Summary: A examination of the relationship between Faith in God and Mental Depression.
Faith and Depression
Robert A. Glass
Scientists tell us that there are umpteen gazillion snowflakes that fall on the earth. And, each one of those snow flakes are different, yet all are made of snow. These are ALSO umpteen gazillion reasons for depression, and each reason can be radically different (It would do no good to list the reasons for depression, 1. It would be a book all by itself and 2.I would probably overlook other depression causes.
Yet, even though the reasons of depression are different, the effects of depression are quite similar. Namely, some of these are lethargy, moodiness, self-condemnation, guilt, worry, anger, and even a deepened depression unto death.
So, wherein and how, (can and does) a person’s Faith play a part in depression?
Faith is more than a simple noun contained in the Bible. It is also a dynamic ADVERB! Think of Father Abraham, Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went. God told Abraham to go, and by faith, we went. His faith made him MOVE!
I have heard it said that “Faith can move mountains”. I’ve seen some pretty big mountains, and if they moved, they didn’t move much. But Mt. Depression” CAN be moved by faith.
Consider the 12 step program for the members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Seven of the twelve are directly attributed to a Higher Power or GOD. 1.” that our lives had become unmanageable” Depression can make someone’s life unmanageable. 2. “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” God can restore us to sanity. 3.” Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” (That sounds like faith to me.) 4. “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6.”Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7.”Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings”
All seven of these show that the recovery from Alcoholism is aided by a faith and belief in God. It is widely believed that alcoholism is a disease and depression is a disease also. If a firmly rooted faith in a Higher Power can be of benefit to the recovery of Alcohol, is it unreasonable to consider that Faith can also have a cognizant effect on depression as well.
Faith is a function of the mind, it may cause biological effects but it is entirely a factor of the mind. If you have no mind, then you have no faith. Faith is therefore cognative.
This leads us to the question of “Mind over Body”. Can anyone deny that biofeedback has been used and documented as a tool for medical treatment? Anxiety, Anger, Panic Episodes, Migrane Headaches and Depression have all been treated with biofeedback.
The wisest King of Israel was Soloman, he recorded in (Proverbs 23:7) “For whatsoever a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If a man convinces himself he is depressed, he will be depressed. (Granted, there are some chemical and biological triggers for depression, yet ALL are exacerbated by the attitudes of the patient involved.)