The Root of Depression

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Depression is as real as the air we breathe. Depression takes place in our souls as it directly affects how we feel, how we think, our behaviors and our decision-making. Depression is a deflation of the soul; it literally sucks the life out of us. The American Psychiatric Association defines Depression as “A major depressive disorder; is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home. Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.”[1]

The American Psychiatric Association is not too far off from Scripture as the soul is connected to, 

Our ability to enjoy joy (Psalm 35:9)

Our ability to have friends (I Samuel 18:1)

Our ability to engage in healthy romantic relationships (Genesis 34:8)

Many times, in the Body of Christ, we fail to understand the soul. We figure that everything should be resolved after we become born again. We must understand that there is only one part of us that is born again, that is, our spirit (John 3). The work in our lives is taking place in our souls. An important principle to remember is that the soul does not have life of his own; it is dependent on God’s Spirit. Therefore, at the root of depression is our disconnection with the source of Life. Genesis 2:7 tells us, 

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (KJV) 

The word Breath is the Hebrew word nešāmāh meaning “wind or spirit.”[2] That is the breath of life; without the Spirit we have no life. In John 3:5-8 Jesus tells Nicodemus, 

“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (NIV) 

It is the born-again experiences that enable us to have an intimate connection with God; to have a relationship with Him. Apart from a born-again spirit, what do we have left? Fear, doubt, sadness, anger, frustration and every other emotion contrary to peace and joy. Without the born again experience we have pills to control our emotions, drugs, and alcohol. If you doubt this take a quick look at these statistics: 

Illegal drugs produce $321.6 billion in 2003 alone; this is 1% of the world’s global trade.[3] “Global spending on prescription drugs in 2020 is expected to be ~$1.3 trillion; the United States alone will spend ~$350 billion1. These high spending rates are expected to increase at a rate of 3–6% annually worldwide.”[4] Even as the USA is “4-5% of the world’s population and 33% of the developed world’s population, we cover for 45% of all pharmaceutical revenue.”[5]

As born-again believers we have direct access to God. God is Spirit[6] and, if we are going to seek Him, we must do so in spirt. 

To be continued…


[1] https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression

[2] Warren Baker and Eugene E. Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), 758.

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_drug_trade

[4] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41408-020-0338-x

[5] https://truecostofhealthcare.org/the_pharmaceutical_industry/

[6] John 4:24 

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