Depression

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Mark Osgatharp, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    In another thread the following statement was made:

    How can that statement be reconciled with the following Scripture?

    "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. Priscilla Ann

    Priscilla Ann
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    Mark:

    What is your experience with clinical depression?

    PA
     
  3. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
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    Mark,

    I believe the point is that depression is a medical condition. Many people don't belive that mental illness is a medical condition and that you can "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" and be cured. Many of the people who believe you can do this also believe mental illness is ALWAYS caused by sin. While there are times sin can cause depression it is not the only cause.

    We should pray that God take away a mental illness just as we would pray He take away cancer. Mental illness is a physical condition, and should be treated as such. If God chooses to He can take away this illness, and if He chooses not to take it away then we must treat it as a physical condition.

    Bill
     
  4. PamelaK

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    Many times depression can be caued by chemical imbalances in the brain - a physical condition.
    We had a pastor once who stated that depression is ALWAYS a spiritual condition. This can be true, but not ALWAYS.
     
  5. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    So now please address the Scripture, inspired by God, which says a believer can have peace which passes all understanding through trusting and obeying God. Show me where Paul put a footnote on that and said, unless, that is, you have some chemical imbalance in the brain.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  6. El_Guero

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    Mark,

    I think I am with you:

    I cannot even put the words together that I feel.
     
  7. SAMPLEWOW

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    Right on,Mark Osgatharp [​IMG]
     
  8. StraightAndNarrow

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    Question: "What does the Bible say about cancer?"

    Answer: The Bible does not say anything specifically about the disease of cancer. However, that does not mean that it does not address the issue of diseases. King Hezekiah was sick of a "boil", which could have in reality been cancer under a different name. So, although the word "cancer" is not in Scripture there are incidences where the circumstance could very well have been cancer. When Jesus was on earth He healed all the diseases that were brought (obviously that could include cancer) to Him as a sign to the Jews that He was their Messiah.

    However, cancer - like all disease is a result of the curse of sin upon the world. In Genesis 3:17 we read, "cursed is the ground for thy sake". The word is better translated "earth". The earth has been cursed because of sin and all men die - we all return to dust and the method of death may be from disease that is a natural outcome of the curse upon the earth. Diseases are not "punishment" - they are a result of living in a fallen world and upon a cursed earth and believer and unbeliever alike develop cancer or other diseases that lead to death. We need to remember that in the life of the believer, God "works all things together for good" (Romans 8:28) and that includes cancer.
    *************************************************
    Why treat cancer according to Romans 8:28?
     
  9. Benjamin

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    The drugs used for depression would not be for me because they alter the brain and I wouldn’t want my brain "altered". I believe there are other ways to deal with the issue for some, but not others. If I had a laceration I would know my body probably would heal itself, but would get the help of the stitches and antibiotic if needed, but when it comes to my brain concerning moods the only altering I want done for me personally is by God.
     
  10. Aaron

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    Excellent OP, Mark. [​IMG]

    Maybe someone could venture to answer your question.

    I'll start them out. "Paul really didn't understand clinical depression, attributing, as most did in his day, mental illness to Satanic oppression.

    "We know better now. If God won't give you peace, take a pill."

    How's that?
     
  11. Alcott

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    A person depressed can have peace that is beyond human understanding but still be depressed; depression (the opposite of stimulation) is more peace than it is agitation.

    Now, tell us some more about Paul... Did he not trust and obey God? or if that's not true why did God overtly refuse to heal him of his "thorn in the flesh" he discusses in II Corinthians? Or, did Paul finally have peace despite that thorn in the flesh of which God would not heal him?
     
  12. GospelExplained.com

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    Regarding original Q.

    Can you will away, or pray away pain.
    God asks us to pray yes, it may not be His intention to take the pain away - but He will always be with us through the pain.
    Sure we can find peace with God through prayer - but peace is not necessarily the opposite of depression - the pain remains from the mental/emotional scar that needs time to heal.

    I think chemical imbalance argument is a bit like the chicken or the egg. Which comes first, depression or the chemical imbalance? Perhaps the drugs simply provide an escape from the mental pain.
     
  13. Mark Osgatharp

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    Comparing cancer and depression is comparing apples and oranges. The word of God never says that if you do thus and thus you will be cured of cancer; to the contrary, it says we are all going to die of something some day, and we are not even promised another breath.

    By contrast, we are promised that if we do thus and thus - as per Philippians chapter 4 and many other passages - that God will give us a peace that passes all understanding. The plain fact is, Paul explicity said depression can be prayed and obeyed away. Regardless of what some have said, the peace is the opposite of depression. I have experienced both.

    I think some people approach this subject with the idea that if they just ask God to remove their depression He will; they do and He doesn't and so they resort to believing they have some physicological maladay.

    But Paul never said to just ask God to give you peace. What he said was to trust and give God thank in everything, not to worry about anything, to concentrate on doing good and to obey his example.

    Now how many people do you know who actually obey Paul's example of Christianity? And so how many people do you know who qualify to experience the peace that passes all understanding. I sure don't; and I'm not bragging about that, just being honest.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  14. Charles Meadows

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    Mark,

    Depression is a real thing. If you do not have it consider yourself blessed.

    I would not say that it cannot be prayed away. God gives grace enough to deal with anything. A patient with depression can receive the necessary grace from God through prayer - but he/she may still battle feelings of sadness.

    Not everyone diagnosed with a "chemical imbalance" has real depression. There are issues of spiritual well-being and motivation involved as well. But that being said there are many who do actually have chronic feelings of sadness for no reason. I would not suggest we "slap everyone on a pill" - but we should not refrain from using antidepressants if someone really would benefit from them. Contrary to what some (who do not know) say they are NOT mind control.
     
  15. OCC

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    Actually the Bible says by His stripes we are healed. It says if a man is sick he should go to the elders, be anointed with oil, confess his sins and he will be healed. Sometimes people aren't. What do we do with THOSE Scriptures?

    To equate ALL depression with demon possession is idiocy...and I don't know of one place in Scripture where Paul attributes ALL depression to demon possession. Was Elijah possessed by a demon? Was Peter?

    I actually think this is a personal issue between each individual and God. To go around accusing people of being demon possessed, etc. is uncalled for and ignorant.
     
  16. menageriekeeper

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    Are we beating this old horse again??

    Mark, you've gotten some pretty good answers already but maybe not in depth enough to truely answer your OP.

    I'll try to be as simple and brief as possible( ;) ).

    Someone has already told you that true depression is a PHYSICAL illness. Perhaps though you need to understand why it is a physical rather than a spiritual issue.

    I'm going to start by making a comparison to a very different illness. Diabetes is caused by the body being unable to to produce the chemicals it needs to process the sugars in our diets. There are different forms of diabetes, but the end result is the same: sugar builds up in the blood and will kill you if you don't do something about it.

    So for some people, simply watching the amount of sugar they eat every day and exercising more, will control the build up of sugar. Others take a daily medication(chemical) to further help the body process the sugar. Still other depend on insulin injections. Insulin is a chemical produced by the body. Let me tell you what happens if you don't have enough of it.

    You find yourself so sleepy that it is impossible to function. It makes you feel very thiristy(whether or not you really need more water in your body). If you don't heed the warning signs, it'll lead to various other symptoms including hallucintions. http://www.diabetes.com/blood_sugar.html

    Now a persons body also produces various chemicals that allow the brain to function in the way we consider normal. Normalcy includes being able to communicate, feel our body parts, be able to tell when we are tired or not, hungry or not, takes what our eyes see and ears hear and turn it into information that ours brains can use to allow us to function during a normal day. Most of the time we don't even know these processes are going on. God created an amazing body for us that is sooo complicated and has so many different processes going on all at one time that man may never fully understand it.

    We do begin to understand pieces of it, when something doesn't work properly. Back to those chemicals the body produces. Insulin isn't even produced in the brain, the pancreas regulates it. But without it the brain won't function properly and when it misfunctions in this case it is going to cause a person to hear and see things that aren't there.

    Is this a symptom of a SPIRITUAL nature? Most of us would agree that it is not, that the physical basis it the diabetes. Introduce and outside source of insulin and the hallucinations go away. Does that make insulin a mind altering substance? I'll let you answer that one yourself.

    Now, what if you body stops producing this little chemical called serotonin( http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5468 )? Or if it produces to much? Or if the amount it produces fluctuates from one time period to the next?

    You are going to get symptoms just like you would if you were diabetic.

    Is there a physical basis for those symptoms? Absolutely. Add a medication that adjusts or controls the amount of serotonin and the symptoms are relieved. Are these medications mind altering? Some of them are mind altering in the same way that insulin can alter the hallucinations. Some are even more so and the wrong medication can make the symptoms worse. Thats why medications should only be taken with the advice of a competent physician. If you take to much insulin or you take it the wrong way, you end up with another whole set of problems.

    Now we've talked about the PHYSICAL side of both problems. Now it is time to deal with the SPIRITUAL side of both issues.

    If you are diabetic, you quickly learn that the first course of action is not medication! The first course is to adjust that diet and get some exercise. In a good portion of diabetics this alone will take care of the problem. But what happens if the person won't make those adjustments? Is that a physical problem or a spiritual one? You know where I'm going, at this point the physical problem becomes a spiritual one.

    Now if you're suffering from depression, there are also certain steps outside of medication that you can take at the beginning. Because our minds and our thoughts can affect our bodies production of serotonin, sometimes it is possible to alter the brain's "diet", without medication. The brain's diet is a lot harder to adjust, let me tell you. And I think this is where the confusion between what is basically a physical problem becomes confused with the spiritual.

    We have so much information coming into our brains, that it is very hard to pinpoint exactly where and with what information the symptoms relate to. This one little chemical called serotonin controls sooooo much.

    It is possible for a person to adjust the stimuli that they are exposed to and that adjustment may allow the body to better regulate the chemicals that make us work. In the case of diabetes, we can control the sugar. In the case of depression, it may be that we can control the stresses of our daily lives. With the brain the answer is different for everyone.

    If in either case we are not willing to make the adjustments, then we have a spiritual problem. The Bible says that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. If we believe that than we should treat it as such. We should keep it in the proper order so that it can work for the glory of God.

    The spiritual problem in both case is not mind altering chemicals. The problem is, are we doing our best in regards to our bodies to provide the Spirit a temple?

    Now back to outside stimuli causing physical problems. Just like no exercise, being overweight and eating to much sugar can lead to diabetes(a physical problem), so can genetics, stress, abuse, sin and even the food we eat lead to depression(also a physical problem).

    Now to finally answer the OP, not only can you have God's peace as a diabetic, you can have it as depressive. As a sufferer of depression myself, I know I wouldn't have made it through without both the Lord's strength and peace AND my medication. I couldn't move during the worst periods of depression. I wasn't particularlly sad, but it made me angry if someone wanted to talk to me. I just wanted to be left alone to vegetate. I wasn't involved in any overt sin(ten commandments stuff), didn't even have time for that as I had a 2 year old and a newborn. I was just tired in my bones. Not the good, I've done a good days work tired, but a drained out, no strength kind of tired that didn't go away no matter how much I rested. This isn't and wasn't normal for me. I almost always have something going on and I talk practically constantly, to the point that my family kids me about the phone growing out of my ear! Reading my Bible and praying gave me peace, but didn't relieve my physical symptoms. It took medication to do that.

    Below is a link to a very good but long article on depression and it's causes.

    http://www.medicinenet.com/depression/page2.htm

    Hope this helps answer your question.
     
  17. PamelaK

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    Mark,
    I'm not saying there's a footnote in Scripture or that depression can not be a spiritual issue. I am saying, however, that SOMETIMES, not ALL the time, there is a physical reason, and that it is incorrect for a pastor to make a blanket statement that all depression is caused by a spiritual problem. I find it difficult to understand why that same pastor would pray and lament for those in our church who had diabetes and took insulin, had kidney problems and took dialysis, had heart problems and took medication, but when it came to "above the neck" and a member said a major imbalance was found and her medication was making all the difference in the world, he told her, "no, your problem is spiritual" and "You may not be saved". Brain tumors, above the neck, can cause some of the same symptoms as well. Yes, God can heal them with or without a doctor if He desires, but should we not go to a doctor as well and try to do something about it, be it tumor or chemical problem? If the answer to that is no, then our pastor should have told the other members of our congregation to pray away their kidney, pancreas, and heart problems and stop all other treatment.
     
  18. donnA

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    So this is how christians treat sick people?
    Not very Christ like.
     
  19. PamelaK

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    donna, I would agree with you. This woman was in her twenties and single and became increasingly upset as the pastor tried to talk her out of her medication and tell her she was unsaved. She did not have a husband to defend her but when her father found out, the problem was nipped in the bud!!!
     
  20. Benjamin

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    Not saying that some people don’t need it, but I once read that a form of Prozac, maybe a generic name (started with an F) “altered” the brain and words to the effect that also that it took time for permanent changes and then should be weaned off of slowly under a Physicians care. Do you NOT consider that mind control? If so, why not?
     

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