Summary: Depression is a growing problem in America today. Every year the amount of people taking medication for depression is drastically increasing. Does the Bible talk about depression? Does God give us any answers here?
Have you ever watched a movie that you thought would end happy and it didn’t? It leaves you with sad, depressing feeling. A couple of weeks ago when Joanne was at camp – Kassie and I watched a movie and the main character dies. I jokingly said, “ I hate chick flicks.” In a guy movie – everyone dies, except the main character and he is usually badly wounded. Here Kassie & I spend the time to watch a movie and we end up feeling sad. Nothing happened to her or I. We didn’t do anything wrong or right, but by watching and thinking through the movie we end up with a depressing feeling.
I had worked for a CPA firm in downtown Grand Rapids. There was a place I would go quite often to eat and hang out around lunchtime. There were many stores and in the basement was a hoppin food court. When we moved back from the Philippines, one day we went down there with the kids. Almost every restaurant in the food court was gone, most of the shops were closed or going out of business. I remember feeling really weird – I felt sad and discouraged almost depressed – why?
This morning I want to talk to you about depression. It is an ever-growing problem in the world today. Major depression strikes a surprisingly high percentage of the population: the estimated number of people who will suffer from serious depression during their lives is a staggering 20%. (1in 5)
Many people struggle with some form of depression in their life. (Pastor Duane said that 70% of Americans do)
Statistics vary, but it’s speculated that 80% of people who attempt suicide are clinically depressed.
God not only understands, but He proved it. He told us
Psalm 34:15 If you obey the Lord, he will watch over you and answer your prayers. 17 When his people pray for help, he listens and rescues them from their troubles. 18 The Lord is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope. (CEV)
What is depression?
It is more than feeling sad or down, it is a persistent sadness that affects most aspects of our lives. (sleeping, eating, working, socializing, and enjoying life)
The whole idea of depress is to press down on like if I told you to depress the gas pedal.
Depression: A neurotic or psychotic condition marked by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, and feelings of dejection and guilt.
Neurosis: Any of various functional disorders of the mind or emotions without obvious organic pathology and with abnormal behavior symptoms, as anxiety or phobia.
Psychosis: Severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, marked by degeneration of normal intellectual and social functioning and by complete or partial withdrawal from reality.
John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
Depression is when you are so discouraged or down that you can’t sleep, and you can’t get out of bed either. You feel like a total failure and it affects everything you do. You are so anxious or fearful of something that you make yourself sick. You can’t eat or you over eat. Thoughts of suicide come to your mind. You don’t like the pain of life and believe death will stop the hurt.
Psalms 143 was written by David about (or during) a time of danger in his life. Some theologians believe that it was written about the time Absalom rebelled and tried to kill his father.
In verse 3 he writes – My enemies are chasing me, crushing me to the ground. I am in total darkness, like someone long dead. I have given up all hope, and I feel numb all over.
Then in verse 7 - Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.
"And now my heart is broken. Depression haunts my days.
How do we get depressed?
Depression can result from not dealing well with people, things, and expectations. In most cases we bring on depression by the way we respond to living. Now I may be stepping on some toes here by not saying that depression is biochemical. Well it isn’t - sometimes. How’s That?! There are some forms of depression like bipolar disorder that have a strong genetic component and does respond well to medication. But we are made up of chemicals in a sense. The life style we live has a major impact on this – the amount or lack of sleep, our diet, exercise, PMS, side effects of other medication, these things can change the composition of our bodies.
Does the change in our brain’s chemistry cause depression or a result of stress over time? What was first, the chemical change or the depression? They do know that when someone is depressed a chemical imbalance can result and that’s why anti-depressants work.