root_cause

TAKEAWAYS:
Science still doesn’t know the cause or cure for depression.
Study shows religious affiliations do not have a significant effect.
Other studies point to “meditation” to reduce depressive symptoms.
Even Christian Pastors suffer from depression, some are beaten by it.
Bible says root-cause can be sin and satanic attack.
Biblical meditation for people who are depressed.

What science says about depression

Science says depression is a result of chemicals in the brains gone haywire. Relationship problems are common predictors but it can also occur as a result of sickness or trauma. Significantly, a study shows genetic hotspots linked to depression. Although there are anti-depressant drugs, NMHI said it won’t work on long-term recovery. In addition, women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression (Mayo). On the other hand, about 9% or 6 Million American males experience anxiety or depression each year. (NCHS)

Does science confirm faith and prayer works?

Doctors admit they don’t fully understand the root cause of depression or have found a cure. Few would say that faith can help. In fact, some Doctors say that religious and spiritual affiliation may actually contribute to depression. In a controlled study, results show that intercessory prayer did not influence the outcome of a 26-week study on healing through prayers (NCBI).

→ The satanic and demonic nature of sexual sins.

What the Bible says

In the Judeo-Christian Bible, insanity and physical disability were often associated with sin and demons. It sounds awful to someone having a mental breakdown but sin has many shapes. You could be depressed because of passion, narcissistic disorder, or financial rut. Much worse, it could be a demonic foothold when you engage in immorality, porn or drug addiction. These are self-gratification, a form of idolatry, which is sin itself (Colossians 3:5). Therefore, could depression be rooted in sin?

Could depression be rooted in sin?

Science and the Bible

There is a correlation between faith and depression. About 61% recover from depression much faster if they have a religious or spiritual affiliation. A higher percentage (75%) is found in suicide. This has been reported in hundreds of both quantitative and qualitative studies on coping with stress [1]. There are also studies that show faster recovery from sickness with faith and prayer, though it remains debatable. Exercise is also linked to depression.

Faith-based support can protect psychological well-being through hope and social support during stressful experiences according to a study [2]. The research affirms what the Bible teaches about troubles in this world and how we can overcome.

→ The only cure for Anhedonia, Depression, Melancholia, & Schizophrenia.

By His wounds, you are healed

Author Dr. Kelly Brogan reveals the business push for drugs to treat mental problems. There is peer-reviewed research that implicates lifestyle choices in depression and upholds medical meditation as an effective treatment. Some experts agree that ‘mindfulness meditation’ can treat depression [3]. Study shows that healing prayer is effective in reducing depressive symptoms [4]. For Christians, prayers and meditating on God’s words are stapled in physical and spiritual healing.

Case and point: Mark Goodnight, an associate of Christian apologist Mark Wood, wanted to kill himself when he was 5 years old and again at age 15. 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 to “soothe” his depression. None of it helped.

Mark tried self-help books but things only changed when he began to read the Bible. After becoming a Christian, someone laid hands and prayed for healing in Jesus’ name. “The blackness that consumed my life at age five to twenty-five was gone in an instant. Its been 25 years since then and I have no issue,” Mark said. Indeed, he was healed and so can you. (1 Peter 2:24)

Case and point: A woman had schizophrenia and manic depression. Each year for a decade, she was locked at a mental hospital. After knowing Jesus, the episodes stopped. Afterward, she no longer pursued her faith in Jesus and returned to Buddhism. She became busy with making money and soon enough, her mental problems came back. She would even mock God.

Consequently, the demons returned (Matthew 12:45). She wasn’t a victim, it was her choice. Similarly, her brother was suspected of bipolar. When he became a follower of Jesus, hope replaced his misery. He eventually served God as a missionary. When our mind is filled with God, demons lose power to influence us. (Philippians 4:8-18)

→ Is spiritual deliverance and warfare biblical?

When science or faith didn’t help

About 800,000 people die by suicide each year. It’s the second cause of death aged 15-24 years (WHO). Recently, 20 students in India committed suicide because of a failed exam. Author and megachurch Pastor Rick Warren’s son Matthew killed himself. Jeff, son of Charles Morris, host of Haven Today died from a drug overdose. Andrew Stoecklein, the young and vibrant megachurch Pastor preached about depression, then killed himself. If church leaders we consider as closest to God failed, what hope do we have?

In fact, churches do agree that depression is a silent plague among Christians. To begin with, people who come to church have some form of anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, not all who claim to be “Christians” have truly surrendered and made Christ as their Lord and Savior, hence the tug-o-war between faith and silent atheism (Hebrews 6:4).

FACT AND MISCONCEPTION: Being a Christian leader or Pastor doesn’t make you holier. They still sin and can experience weakness like everyone else. Church position doesn’t elevate anyone. In fact, church leaders are the most persecuted and many have faced tragedies like the biblical Job. They are Satan’s ultimate trophies. Although the devil tried totempt Jesus, he could not because there was no sin in Him.

→ Pastor’s kid raped by seven men: Testimony of Joy Tan-chi.

Depression is a spiritual battle: A clouded mindset

Depression is a battle of the mind where in most cases, our depravity, self-indulgence, self-pity, and self-centeredness allows the enemy to cloud our mindset. It is hopelessness, the opposite of why Jesus died on the cross. He is our hope, we do not lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). On the other hand, Satan tells you “there is no hope,” and the only escape is death. “Metanoia” (Matthew 3:8) has to take place if we are to survive. Indeed, the mind is the devil’s playground:

2 Kings 6:11 – Troubled mind
1 Timothy 6:5 – Depraved mind
Romans 8:7 – Sinful mind
2 Corinthians 3:14 – Dull mind
2 Corinthians 4:4 – Blinded mind
2 Timothy 3:8 – Corrupt mind

It’s Satan’s tool: God’s children are Satan’s trophies

Depression is one of Satan’s effective tool in destroying us (John 10:10). He wants to take control of our mind. In John Gill’s exposition, the passage in Luke 6:18 meant we can be vexed with unclean spirits, possessed with devils, tormented, and afflicted by them. But Jesus can heal us. The following verses clearly tell us Satan is after 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
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.
Romans 7:18-20 – The evil I do is because of sin that dwells in me.

→ Can Christian be possessed by demons?

Important Bible verses for depression

Facing my own faith journey in 2018, I had to contend with the fact that as a child of God, testing is inevitable (Hebrews 12:6). The scripture is clear, we can overcome depression if our faith is anchored on Jesus. We can extinguish the lies of Satan through the sword of truth. However, keep in mind that “faith is a mental decision” in as much as “depression is a mental problem.” We need to “practice faith” to see it work (James 2:22-23; Hebrews 11:1). Meditate on the following:

1 Peter 5:6-7 – God will lift you up in due time, cast your anxiety.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – God will comfort us from all kinds of troubles.
Isaiah 41:10 – Do not fear or be dismayed. I will strengthen you.
John 16:33 – In our troubles, Jesus can help us overcome.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord!
Psalm 40:1-3 – I waited patiently, the Lord heard my cry.
Psalm 42:11 – Why are you downcast? Put your hope in God.

– Prayer –
“Our Father in the heavens, I submit to you my thought with all its doubts, worries, and confusion. By faith, I trust in your wisdom and ask the Holy Spirit to speak truths to me.

Empty my mind and replace it with your knowledge. Clear my thoughts so I may understand your word. Transformed my whole being with joy, peace, and humility. I ask all these through Jesus Christ, who I put my faith and trust.” AMEN!

[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:
Need help in overcoming depression and addiction?
How to overcome depression according to the Bible.
The attitude of Apostle Paul as he faced depression.

counseling

DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on this website are the personal opinion of the author and not the entity, person, or product that may appear or cited in this blog. Likewise, all links or references shown here do not necessarily share the same views as the author. Send us your comments and suggestions.

Albert is a writer at J15. He is a graduate of Asian Studies and an undergraduate from the Asian Bible Seminary and Trinity College of Music. He has been a Christian for almost thirty years and is happily married with three lovable teenagers.

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