Depression and demons???

I reccently received a comment on this post, which I decided to respond to in a new post rather than in comments.

I want to say up front that I don’t agree with the comment.

Here it is –

“Call it what it is. Depression is demon. Jesus did not play with them or talk to them, He commanded them to come out.Look to your bible. Is it where you get knowledge and wisdom ALL the time? Or just in glancing? The teachings of men cannot heal you much at all.The power that raised Jesus from the dead will also drive your demons out if you believe.”

The Bible does tell us of Jesus casting out demons. In most places it gives us vivid descriptions of the people who are demon possessed. Here are just 2 examples from Mark’s gospel.

This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Mark 5:3-4

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. Mark 9:17-18

Clearly, demon possession is a serious, dangerous and violent experience and nothing at all like depression.

The heart of depression is hopelessness and despair. Most of the time there is a physiological cause for it, and doctors and medicine can help. I believe that we should always pray about everything (Philippians 4:6) and sometimes the work of medical science is God’s answer to us.

Depression is NOT demon-possession. It is NOT a weakness. It is NOT a lack of faith. It is NOT a punishment. It IS a medical illness and part of the frustration of living on this side of Jesus’ return.

Here are some quotes from great men of the Bible who I think suffered their own times of depression –

JOB – Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came out of the womb? Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I may be nursed? For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest. Job 3:11-13

KING DAVID – How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? Psalm 13:1-2

ELIJAH – He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord” he said. “Take my life”. 1 Kings 19:4

Job is described by God as ‘blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil’. David was chosen by God as ‘a man after his own heart’. Elijah was a prophet of God, who the word of the Lord came to. And each of them suffered their own loss of hope. And each of them also knew that God loved him and found strength and comfort in their God. Here is the end of David’s psalm –

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6

Christianity and Depression


I have mixed feelings about doing this particular post. I have not suffered from depression, so my experience of this is from the point of view of a friend/family member of a sufferer. So my aim has mainly been to work out how to educate non-sufferers about depression so they can support their friends. I think part of doing that is to talk about particular challenges that Christian sufferers face and I think this is a really important part of any discussion on depression. So while I feel completely inadequate to talk about this I will do the best I can and pray that it is helpful to at least one person.

Challenges for Christians with Depression

1. The ‘hope’ conflict

The Christians experience is about hope (Colossians 1:23). And yet at the heart of depression is the lose of hope. The good news is that the hope we have is not dependent on how we feel. It is about God’s faithfulness – and that doesn’t change. (1 Corinthians 1:9). So the challenge for Christian’s is to hold onto that hope, even when all you feel is hopelessness.

2. The isolation temptation

There is a strong temptation when we are feeling down, to want to be on our own. Depression is no exception to this. I have seen many people who fall into this temptation and cut themselves off from everyone around them. I think this is a temptation that we need to avoid. Hebrews 10:25 says that we should not give up meeting together, instead we should encourage one another. When you don’t feel like seeing other people is when it is especially important to have your Christians brothers and sisters around you. They will encourage you and love you but more importantly they will remind you of God’s love and faithfulness.

3. The nagging questions

Who is God? Where is he? A lose of hope will naturally lead to questioning who God is. Although its hard, its important to hold onto the reality that God knows us and loves us (Psalm 139:13 – 16), even when we are at our most unloveable. Don’t be tempted to think that God can’t take your depression away – he can (& he does) and only he knows why he hasn’t yet. Be reassured that it is God who will give you strength to get through anything (Philippians 4:13).

They are three big challenges. I think its important to say that there is a way you can serve and love your family and friends through all this and that is by doing everything you can to get better. See a doctor. Follow the advice they give you – they know what they are talking about. That is the best thing you can do for the people you love and for yourself.

Next: How to care for your friends/family with depression

Lifeline Australia (24 hr hotline – 13 11 14)

To Write Love on Her Arms


Black Dog Institute

More from me on depression here.

What does God have to do with depression??


Depression reminds Christians of three important things.

1. Things are not as they should be

God made a perfect world, and humans screwed it up. Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden means that now we all live in a world which is fallen from its good state. Romans 8:23 tells us that creation itself joins us as we inwardly groan, as we wait for this to be fixed.  In the meantime there are consequences and experiences that come from living in this fallen world. Depression is one of them.

2. We are not in control

Depression is not something that should or can be handled by yourself. If you ever believed the myth that we can handle ANYTHING without God, depression (either suffering it yourself or seeing someone you know go through it) will dispel that myth with ease. The apostle Paul was reminded of this by his own ailment. When he pleaded with the Lord to take it away the Lord replied “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. 2 Corinthians 12:9 All things can be handled with God, and nothing can be handled without him.

3. The Christian life is one of faith

Even though Ephesians repeatedly tells us that we are saved by grace, through faith not by works, if we were honest I think we often live like we are saved by works. Rather than living by faith we live on the experience of good things and good feelings. These experiences and feelings often aren’t there when you are suffering from depression. So it’s important to remember that our feelings and experiences are not what makes up God’s love. We don’t have to feel it for it to be there.

More on this soon.

Lifeline Australia (24 hr hotline – 13 11 14)

To Write Love on Her Arms


Black Dog Institute

More from me on depression here.

What causes depression??


Just like when we are all feeling down, sometimes there is an obviously cause of depression – things like major disappointments, frustrations, changes or losing something or someone important to you.

But there are also a number of other things that can contribute to the onset of depression. Different people will experience different causes and sometimes it will be a combination of things. Here are a few of the things that can be factors in depression –

Major events in our life

We all experience distressing events in our lives and it is quite natural to feel depressed for a period of time afterwards. Things like death of someone close to us, divorce, losing a job etc. Often in these cases we will eventually come to terms with this event and start to feel better on our own but this may be after a few weeks or even months of feeling depressed.


This on its own can be a cause of depression, or can be a factor that contributes to the effect of other causes.

Physical Illness

Illness doesn’t need to serious to be a contributing factor in depression. Obviously serious illness like cancer or other life threatening illness can play a part, but so can less serious, but long and uncomfortable illnesses. Depression in young people is common after infections such as flu or glandular fever.

Chemical Imbalances

Clinical depression is when the brain is releasing too many or too little of our ‘feel good’ chemicals. When there are not enough of these chemicals being released a person will feel sad NO MATTER WHAT. Chemical imbalances are the major causes of depression.

There are many other things that can contribute to the onset of depression. More info can be found at the sites below.

Lifeline Australia (24 hr hotline – 13 11 14)

To Write Love on Her Arms


Black Dog Institute

More from me on depression here.

Who gets depression???


The answer to this question is not long or complicated.

To Write Love on Her Arms says this

Depression does not discriminate across age, race, gender, or class.

In other words, everyone and anyone can get depression. Black Dog Institute has information on depression in children, teenagers, adults, over 65’s, medically ill and pregnancy & postnatal.  If you fit into one of those then there is a chance that you could get depression.

There are many things that can contribute to the development of depression (which I’ll look at in the next post) but something that people should be aware of is that depression is something that can run in families, so some people will have an increased genetic risk of getting it. However, this doesn’t mean that if a family member has it you will get it, it just means that you could have an increased chance of getting it.

So everyone has a chance of getting it. However women are twice as likely as men to get depression, possibly due the the various hormones changes that we will go through in our lives.

But men you are not out of the woods. Depression in men often manifests itself as anger or hostility and men are prone to covering their condition with alcohol or drug abuse.

Men, if you get depression you are four times as likely to commit suicide than women. This is probably due to the shame felt as a result of depression. This is why I think education is so important – no one should feel ashamed about this or about getting help.

Helpful links –

Lifeline Australia (24 hr hotline – 13 11 14)

To Write Love on Her Arms


Black Dog Institute

More from me on depression here.

What is depression???


My knowledge about depression is minimal. But I recently heard some statistics that made me realise I need to change that.

1 in 5 people will suffer from depression at some point. 1 in 5. Unless you know less than 5 people you are going to have contact with someone (probably lots of people) with depression.

So I decided that I should find out more about it. As I did I came to realise exactly how many people I know who probably have or have had depression. Its a lot more than I expected.

I also have come to realise the harmful nature of the stigma that can be attached to this particular illness. Hopefully as people become more educated this will decrease. So to do my bit I am going to post a series of blogs looking at what depression is, why it happens, who gets it, what part does God play in this, and how we can be christian sufferers and carers. At the end of each post I will include links to some helpful sites where you can get more information and advice.

There is a lot to know/learn and I will probably only scratch the surface so please feel free to add to what I say. If you have experienced depression I would love to hear your story.

Firstly, what is depression?

All of us have felt ‘down’ or ‘low’ from time to time. This is not depression. Depression is a serious illness and the most common mental health condition. It can be debilitating to a persons ability to function from day to day, and can leave them unable to enjoy things that they normally would. What it is NOT is a sign of personal weakness, and it can’t be willed away or ‘snapped out’ of. Symptoms can include

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain

If these symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks than your should seek treatment.

There are also different and more severe kinds of depression, such as Mania and Bipolar.

Helpful links –

To Write Love on Her Arms


Black Dog Institute

A debilitating stigma…


Here are some facts about Depression –

* 20% of young people will have experienced significant depressive symptoms by the time they reach adulthood
* At any point in time up to 5% of young people will experience depression serious enough to warrant treatment
* 1 in 4 women suffer from depression
* 1 in 6 men suffer from depression
* Depression related suicides rates are 4 times higher in men than women
* 121 million people suffer from depression (worldwide)
* Untreated depression is the no 1 cause of suicide
* Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in teenagers

And the saddest of all –

*2/3 of depression sufferers never seek treatment

I can’t help but think that the reason so many people don’t seek help is that they are scared of the stigma related to depression. So how do we get rid of an unwarranted stigma?? What part does education have to play??

Here are some sites that are doing good things for sufferers of this and other related mental illnesses.

To Write Love on Her Arms


Black Dog Institute