Depression Among Christians: Is It Real?

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I received a comment the other day in response to one of my posts on depression. It evidently struck a nerve to this anonymous person.  She/he did not think that I was depressed, that I had no idea what I was talking about.

I disagree.  Why do I? Because certain symptoms are similar with depression, but the experiences are different and how you see your life and yourself are different.

Depression Among Christians

I have been a Jesus-lover for a long time; however, I didn’t let Him do anything within me for quite a number of years.

In fact, I grew up Catholic. Then, right before my mother married my step-dad, we were attending a Mormon church. We moved 4 states away and got hooked up with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

So, you can see, that my experiences with churches (I’m not getting into religion here) left me with a bad taste for many years.  All the while, Jesus was pursuing me.

Is it real?

Can you experience depression and also claim to have in Jesus Christ? I would love to know your views on this.

In the meantime, I want to share what I believe:

  • Depression is not a sin
  • Depression and/or despair is real
  • Depression is selfish and internal and can lead to sinfulness
  • Depression comes from a myriad of causes
    • Loss of loved one
    • Hormonal imbalance
    • Life issues
    • Self-esteem issues
    • Emotionally/physically/sexually battered
    • Long-term familial problems
  • Depression is a trap
  • satan will pursue a depressed person (I’ll share my story a little later on this)
  • Depression destroys relationships and marriages
  • Depression results in physical and physiological infirmities

Why do I say all of these things about depression? Because I’ve experienced them all.

And, I love Jesus with all of my heart, but there were times in my life when I didn’t trust Him as much as I should have and took matters into my own hands or let them slide.

God doesn’t want me to be depressed; however, it can be a tool to draw me closer.

We are human, we are physical, we have emotions; therefore, to say that we should not have any problems because of Christ is not even Biblical.

We are human, we are physical, we have emotions; therefore, to say that we should not have any problems because of Christ is not even Biblical. Click To Tweet

What Did The Prophets Experience?

All of the prophets in the Bible experienced problems, some had physical issues, some had mental issues, some had trust issues.  The point is, they still served God, God still used them to advance His kingdom.

The Book of Job, Job lost everything because satan approached God and basically said, “You bless him too much and protect him, take your hand off of him and he will curse you.” God said, “Ok, go ahead, but I know my man Job and he loves me.”

Did satan succeed? No! His was killed, all of his livelihood was taken away and he was struck with excruciatingly painful sores all over his .  Even his wife told him to curse God, but he didn’t listen.

And yet, Job still loved God, served God and did not blame God.

That is just one example of a God-fearing man who suffered physically and emotionally, while at the same time trusting God.

What Do You Believe?

That’s where I am. Where are you? Do you believe that a Christian should not have depression or suffer any problems? Can they minister?

Look at the life of David in Psalm.  He wrote many of them, and he was crying out to God to help him.  He was depressed at times, and he cried out, but he still knew that God was Almighty God and He could do anything! He pursued God and he trusted God!

My Story

The first go-around with depression was what I would call situational/emotional.  I say that because it was from about the age of 8 until I was about 38, and God brought me out of it.  I was a mess physically, physiologically, emotionally and most of all spiritually. All that time, I thought I could get out of this mess I was in.

My second and current bought with depression is from hormonal. I’ll be brief. Fibroid tumors grew in my uterus for 15 years (most of that time while I was depressed and I didn’t want that to be added to my already shaky emotional health), I ignored it, but they grew bigger.  My periods were always haphazard and surprises, but over the years, the tumors took over and produced so much estrogen in my body that my periods were heavy and lasted 4 months, then stopped a week and go for another 4 months.  I was a physical wreck, but God had already healed my spiritual and emotional .

After having the total hysterectomy, the sudden deficit of overabundance of estrogen threw me into depression. I fought it for 5 years with herbal and , but could not get stable.  Much prayer went into this even by other people. I fought it because I did not think I should be depressed and I should not be on medication because that would mean a lack of faith in God.

But after serious prayer and seeking God’s counsel and seeking the Godly counsel of another couple, through prayer I realized that it was okay to go on the medication for a time, low dose.

It didn’t mean that my faith was weak, but it meant that I could be a help to others.  God is using this for my good!

Pursued By The Enemy

As for my comment above satan will pursue a depressed person, this is true and I experienced it. A Godly woman I knew very well approached me and asked to talk to me.  She told me she loved me but she had observed something and needed to tell me.

She told me that when I was walking off earlier, she saw a great shadow trying to overtake me and behind that was a serpent following.  She asked me if I understood.

Yes! I understood perfectly, because that is what it felt like.  Depression feels like you are trying to be trapped and you can’t get away. I knew I was being pursued!

And, it was at that time in my life (this was after the hysterectomy) that I realized that I was not pursuing God like I needed for ME! I was lazy, I was tired, I was drained and it showed.

Is Depression Real Among Christians?

So, yes, depression is real even among Christians, and even in the church.  At my church, they know, I’ve told them, they pray for me.  They love me! I don’t try to pretend that everything is okay.  I am diabetic also, and even though it is under control, there are days where my blood sugar drops drastically and I get sick.

I am loved! I am loved by God! I am loved by my church family! I am loved by my family and friends! I don’t need to pretend that I have no problems or issues. I do not need to put on a mask. I did that too many years and I was more miserable. It’s time to stop pretending! It’s time to stop putting people down when they suffer!

What Can Be Done For You?

  • Daily prayer, consistent, big-God prayers
  • Daily Bible reading
    • My favorite is Psalm and also Philippians 4:6
  • Open your heart fully to Jesus Christ
  • Be always prayerful
  • Realize that our bodies fail
    • We must also do what’s best, stop eating and drinking what is harmful even though it is good (ask me how I know!)
  • Realize that God is more concerned about my spiritual journey with Him
    • That doesn’t mean He doesn’t want us whole, He does!

What Can Be Done For Others?

  • Daily intercessory prayer
  • Daily Bible reading and claiming scriptures on their behalf (Psalms are great!)
  • Love on them and love them
  • Godly wisdom to speak wisely
  • Confidentiality is a must when someone shares with you
    • Please do not share what you are told to others without permission or if there is a life-threatening issue

It’s Your Turn

I speak truth and I speak reality!

  • What is your reality?
  • Have you experienced this?
  • What are your views on depression in a Christian?

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