The one best book I recommend on the topic of depression is “Spiritual Depression” by Dr. Martyl Lloyd-Jones, with a subtitle: Its Causes and Cure.
I think I bought this book on amazon a long time ago and I still refer back to it often. Dr. Jones was a medical doctor by profession but later in his life, he gave all his time and energy to teaching and preaching the truth of God. He died in 1981 at the age of 80. He’s been such a blessing with many of his books to millions of people, especially to the body of Christ.
Yes, today’s topic is all about depression and anxiety. This topic is especially relevant for those of us who live in the west. Now the weather is changing, getting a bit colder, and announcing the coming of winter. This will help us to know the truth and take informed health decisions ahead of time.
Thanks for COVID-19, depression is becoming one of the common ailments seen in almost every age group, from teens to old folks (kids as young as five and six are also being diagnosed with depression lately. May God heal our planet!)
My friends, I know most of us stayed home during the lockdown season and tried to attend all church services online. But I am sure by now we all have realized and testified to the fact that virtual church was not in the mind of Christ when He died on the cross. Yes, we are naturally created for a real world, not for a virtual one.
Remember, our spiritual and mental health has direct and parallel relationship to one another. When one is healthy, mainly our spiritual health is good, our mental and emotional well-being follows suit. If we keep on missing church services, we may struggle spiritually which may affect our mental and emotional health.
So, as a side note here, I want to encourage everyone to attend physical churches (of course, wearing face masks and making hand sanitizers handy at all times). If you do not have a home church, I encourage you to search for one in your area by going to 9marks.org website and click “Church Search” from the top navigation menu (by the way, this only works for those who live in America).
It is very, very important to find a Bible believing and teaching church in this critical time. Many churches are drifting away from the T truth, the Gospel of Christ, preaching nothing but themselves and this world. Be very careful!
“For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 NASB
“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 NASB
Coming back to the topic, depression is something most people can be affected by at one or many points in life. In our community (Ethiopian community) depression is a taboo. Because of that, many people don’t talk about it or don’t seek help for it. Some people genuinely believe that all the source of depression is nothing but demonic force and they do not seek help from the medical field, especially from a psychiatrist.
Yes, demons are real. Satan can attack our lives in one way or the other, but seeing and considering all mental and emotional aliments as demon attacks, I think, might be stretching the truth.
Yes, we are not only physical, blood and flesh, but also spiritual, we have soul and spirit. And sometimes we need physical treatments, and other times spiritual treatments (or, both).
Dr. Jones shows beautifully how mental and emotional ailments can be alleviated by the word of God. I love it and I agree with him completely. But I don’t agree with the thought that says, “All mental and emotional ailments are spiritual.”
The word of God says,
“He sent His word and healed them, And saved them from their destruction.” Psalm 107:20 NASB
Amen! But as part of God’s blessing and healing us with His word, I believe with all my heart that most all knowledge and wisdom we find from each other find their sources from God and the word of God. So, we sometimes need to seek medical help from professionals, like psychiatrist, as we seek help from spiritual people.
Why do people fear to see a psychiatrist?
Because of lack of knowledge and some people think that their condition is something they can handle by themselves, by praying and fasting very hard. Some people think that the medications (like, antidepressant meds are from the devil), and are addictive.
Antidepressant meds are not addictive. Pain and sleep meds are known to be addictive but not anti-depressant meds.
And some people think anti-depressant meds will solve every mental and emotional ailment. That is another example of stretching the truth.
As I said, our mental and emotional health is directly related to our spiritual health. So, popping pills may not be the answer to all mental and emotional ailments.
But in short, let’s prepare for the coming fall and winter seasons by owning our own mental, emotional and physical health. When it is warranted, it is always good to visit professionals on the field as well as seeking prayer and spiritual advice from spiritual people.
I want to warn you here though: Just because somebody is calling the name of Jesus five hundred times and shouting, jumping up and down on a stage doesn’t necessarily mean that that person is from God and that person is spiritually matured who knows how to apply the word of God correctly to situations people face. Some people are very far away from sound doctrine and they can actually make someone’s mental and emotional ailments worse.
If a person who is suffering from, for example, depression and anxiety and decides not to seek help, he/she tends to self-medicate.
Some people try to self-medicate depression and anxiety by food, alcohol, indulging in social media or all kinds of entertainments, shopping spree above and beyond their means, handling everything with anger, porn addiction, being workaholic, excessively exercising or simply by alienating themselves from the community (example, not going to church thinking that the people at the church are the source of their depression and anxiety). Some people change cities and states or even jobs hoping that doing so will solve their mental and emotional problems.
Yes, sometimes as part of the treatment, it is advisable for people to leave or change their environment (such as, jobs, schools) which may consistently subject them to excessive stress and anxiety; however changing jobs or schools by itself may not address the underlying issue because the affected person mental and emotional issues will go with him/her wherever they go. So, it is usually not a good idea to see moving around from this church to another, from this city to another as a solution. But again, there could be cases where it is necessary to advise people to change their jobs or place of residence as part of or adjunct to their tailored treatment regimen.
Please my friends, if you struggle with depression, hopelessness, thought of suicide, loss of appetite for no apparent reason, groundless fears, loss of weight, insomnia (loss of sleep) and don’t have any energy, joy, happiness or hope or excitement to see the future, please seek help from professionals, preferably from a psychiatrist as well as from spiritually and biblically matured people. ///