicals in the brain’s gone haywire. Relationship problems are common predictors, but they can also occur as a result of sickness or trauma.

Science do not know the root cause or cure for depression

A study shows genetic hotspots linked to depression. Although there are anti-depressant drugs, NMHI reports it does not work on long-term recovery.

Limitations of drugs and medicine

Drug treatment is critical in putting a patient in a safe place. For example, it is difficult to counsel a person with a headache. Drugs can help calm the mind. However, doctors can also limit the cure because of an anti-supernatural bias.

What the Bible says

Insanity and physical disability were often associated with sin and demons. However, Jesus severed that notion; it’s not always the case (John 9:3). It sounds awful to someone having a mental breakdown, but sin has many shapes and sizes.

When doctors or faith didn’t help

In 2018, Andrew Stoecklein, a young and vibrant megachurch Pastor, preached about depression, then killed himself. In 2019, Jarrid Wilson, church leader, and mental health advocate, committed suicide.

Likewise, Matthew, son of Rick Warren, killed himself. Jeff Morris, son of Charles, host of ‘Haven Today,’ died from a drug overdose.

Surely, these men are not faithless, so why did they lose the battle, despite so many prayers, therapy, and medication?

→ The only cure for Anhedonia.

CORRELATION OF FAITH & DEPRESSION: About 61% recover from depression much faster if they have a religious or spiritual affiliation. A higher percentage (75%) is found in suicide. However, very few studies show faith and prayer “cures” depressed people. [NCBI]

→ Are spiritual deliverance biblical?

1. Depression is a spiritual battle in the mind

Victor Frankl specialized in neurology and psychiatry. He focused on depression and suicide. From 1925 to 1945, he developed Logotherapy. It believes that life’s purpose and meaning enable us to survive even with insurmountable challenges.

His theory was put to the test during WW2. Like Job, he lost all his family, possession and suffered at Auschwitz. Despite his unbearable situation, he chose to survive, knowing that “suffering had a purpose.” He believed external forces couldn’t break the “spiritual self.”

Frankl shows us that depression is indeed a battle of the mind. As Christians, Satan uses our weakness to destroy us by suggesting the following lies.

  1. Life has no meaning.
  2. Life is hopeless, there is no solution.
  3. I have no purpose in life.

Case and point: Mark Goodnight

Mark Goodnight anted to kill himself at age 5 and again at 15 years old. Diagnosed with level-5 neuroticism, he suffered from anxiety and anhedonia.

He saw a dozen psychiatrists and took medication for a time. Mark took illegal drugs in college and read self-help books to soothe depression. None helped.

Things began to change when he started reading the Bible. When he became a Christian, someone laid hands and prayed for healing in Jesus’ name. Suddenly, the blackness that consumed his life for the last twenty-five years was gone in an instant.

Cure for neurosis, an anxiety disorder in the Bible.

It’s been 25 years since then, and I have no issue,” Mark said in a video below. True healing happens with Jesus. (1 Peter 2:24)

2. Depression is triggered by our sinful nature

When we engage in immorality, watch porn, or do illegal drugs, we allow Satan to have a foothold where demons attack the mind and disable it by condemning us.

Apostle Paul admits his sinful nature. There’s nothing good in him except Christ. “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing…it is a sin living in me that does it.” (Romans 7:18-20)

Unbelief is also a sin. When we choose to ignore Jesus as our only hope, we become faithless, causing us to be even more depressed.

The most common lie of the devil: “There is no hope”

God may allow Satan to break our body, but he can never break our spirit if our life’s purpose is to serve God. Jesus is our hope. We do not lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

On the other hand, Satan tells us “there is no hope,” and the only escape is death. Metanoia or change of mind has to take place if we are to survive (Matthew 3:8). Unfortunately, without faith in Christ, man cannot see choose God.

Case and point: Woman with schizophrenia

A woman was on and off at a mental hospital for schizophrenia and manic depression for a decade. After knowing Jesus, the episodes stopped. Without church fellowship, she returned to Buddhism years after.

She also became busy making money, and like a child of the world, she mocked God. Soon, her mental problem returned. Mental pills and injections helped, but they also turned her into a totally different person, controlled by the drugs.

→ Pastor’s kid raped: Testimony of Joy Tan Chi.

3. Unforgiveness leads to depression

A study led by Italy’s Department of Education in 2019 shows unforgiveness was related to hedonic balance (HB) and depression. In contrast, forgiveness is effective in regulating and reducing depression. 

Dysfunctional or aggressive behaviors triggered by anger, severing ties with friends, or ruminating others a danger can lead to depressive thoughts, loneliness, and guilt. [Deffenbacher et al., 1996]

  • God commands us to forgive because unforgiveness cause bitterness (Ephesians 4:31-32).
  • It imprisons our minds and prevents us from experiencing true joy. (Psalm 32:1-2)
  • Unforgiveness is the ‘root of bitterness’ and causes trouble. (Hebrews 12:14:15)
  • Forgiveness brings us peace of mind. (Colossians 3:12-15)

Colossians 3:12-15
… If you have something against someone, forgive him. That is the way the Lord forgave you. And to all these things, you must add love… Let the peace of Christ have power over your hearts…

4. Satan wants to corrupt our mind

When we fill our lives with things of the world, we allow Satan, the god of this world, to influence and destroy our minds (2 Corinthians 4:4).

In John Gill’s exposition, the passage in Luke 6:18 meant we could be vexed with unclean spirits, possessed with devils, tormented, and afflicted by them mentally.

  • 1 Timothy 6:5 – Depraved mind
  • 2 Corinthians 3:14 – Dull mind
  • 2 Corinthians 4:4 – Blinded mind
  • 2 Kings 6:11 – Troubled mind
  • 2 Timothy 3:8 – Corrupt mind
  • Isaiah 61:3 – Spirit of “no hope”
  • Romans 8:7 – Sinful mind

5. Satan wants to destroy us

God’s children are Satan’s trophies who want to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). He loves it when we’re full of anxiety, miserable, and defeated because it mocks our Creator, whose image we bear.

Satan’s desire for us

  • John 10:10 – To kill, steal, and destroy us.
  • 1 Peter 5:8 – Satan hunts and wants to devour you.
  • 1 Samuel 18:10 – Harmful spirit rushed to King Saul to kill David.
  • John 10:20 – The man has a demon and is insane.
  • Luke 22:31–32 – He wants to sift God’s workers like wheat

Jesus is our savior!

Thankfully, we have Jesus as our protector, redeemer, and friend. God equipped us to overcome anxiety, but we have to exercise our faith. Focus on happy thoughts and always trust God.

  • James 4:7 – Resist the devil, and he will flee.
  • Luke 6:18 – Those troubled by impure spirits were cured,
  • Luke 8:35 – Demons left, and he was in his right mind.
  • Matthew 17:14-18 – Jesus rebuked the demon, the boy was healed.
  • Matthew 4:24 – Jesus healed the sick, those oppressed by demons.

Focus on happy thoughts and always trust God.

Can Christians be possessed?

Focus on happy thoughts and always trust God. (Philippians 4:8-18, Proverbs 3:5)
[1] NCBI – Religious and Spiritual Factors in Depression.
[2] APA – How Religious Beliefs Can Protect Psychological Well-being.
[3] Miller, Fletcher, Kabat-Zinn – Mindfulness meditation.
[4] NCBI – Neural correlates of healing prayers, depression, and traumatic memories.
[5] Wiley, Todd Chan – Religious beliefs compensate for purpose in life in the socially disconnected.


FURTHER READING:
Bible verses for anxiety depressive disorder.
How to overcome depression Biblically.

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