Every population group of the world is experiencing a “blues epidemic” in an age of anxiety. The number of people seeking medical treatment for depression has doubled in the last decade. Depression is often called the common cold of mental illness, because it is so prevalent. Like anxiety disorders, depression also arises out of a state of disconnection from God. After the fall, Adam was fearful and anxious (Genesis. 3:10). Cain was angry and depressed (Genesis 4:6). Depression is often the response to losses in our lives, and mankind’s greatest loss was their relationship with God. In Psalm 38, verses one through eight reveal the suffering of separation, and verses nine through fourteen reveal the loneliness of separation. In Psalm 38, David records nearly every symptom of depression. Depression is a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. In this Palm David wisely turns to the God of hope asking for help (vs. 22). The following are 15 symptom of depression:

One: Low energy vs. High energy – Two: Difficulty sleeping or sleep all the time vs. Uninterrupted sleeping patterns – Three: No desire to be involved in social activities vs. Very involved socially – Four: No desire for sex vs. Healthy sex drive – Five: Bodily aches and pains vs. Feel physically good – Six:Loss of appetite vs. Enjoy eating – Seven: Sad (tearfulness) vs. Joyful – Eight: Despairing and hopeless vs. Hopeful and confident – Nine: Low frustration tolerance (irritable) vs. High frustration tolerance (pleasant) – Ten: Withdrawn vs. Involved with people – Eleven: Mental anguish vs. Peace of mind – Twelve: Low sense of worth vs. High sense of worth – Thirteen: Pessimistic vs. Optimistic (about the future) – Fourteen: Negative perception of self and circumstances vs. Positive perception of self and circumstances – Fifteen: Self-destructive vs. Self-preserving

Depression encompasses our body, soul, and spirit and requires a wholistic answer. There are biological and neurological causes for depression that have to be considered in order to have a comprehensive answer. In such cases, medical treatment is necessary. However, most causes are psychological and spiritual. Medical doctors and Christian caregivers need to work together in order to have a complete answer. Taking a pill to cure your body is commendable, but taking a pill to cure your soul is deplorable. May God enable us to know the difference.

Dr. Neil

For Spanish, see

9051 Executive Park Drive, Suite 503 • Knoxville, TN 37923 • 865.342.4000