Depression & Anxiety- Part I

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“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. “

Romans 15:4 (NASB)

I once heard that after 10 years of doing a certain thing, one is considered an expert in that field.  I, then, am an expert on Depression and Anxiety/Panic ‘disorders.’

Depression and anxiety issues will impact a marriage.  Many couples recite wedding vows and answer in the affirmative when asked if they will love and honor their covenant mate “…in sickness and in health.”  Despite this, depression can lead to divorce.  Depression is hard for one spouse to understand in the other, unless both marriage partners suffer from it.  Some say to their spouses that it is just something that will pass.  Some see it in their spouse as a sign that they are just weak while others buy into the pharmaceutical companies propaganda that it is caused by chemical imbalances (which, by the way, is not true – there is no physiological evidence to support this myth).  Depression, largely, can be described as a loss of hope.

In 1997 my wife and I were attending a movie, and in the midst of the movie I experienced a severe attack of some kind.  I was transported to the ER via ambulance thinking I was having a heart attack.  It turned out to be a severe anxiety attack.  I was placed on anti-depressant meds (which I took for the next 10 years and was told I would never be able to function without them).   I had also been sent to see a psychologist, which further led me into the prison we called depression; it wasn’t my fault, I was told, I had a chemical imbalance.

The anti-depressants caused a number of side effects.  One of them was weight gain.  I quickly added around 40 pounds.  Another side effect was irritability; this was especially bad if I missed a dose.  My wife would say to me, “You didn’t take your pill today, did you?”  The worse side effect was that they did not work.  My depression lessened for a while.  But as the effect of the meds wore off, my depression worsened.  The only thing the meds did was to temporarily mask, in effect, my ever present depression.  When they stopped working, they simply prescribed either an additional pill to take with them or a new anti-depressant altogether.

During this struggle, I entered Seminary, still taking my daily doses.  One of the thoughts I had was to take a program of study that would lead me to the point of earning a license with the state in Marriage and Family counseling.  But one of the things that caused me to hesitate was the fact that I had little confidence with the “professionals” I had seen in my own struggle.  I found myself already under conviction that I was relying on med’s and not God; and I was completely convinced that the medical models on depression was doing little to deal with the real issues that were taking me into that hole in the first place.  I saw that all that was being done was masking the real issues that were causing the depression.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalms 1:1-2 (NASB)

One of my pet peeves these days are the people who deny the absolute and totally sufficient authority of Scripture.  Mankind does not need to know what Fraud or Maslow had to say about depression.  Men do not need to be led toward masking the root source of depression instead of dealing with the root causes of it, as I had been led to do for over 10 years.  Men need to know that God’s Word is totally sufficient to meet WHATEVER need there is in their lives.  Depression and anxiety will not disappear magically by just swallowing a pill.  You MUST dig deep and discover the root cause of it.  It is like a junk tree; if you do not kill the root it will just keep coming back.

Psychology based counseling is as worthless to the believer in Jesus Christ as Nouthetic Biblical Counseling is to the unbeliever.  Psychobabble will not help a believer defeat the effects of depression; that weed will continue to grow if one does not deal with its root.  Psychology cannot cure depression, it can only help a person understand a few things about themselves.

If a believer is living in sin, God may use depression to bring them to the realization of the truth.  They will be depressed, by God’s design, until that person turns to Christ and confesses/conquers this sin.  Following the medical model of depression, this person goes to their doctor and explains their symptoms.  Their doctor 9 out of 10 times diagnoses them with Clinical Depression, they are given a prescription, and the God given depression has now been medicated away.   This church going believer feels much better and buys in to the myth that they are not depressed for any other reason than the fact that they are a victim, not a sinner.  It is not their sin that is the cause of their depression, they are victimized by the lie that this is all a result of a chemical imbalance they have no control over. The sin remains, just like that trash tree root that keeps sprouting over and over.  It will never go away until you kill the root.

This post was written by

kc5lei – who has written 50 posts on One Flesh Ministries.

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