“I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.“ Psalm 38:6-8
Depression could be described as a hole in the soul, broken-heartedness or a sense of overwhelming helplessness. The psychiatric world refers to it as a persistent mood that is characterized by intense feelings of inadequacy, sadness, hopelessness, pessimism, irritability, apprehension, and decreased interest in or an inability to enjoy normal activities.
No matter how we decide to define it, how we respond to it is critical. Depression has many causes. The brain has 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) that rely on Sodium Chloride. A Sodium Chloride imbalance causes Bi-Polar Disorder (extreme highs/lows). Unipolar is depression is a continuous low that may have its origin in circumstances as seen in the book of Ruth, chapter 1 or concealed sin, as we see in Psalm 36. For most of us depression is a result of our thinking around unmet expectations, discontentment, jealousy, envy, etc. When things are good we are on top of the world and when things are bad, we are in the pit.
How we “think” during these times is voluntary yet it leads to involuntary reactions. For example, improper or negative thinking (voluntary) triggers involuntary nerves such as crying or internal organ reactions that can cause pain (many depressed people complain of persistent stomach aches and other internal pain), which further depresses the person.
Perhaps the vast majority of our depressive issues can be resolved by the “renewing of the mind,” as described in Romans 12:2 and practicing the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25). God allows other depressive triggers (death of loved ones, loss of job, etc.) in order to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him. The Book Ruth is a great example of this. Depression is a “hot button” issue amongst Christians; approach it biblically, because the world’s solutions are not working.