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Can A Christian Be Depressed

Can a Christian become depressed?

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 ---emota_i.o on 2/14/10
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Depressed, yes, certainly, I have met some

We must distinguis between depressed because of circumstances (you lost your job, your spous dies, etc etc) and medical depression because of [hormonal] imbalances

In the first, outside assistance from friends or fellow christians is the best method [I think], in the secons, because it is a medical problem, medical methods [even medication] can become neseccary
---peter3594 on 4/28/10

yes a christian can indeed experience depression.Men in the Bible such as King David,and Joshua experienced depression.Even Christ had moments of feeling depressed.I suggest you read the psalms where David described his depression and then phillipians on ways to combat it. Pray consistently for God to give you healing and read his word.Also,though far and few between try to find a Christian psychiatrist or counselor or even a strong christian friend who you can confide in God blessyou!
---denise on 3/4/10

Robyn, that was the depression I mentioned in the beginning. Brain disorder or illness all together. It's scary that one day you can be fine and the next not be able to move. My niece was found in a motel room bathroom just standing there, when the clean lady came in, she found her. she ws taken to the hospital and given medication. She is fine when she takes it but some times she doesn't want to take it since she thinks she is fine and then finds out she is not. It's sad because she is only 31 and not married. I pray for her all the time. Hope one day she will come out of it.
---MarkV. on 3/4/10

I think a Christian can become depressed, for a period. But not stay in that dismal place. Sometimes our level of faith is not very strong. A christian can be immature(baby),do not know the scriptures well and what he/she needs to do when depression creeps upon him/her. Knowledge is power and knowing the will of God. All Christians do not know the will of God. When a trial or storm come, they panic and could fall into a depression or lose their faith,completely. Peter denied Christ three times but he was a disciple of Christ.He truly loved Jesus. He was in a down turn/depression for a while.
---Robyn on 3/3/10

More words of wisdom,
There was a story about a goat who found himself in a pen, and begin talking like sheep so that no one could tell he was a goat. One day he set a trap for one of the sheep. With his words he was hoping he would eat him little by little.
The Shepperd came and said, why do you pretent to be a sheep when in reality you are a goat? And he answered, I was hungry and wanted to eat, I like to eat sheep. The Shepperd sent him on his way to hell. Goes to show that hiding to other believers is possible but you cannot hide from God.
---MarkV. on 3/2/10

A friend of mine took his child to the doctor and quite excitedly an in the child's presence, he began in one breath to tell the doctor that the child was disrespectful, unruly, trew fits, yelled, cursed, did not obey, etc. The doctor wrote a prescription and told my friend to take one pill in the morning, another at bedtime. My friend told the doctor, "Doctor, my child is the one with the problem!" The doctor repplied, "I know", but this is a new pill which you take but whose benefit shows up in the child...
---Nana on 3/1/10

Mark: Thank you for understanding what I have tried to share. There are many in the world and the Church that do not understand mental illness, and it creates a stigma. You obviously have compassion for your loved ones who suffer from mental illness. I appreciate your insights as well.
---Trish9863 on 3/1/10

Trish, you are not been disrespectful at all. I am well aware of Bipolar disoder, it is a mental illness, cause by lack of a chemical in the brain. I have witnessed it by my stepdaughter who at times didn't take her medication because she thought she didn't need it. Which of course she's wrong and does. She get's real loud but since I met her seven years ago, she has been doing very well and does not yell anymore since taking her medication. I also have a niece, daughter to my oldest brother who at 31 something happen to her brain and she stops what she is doing, and just stands there. Found she was schizophrenic, in need of medication for the rest of her life. Her brain misses a function without the medication. Thanks for the insight.
---MarkV. on 3/1/10

Mark: I hope I did not come across with hostility. I have worked in mental health, and have grown up with bipolar disorder and now have it myself.

Just a clarification. You stated that the phrase "clinical depression" is a name that was given to mental disorder or mental illness. Mental illnesses vary, from schizophrenia to mood disorders. Both have a chemical basis in the brain, and can be corrected, or made bearable, with medications and/or both. They are not the same things, but both are mental illnesses. Under the heading of mood disorders are bipolar disorder and depression. Bipolar disorder can include both mania and depression, to varying degrees depending on the patient.

---trish9863 on 3/1/10

Mark ... What hostility? None on my side.

I was just giving information ... and saying that my experience was different from yours.

Surely you don't object to that?
---alan8566_of_uk on 3/1/10

Those were great words by Rod, he is right, that is exactly how I feel. Just what he said. He must have read my mind. People always show hostility against others when in reality it comes from them. I could not explain it better. Though I am not a doctor, I learned that a long time ago.
---MarkV. on 3/1/10

Hostility can be one sided. My father-in-law, who is 90 years old, has taught me that a person who has hostility can try to impose that onto someone else.

For example, a person can wake up upset and ask the other person present, "Why are you making me upset?"

Another example, a person may be hungry, and then ask the other person, "Why don't YOU fix me something to eat."

In other words, it's always the other persons fault for the hostility.
---Rod4Him on 3/1/10

Alan, if it is not a war then why the hostility? There was no purpose for it. If you were talking about mental illness or mental disorder, I would understood you better. But the question was about depression. The subject is about depression isn't it? Second, I am not a doctor and I know of few here on line who have the knowledge of what is what. We are only giving our opinions Alan. Nothing more. Mental disorder and mental illness have many categories. If its trouble in the brain, or lack of chemicals, or too many chemicals, it is a mental disorder or illness. Clinical depression is just another name someone gave to mental disorder or mental illness.
Lets just move on.
---MarkV. on 3/1/10

No Mark, I've not won, because we were not having a war!

Again, it's a question of words ... I am "depressed" at the moment because I have two fairly close friends who have sudden and probably terminal illness .. A friend is "depressed" because the particular holiday he wanted is no longer available.

It's important though that people do understand that clinical depression is something quite different ... and is not solvable just be "pulling yourself together" or going off to concentrate on some fun thing, but does need medical attention.

Even being told to "cling to the Lord" does not work sometimes because the brain is so damaged at the time that it does not remember His existence
---alan8566_of_uk on 3/1/10

A very close fellow Gideon brother of mine has suffered with bouts of depression for years and years. They are very debilitating for him. Usually the only cure for him is get on his motorcycle and take a trip somewhere...doesn't matter where - just go! He is also one of the more spiritually grounded Christians I have encountered.

Yes, a Christian can become depressed, even one who surrenders his whole life to Christ, like my friend.

---Tom on 2/28/10

Alan, Ok, you win. This is not a matter of faith that I can look up in Scripture. I would have to take your word for it or Trishes word or some doctor. So no way I can distinquish which depression I had and which one you or Trish had. I am not a doctor so I don't know. I gave my opinion on something that is not a matter of faith but my opinion on my experience. Maybe your experience is different and you know medicine. I sure don't. And don't want to look it up either. Sorry you had a clinical depression. Hope you are better.
---MarkV. on 2/28/10

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All cases of depression are not the same. Most people experience depression at some time, due to loss or disappointment, from something that may, or may not, be of their own doing. This depression is marked by a feeling of sadness and/or self pity... but it passes.

"Clinical depression" is disabling. It is caused by a chemical deficiency in the brain, sometimes, but not always, associated with loss. It is not sadness. It is hopelessness. Even motivation for everyday activities may vanish. Or a person's motivation may be primarily to hurt ones' self. Medication plus some sort of counseling is the
most recommended treatment.
---Donna66 on 2/28/10

MarkV: Clinical depression is most often caused by a person's brain chemistry being off, and it can be a lifelong illness. I have suffered my entire life with it. Medication helps take the edge off, as does therapy. It can be exacerbated, by events, such as the death of a loved one. There are periods when it is better than others. Winters are worse for me, as it is affected by the lack of sunlight too.
---Trish9863 on 2/28/10

Mark I've had climical depression, and it's not the same as just being fed-up.

I KNEW that I would never recover, that the doctors could not help, that NO-ONE had ever had anything like this.

It's not just a question of moving on.

There comes a chemical imbalance in the brain ... that needs medication
---alan8566_of_uk on 2/28/10

Trish, I am sorry you took my comment wrong. It is hard to explain really on line the way I wanted to explain it. I have heard of your bouts with depressions and sickness. I have prayed for you before and have told you so.
My comments were to express that our depression is of our own cause. It does not come from anywhere as virus' do or cough's. And everyone feel depress at one point or another in life. Losing my wife got me depressed for two years, could I call it clinical depression or just depression? I am not a doctor. What is clinical depression and how do you know which is which? In my case it was up to me to get over the death and move on, and with Christ as my Lord and strength I moved on.
---MarkV. on 2/28/10

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MarkV: I am disturbed that you would equate clinical depression with a "Pitty party." There is a huge difference between a clinical depression and a self-pity trip, and I have had both.

My most recent bout with clinical depression was when my medications were off, and I was being treated for my current chronic back problem. I ended up needing to be hospitalized to get my medications stablized, as I was so depressed I was a danger to myself.

Please don't insult people who suffer as I did.

I thank God my pastor has the compassion of Christ and is sensitive to people in our congregation who suffer mental illness as I do.
---Trish9863 on 2/27/10

Bill-bela, great answer you gave. Many times what we call depression comes because of our own doing. What we feel, what we need, what others have that we don't, losing a job, a wife, and it is all of self hurt. What is happening to us. We forget that the people in Scripture went through hell. Prison, hungar, stoned, and almost all of the one's close to Christ were killed. Now they endured pain and suffering. What we endure is nothing compare to what they went through and what many go through in life, in different countries. Pitty parties some call them here. Yes, we lose our wifes as I have, but God has a purpose for us who remain. And the job is not hard as it was for those in the past. Or for those in countries like China and the Sudan.
---MarkV. on 2/26/10

I often can feel tempted to get out of this life. But Paul says, "For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you." (Philippians 1:23-24)

So, Paul was being tortured, rejected, hungry, etc., but he loved us enough to go through all that in order to be here for us. Now, I may not find myself being good for a lot of people, but often I am by myself, though I make myself available. But it is God's choice. I stay here to love people. One person is enough to stay here to love that person.
---Bill_bila5659 on 2/25/10

Depression is called a spirit.. "Spirit of Depression." It can be hard, yet not faith removing. What counts is we keep the faith.. We can do all through Christ who what? He lifts us up above circumstance. Yes, you may have been lied about.. you may have been a subject to talk about.. or condemn. What counts.. are you innocent and have held fast to Jesus? He is the author of our faith, not us! We just need to allow ourselves to receive! I have seen sins brought up by the enemy that are many years old. Some before Jesus, some after. If we know the Word, we know what He says sin is! I have found that the enemy would accuse you of stubbing your toe, if you want to buy it as sin!
---Virgil on 2/25/10

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Rod4Him, Often Christians do get depressed.

I suffered horribly from depression all my life. I think I was born depressed. Life itself was just to hard for me. I had no will to live ever. From as young as I can remember.

After I was saved, it got even worse. and one day, the Lord showed me Moses, throwing himself on the ground like a big baby saying let me die. Do you know Rod, I LAUGHED so hard. The Lord made me laugh, and showed me, even men like big strong Moses had moments.

God works in mysterious ways. These men we see in the Bible are just humans like we are, ordinary men.

We need to show compassion when someone is going through depression. Not judgmntalism!

Thanks Rod!!! God Bless!
---kathr4453 on 2/25/10

depression is simply focusing on oneself and embracing attitudes of fear and many cut off from God will experience this mental affliction becoming unable to cope

the spirit and god of this world (1Cor 2:12 2Corin 4:4) causes and influences fear other attitudes affecting mind

True Christians are given a spirit of joy and a SOUND MIND John 15:11 Gal 5:22 2Tim 1:7 through Gods Holy Spirit dwelling within us ...knowing we struggle with these influences as all patriarchs did, yet always knowing we overcome - with God all things are possible

religious christianity has bought the LIE that depression is a "mental illness" and as such science proclaims man made therapies and pretty colored pills to help ease the pain
---Rhonda on 2/25/10

kathr, those are great Biblical examples, and in addition, King David also would be included. And Paul also despaired of life sometimes.
---Rod4Him on 2/24/10

Moses was depressed, threw himself on the ground being overwhelmed with a task of taking all into the Promised land.

Jeremiah was depressed, thought God had tricked him, preaching for over 18 years only a hand full believed him.

Elijah was really depressed after overthrowing Israel/Jezebel.

Depression many times comes from FEAR: Fear of failure, of the future, unresolved conflict WE can't in our own strength fix.

In those cases we learning to totally trust God, no matter the outcome. It's hardest lesson to learn for those who are actually being used by God. Often in our obedience things don't turn out the way we want or hoped, in our obeying, God will work all together for good for His Glory.
---kathr4453 on 2/24/10

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One example of sinful depression was when the Jews were being taken care of by God, but they "became very discouraged on the way." Then they complained against God's provision, and ones were bitten and killed by serpents (Numbers 21:4-6). Now we have people who become depressed as they complain against God's provision of rain that is so necessary for life on this planet. It is blasphemy to call God's provision "bad weather", etc. The disobedient spirit of this (Ephesians 2:2) complaining can degrade us and then *devour* us with depression witch is not just medical. "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
---Bill_bila5659 on 2/24/10

Yes a Christian can be depressed and depression attacks ones health. Spiritually, it opens the doors for spiritual attacks and during this period, there is no space for the Spirit of God to dwell.

Depression is one of the fruit of satan, just as joy is the fruit of the Spirit. Satans absolute motive is to separate you from God, since he knows that in that state of mind you will be moved to strife with your Maker.

God told His people in the Bible not to worry, look to me Your Rock etc., etc., Jesus also told us not to worry, what we are going to eat, drink or wear (Matthew 6:25-34). Apostle Paul says rejoices always and be thankful (Philippians 4:4-7). The battle belong to God not yours. Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).
---Esther on 2/23/10

Jim, I feel sorry for what you are going through but let me tell you something you should think of. You should be glad that you have a family, that God blessed you to be born in America, that you are not in some African nation starving to death, with no food or clean clothes. Or that you are not crippled and having someone always caring for you, changing your under pants which sometimes is very humiliating.
So you see, when you see your life, you are blessed and should be so thankful that you are not someone else, but the person that God made. I know things are hard and will get worse, but no matter where that takes us, we have been blessed with so much already. Praise God and you will be fine.
---MarkV. on 2/23/10

Okay I understand now, thanks :)
---Mary on 2/23/10

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Mary, I was speaking of those who presume to be save but are not. Remember, I never knew you" comment from Jesus? or "they went out from us, for they were not of us"

Point of view (There is a Hell).
---Bobby1 on 2/22/10

Bobby, I hope you are never my counselor in a therapy session lol :D
---Mary on 2/22/10

Are you clinically depressed, or just fed up?

For the former, you need to get professional medical help
---alan8566_of_uk on 2/22/10

Yes, I am a Christian. I have accepted Christ as my Savior and I am depressed. I am self employed, at odds with my brother and sister regarding my sick mom, I have kids that are not walking with the Lord, I have financial troubles that adds to the stress of marriage... It eats away at me. The joy of the Lord is getting farther and farther away. The interesting thing is that the Lord never moves away, He wants to get closer to me... I am, or the situations that I'm in is moving me towards depression...
---Jim on 2/21/10

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Bobby, I believe the question was referring to believers, not unbelievers.
---Mary on 2/20/10

Clinical Depression is a medical issue. It is a condition where certain chemicals which occur and transfer between synapses naturally change and become dysfunctional. Two are dopamine and norepinephrine. When these do not transfer adequately from one synapse to another, the result is depression. There are medications which help cause an adequate flow of these chemicals and they help relieve the symptoms of depression. Most of these meds take about 6 weeks for max effect. It may be necessary to take them for a short period of time while others need to take them on a lifelong basis or very long term. Medication therapy should be coupled with supportive Christian Counseling.
---jody on 2/20/10

Christians may develop serious clinical depression, just like anyone else.

Sometimes they may feel compelled to pretend that everything is okay and force themselves to be 'up' when they feel a pervasive sense of powerlessness and hopelessness, as a part of an ill fated and ill advised attempt to 'rejoice ever more.'

Serious mental and emotional illnesses need treatment, and there is nothing ungodly about seeking such if you need it, just as seeking care from a heart surgeon is advised over prayer alone if needed.
---Jenny on 2/18/10

Of course they can become depress. When they find out they are not saved at all, and realize they are heading to hell, they will be really dispressed. They are not going to laugh at God and get away with their rebellion. The wrath of God will be waiting for them.
---Bobby1 on 2/18/10

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Not only can Christians be depressed,but they can ,and do, depress others with their talk of God torturing humans in a fire forever.
"Better smarten up or God will throw you in the fire"
Is there anything more "God defaming" and depressing than believing that some of your relatives are screaming with pain,because they miss-stepped along the way?
Which one of us would do that to a dog? (even a vicious pit-bull?)
Better to forget that nonsense and teach God's mercy, tolerance and love!
He knows that we are "but dust"!
---1st_cliff on 2/17/10

Yes, but it's like the Holy Spirit said to me one day when I was feeling down because my family was coming against me and resenting me for giving my father a beautiful funeral after he abused us all of our lives. They didn't want me to forgive him and to this day, 2 years after his death, they still resent me and bash him to pieces.

So here's what the Holy Spirit told me: You may be down (feeling down) but you're not out. I knew what He meant. He meant if I put my hope back in God and God alone, I will rise up again with Joy Unspeakable and that's exactly what happened to me.
---Donna on 2/16/10

There is nothing in the Bible that declares depression a "sin". Depression MAY be caused by guilt (real or imagined), but a Christian must be able to experience guilt feelings or he would not be able to repent. There may be other causes as well, including a deficiencey of certain chemicals in the brain.
Those in the Bible who experienced depression include:
Abraham (Genesis 15)Jonah (Jonah 4)
Job (Book of Job) Elijah (1 Kings 19)
King Saul (I Samuel 16:14-23, etc.)
David (see his psalms)Jeremiah (Book of Jeremiah)
Some of these were sqarely in God's will at the time, others were not.

It's important not to judge Christians who are suffering depression, but to be patient and offer help.
---Donna66 on 2/15/10

There are three major causes of depression, and all of them are outside the individual's control.

1. Reactive depression to things that are depressing in themselves. "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death," does NOT sound like Jesus was up on the Mount of Feel Good.

2. Some medical conditions can do so. Post-partum depression is well known.

3. Cinical depression, which is a PHYSICAL ILLNESS and not a character flaw, much less a sin.
---Cluny on 2/15/10

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Yes a Christian can just have a bad day and feel down for a period.

A Christian can also have a formal mental illness, being a Christian does not make you immune.
---Friendly_Blogger on 2/15/10

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