Summary: This sermon deals with the topic of depression, what it is, it's signs and symptoms, biblical examples, reasons for, and how to handle it in our lives.
Spiritual First Aid
“Dealing With Depression”
I am not a medical doctor, nor am I a clinical physiatrist. This sermon series I’m doing is a treatise on various disorders and what the Bible says about them, from the reasons behind them to God’s prescription for them.
The reason I am even doing this is because I believe that while modern medicine has come a long way in helping to mend and cure what ails most people, it is limited in its ability. Even medical science has lauded the power of faith and prayer when it comes to healing.
What I have come to understand and know is that God is our ultimate healer, He is the Great Physician and has given us what we need, writing it down in His word.
Today I’d like to look at the medical condition of depression and how we are to deal with it, because if it’s left untreated it causes people to give up and fade out, or worse, enter into some really dark places.
When looking at the troubles we face, those words that begin with the letter “D” seem to be the most devastating (pun intended). These are what I refer to as the “Dreaded ‘Ds.’”
They begin with the physical “Ds” such as disaster, divorce, and death. And for those of you who are wondering, “Dennis” is just as disastrous, which is why my mother always said that if she had me first she’d have me last.
It is from these physical “Ds” that the emotional “Ds” spring. These include disappointments, discouragement, despair, distress, and discontent. These emotional “Ds” rob us of our joy, our future, and our hope. And it is these that bring upon us the biggest emotional disaster of them all, and that is, depression.
What is depression?
Depression has become sometimes referred to as the common cold of emotions, yet this is far from accurate. I see depression more as an emotional cancer than a cold.
Depression is a plague of epidemic proportions. It is one of the most prevalent disorders there is, and research suggests it’s caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, psychological, and spiritual factors.
Depression also ranges from mild, or temporary episodes of sadness, to severe clinical depression and can also co-exist and worsen other illnesses including cancer and heart disease.
Depression is also a disease of the soul and often flows from a lack of faith in God.
St. John of the Cross may have had this depressive mood in mind, or as it was more commonly referred to as “melancholy,” when he wrote about a soul’s journey to God in his treatise, “Dark Night.” Later it was ascribed as “the dark night of the soul.”
Depression literally is a spiritual darkness that blackens and blots out God’s love from a person’s heart and from their view. It gets us to the point where we feel like life itself has no meaning or purpose.
Signs and symptoms
Depression causes symptoms that affect how we feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.
Signs and symptoms of depression include persistent sadness and anxiety. There are also feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, and guilt. Those who are depressed also lose interest in everyday activities due to a decrease in energy or an increase in fatigue. Thoughts of death or suicide are often signs of depression.