Depression and Anxiety – Part II

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Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.

Prov 19:21 (RSV)

In the summer of ’03 I found myself sitting in class being introduced to a concept that I resisted.  Depression and anxiety, including severe episodes like I experienced often, could be sin related?  No, I am a victim…I have been professionally diagnosed with a chemical imbalance.  I had been on anti-depressants for years following my episode some years back at a movie theater; however, the med’s had been quickly and easily dispensed by my doctor based solely on my statements to him about my feelings.  At that point, I had not even seen a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.  I had merely seen my primary care physician and asked for them.  He asked me a series of questions (which stem from the DSM-IV) and based upon my responses to those questions made the diagnosis (along the lines of severe anxiety disorder and clinical depression).  I left his office with my script in hand.

Would you let your physician perform brain surgery based solely upon your complaint and his subjective opinion?  Of course not!  Surgery is risky business.  Taking medication for a declared mental condition diagnosed by subjective means is also risky business.  When sin is called sickness, the boundaries and limits of good sense are removed and people are subjectively declared sick.

Deceptive Diagnosis, page 9

Now, before we go any further, do not misunderstand me.  I am not saying that depression is always sin related.  There are occasions that depression can be caused by genuine physiological causes.  There are certain cancers which can cause it; there are certain medications one takes for other ailments that can cause it; Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases can be related to depression; and certain physical problems such as thyroid conditions can be the cause.  These things have true, scientific, verifiable and repeatable tests to determine their existence.   They are not diagnosed solely on how you feel.  Also, while I am not an advocate of the use of antidepressant drugs to treat feelings that are called depression, I am also NOT suggesting anyone get off of meds they are currently taking without consulting a medical professional in the process.  Doing so can be very dangerous.

Up to this point, the professional counseling I had received  had turned out to be a waste of time.  All I ever heard in counseling (based on the few comments other than the usual  ‘and how do you feel about that’) was that I was a victim.  My depression was not my fault, I needed to get in touch with my deep emotional pain; there was deeply repressed emotional trauma in my past I might not even remember.  Perhaps needs I have are not being met: areas such as love and security.  Scientists decided I had a chemical imbalance, right, and the antidepressants I took before bedtime the night before were there to help me.  They were prescribed by a medical doctor.  How in the world could any short sited, untrained bible thumping seminary professor state otherwise?  My Doctor advised me once that I would always have to be on these antidepressants.  Always – meaning the rest of my life.  He is a real Doctor you know…and this assessment was backed up by the professionals I had seen.  Come on professor, I know what the Bible says but I need real help not fairy tales!

As it turned out, this professor had as much training as many of these “professionals”!  Licensed, professional counselor?  PhD.?

I had studied psychology in college.  I even for a time had considered pursuing a course of study at the Graduate level that would lead to becoming a professional counselor (marriage and family therapy)  myself.  I was already aware of Sigmund Freud’s views, as well as other professionals who held such views as “symptom’s of hysteria were ascribed to manifestations of undischarged emotional energy associated with forgotten psychic trauma’s.” Their teachings sounded a lot like me.   My father, prior to becoming a believer in Christ, had emotionally abused me as a alcoholic.  I had witnessed physical abuse and been the victim of it myself.  During formative years, my friends in school had abused me physically and mentally.  I was teased, bullied, made to feel inferior.  I was deeply insecure.  To be frank and honest with you, I enjoyed the freeing effects of understanding my depression as a result of my being a victim.

Freud believed in two basic forces of mind – one to bring repressed material out and one that kept these feelings repressed.  People, according to Freud, fought to keep repressed items repressed.  Enter dream and speech analysis.  In 1887 he wrote a book on the analysis of dreams.  It all sounded good to a layman. In a nutshell, Freud turns to his own understanding and rejects Scripture and God’s wisdom  He was a drug user and occultist as he was formulating his twisted views that would become the basis of much of the naturalistic medical models in psychology of our day.  He was, basically, a godless man rejecting even the views of his Jewish heritage.

Enter Maslow…the Father of Modern Psychology.  Many Christian counselors would reject some of Freud and Maslow, while at the same time integrating their teachings into their counseling; the average Christian counseling session will pay homage to these ungodly men and their philosophies while at the same time avoiding the use of Scripture.  Maslow teaches a Hierarchy of Needs, and that people must become self-actualized.  In order to do this your needs must be met.  Essentially, man is good.  If you do not think that Maslow’s teachings are contrary to Scripture, compare them to the lives of Paul and Jesus.  They were both completely opposite the teachings of Maslow.  Still, Maslow is integrated into Christianity in sermons and books.  “God loves you, you are special, you are worthy.  In Christ, you are significant“.

If you are wondering what the point is, I had become Psychologized.  I had bought into the idea that the Bible was not sufficient to meet real needs of men (me).  I  needed real help.  Depression was not my fault, I was the victim here.  My interest was in feeling better, being significant, being happy, being fulfilled. I needed better self-esteem,  I wanted my needs to be met.  I was not a murderer, a felon, an adulterer; My sins could in no way be related to my depression because they were small sins, right?  And there could be no possibility that God had allowed the depression in the first place to teach me something.

 

This post was written by

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

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