Root cause of depression in the Bible

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


  • 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 chronic depression, anger, or anxiety are rooted in brain chemicals and synapses going haywire. Relationship problems are common predictors, but they can also occur because of sickness or trauma. A study also shows genetic hotspots linked to depression.

Drug treatment is critical in putting a patient in a safe place. For example, it is difficult to counsel a person with a headache, and drugs can help calm the mind. However, it doesn’t work for the most part.

It is evident that the ideal antidepressant has not been found as three key problems of intolerance, delayed therapeutic onset and limited efficacy persist,” according to a study.

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.

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


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]


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. Satan takes advantage of our sinful weakness by suggesting the following lies.

  • Life has no meaning.
  • Life is hopeless, there is no solution.
  • I have no purpose in life.

Suffering haS a purpose.

Case and point: Mark Goodnight

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

He saw a dozen psychiatrists and took medication for a time. Mark read self-help books to soothe depression and even did illegal drugs—but 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.


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 triggered by sinful nature

When we engage in immorality, watch porn, or do illegal drugs, the pattern of sinful habits allows a satanic foothold. Demons attack the mind and disable it by condemnation. The result is guilt that can lead to depression.

Apostle Paul recognized 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)

Guilt can lead to depression.


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 different person, controlled by the drugs.

Case and point: Daughter raised in a Christian home

Loving Christian parents brought up Carol (not her real name). Although it would cost a lot, her parents placed her in a reputable Christian high school in Wheaton. Many American public schools discourage Christian activities yet welcome Satan as an “after-school club.”

Carol’s disobedience caused her depression to spiral downward—despite efforts, prayers, and counseling. She had inappropriate relationships and harmful influences. Carol died of a heroin overdose.

Sinful habits allows satanic foothold.


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 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…”

Forgiveness brings us peace of mind.


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, Luke 6:18 meant we could be vexed with unclean spirits, tormented, and afflicted by them mentally.

The frequent lie of the enemy: “There is no hope”

God may allow Satan to break our body, but those who hope in Jesus have hope and do not lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). On the other hand, Satan tells us “there is no hope,” and death is the only escape.

  • 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

Repentance, renewing your mind

Unbelief is a sinful mental activity. When we choose to ignore or refuse Jesus as our only hope, we become faithless, causing us to be even more depressed. The reason repentance (change of mind) is a requirement for salvation. Pursuing the mind of Christ extinguishes the lies of Satan.


Pursuing the mind of Christ extinguishes the lies of Satan.


5. God’s children are Satan’s trophy

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

What Satan wants 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 must exercise faith—focus on what is good and 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 what is good and trust God.


[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.

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

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