Emotional Contributors of Depression

In order to discuss the physical contributors to depression, it is necessary to give a working example of it. A woman named Andrea Yates had been suicidal and hospitalized. She was taken off her medications. They had been of help to her. Because of the wide hormonal changes in her body after delivery, that deficit contributed to her plunging head first into what is called postpartum psychosis (a break with reality).

 

Unfortunately, many mothers with this psychosis are consumed with thoughts of death to their babies and destruction of themselves. Note the scripture concerning this:

 

“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.” Psalm 18:4-5

There are six physical contributors to depression.

 

#1 Hormonal imbalance

The question arises as follows: “Can depression be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?” This frequently asked question is answered with an unquestionable yes! Hormonal changes during puberty, postpartum (after childbirth) and peri-menopause (around menopause) can lead to depression.

 

#2 Medications and drugs

Certain legal and illegal drugs can cause depression, such as analgesics, anti-depressants, steroids, contraceptives, and cardiac medications.

 

#3 Chronic illnesses

Medical problems such as a thyroid deficiency and even a bout with the flu can cause chemical imbalances in the brain, which, in turn can cause depression.

 

#4 Melancholy temperaments

Orderly, gifted, and creative, the person with a melancholy temperament can be moody, overly sensitive, and self-deprecating. Because of those with this temperament are analytical, critical, and hard to please, they can take everything too seriously or too personally, quickly become depressed over circumstances or the slightest imperfection in themselves or others.

 

#5 Improper food, rest, exercise

A deficiency in the physical basics of life can contribute to a chronic sense of fatigue, lack of energy, and social withdrawal.

 

#6 Genetic vulnerability

Based on statistical data, those with depressed family members are two times more vulnerable to depression than those with no family history of depression. Likewise, “50% of those with bipolar have at least one parent with the disorder.

 

“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

 

Question: “Why do twice as many women have depression as men?”

 

Women produce only one-half the amount of serotonin as men; however, estrogen in women multiples the amount of serotonin to equal the level in men. The challenge occurs at three specific times–prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle, after childbirth, and around menopause–when estrogen levels drop, sometimes severely. If a woman’s estrogen level is not sufficient to multiply serotonin, she experiences a depletion of serotonin, which can cause depression. This is one reason why many women receive Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and why other women consult their physicians in order to feel “whole” again. Jesus said,

 

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Matthew 9:12

 

Change in Teaching the Gospel of John

I am being led by the Lord to approach the teachings on the Gospel of John in a different way.  I will finish the present chapter using the present method. I probably will not be publishing any more chapters until after the New Year. I solicit your prayers in this new endeavor. I will continue to publish articles on Depression and Daily Thoughts. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Gardener

We just covered information on Jesus being the “true” vine. Now we will discuss the Father’s position as the gardener. There are two things that the Father is said to do in His care of the vine.

 

First, he is said to “cut off every branch that does not bear fruit. It is the purging away of dead branches in precisely the same sense that the branches are said to be “thrown into the fire” and “burned.” This is mentioned in verse 6. In the instance of translating the phrase “cut off,” there variations to its meaning. There is the Greek word aim, which lies behind this phrase. The word airo has four meanings. They proceed from the most fundamental to the most figurative: (1) to lift up or pick up, (2) to lift up figuratively, as in lifting up one’s eyes or voice, (3) to lift up with the added thought of lifting up in order to carry away, and (4) to remove. Most translators have chosen the fourth meaning. The verse makes better sense and the sequence of verbs is better if the first and primary meaning of the word is taken. This would bring about the following translation: “Every branch in men that does not bear fruit he lifts up.” That is, to keep it from trailing on the ground.

 

This particular translation makes better sense of the passage in every way. It leans toward a better theology. First, the emphasis of this opening section of the parable is, quite rightly, upon the care of the vine by the Father. It would be strange, if granting this emphasis, if the first thing mentioned is the carrying away of unproductive branches. It is not at all strange to emphasize that the gardener first lifts the branches up so that they may be better exposed to the sun and so the fruit will develop properly.

 

Second, this lifting up is precisely what is first done with vines, as anyone who has watched them being cared for knows. Grapes are not like squash or pumpkins. These two items develop well on the ground. Vines must hang free. Any branch that trails on the ground is unproductive. To cut it off immediately before giving it a chance to develop properly would seem strange. It would be wise and customary for him to stretch the vine on an arbor or use some other means of raising it to the air and sun. This is precisely what vineyards look like, for the vines are always strung from pole to pole on wires.

 

Third, to translate the word airo by “lifts up” gives a proper sequence to the Father’s care of the vineyard. This is indicated by the verb that follows. He then must lift the vines up. Then He cuts off the unproductive elements, carefully cleansing the vines of insects, moss or parasites. These are hindrances to the growth of the plant. This work would come under what is considered the work of insecticides of today.

 

For these reasons, the translation “lifts up” should be preferred. If this is the case, then the first thing the Father is said to do is to lift the Christian closer to Himself. To translate that into spiritual terms, it means that the Father first creates a sense of true devotion in the Christian.

 

Physical Contributors to Depression

In order to discuss the physical contributors to depression, it is necessary to give a working example of it. A woman named Andrea Yates had been suicidal and hospitalized. Eventually she was taken off her medications. They had been of help to her. Because of the wide hormonal changes in her body after delivery, that deficit contributed to her plunging head first into what is called postpartum psychosis (a break with reality).

Unfortunately, many mothers with this psychosis are consumed with thoughts of death to their babies and destruction of themselves. Note the scripture concerning this:

 

“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.” Psalm 18:4-5

 

There are six physical contributors to depression.

 

#1 Hormonal imbalance

The question arises as follows: “Can depression be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?” This frequently asked question is answered with an unquestionable yes! Hormonal changes during puberty, postpartum (after childbirth) and peri-menopause (around menopause) can lead to depression.

 

#2 Medications and drugs

Certain legal and illegal drugs can cause depression, such as analgesics, anti-depressants, steroids, contraceptives, and cardiac medications.

 

#3 Chronic illnesses

Medical problems such as a thyroid deficiency and even a bout with the flu can cause chemical imbalances in the brain, which, in turn can cause depression.

 

#4 Melancholy temperaments

Orderly, gifted, and creative, the person with a melancholy temperament can, at the same time, be moody, overly sensitive, and self-deprecating. Because of those with this temperament are analytical, critical, and hard to please, they can take everything too seriously or too personally, quickly become depressed over circumstances or the slightest imperfection in themselves or others.

 

#5 Improper food, rest, exercise

A deficiency in the physical basics of life can contribute to a chronic sense of fatigue, lack of energy, and social withdrawal.

 

#6 Genetic vulnerability

Based on statistical data, those with depressed family members are two times more vulnerable to depression than those with no family history of depression. Likewise, “50% of those with bipolar have at least one parent with the disorder.

“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

Question: “Why do twice as many women have depression as men?”

Women produce only one-half the amount of serotonin as men; however, estrogen in women multiples the amount of serotonin to equal the level in men. The challenge occurs at three specific times–prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle, after childbirth, and around menopause–when estrogen levels drop, sometimes severely. If a woman’s estrogen level is not sufficient to multiply serotonin, she experiences a depletion of serotonin, which can cause depression. This is one reason why many women receive Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and why other women consult their physicians in order to feel “whole” again. Jesus said,

 

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Matthew 9:12

 

Can Sin be One of the Sources of Depression

This question does not have a yes or no answer. Some believe it is always a yes. The more accurate answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.

 

1.                 Depression is not a result of sin when…your heart grieves over normal losses. The Bible says…“(There is) a time to weep…a time to mourn.” Ecclesiastes 3:4. Your body experiences natural deterioration due to the passing of years. Your body chemistry can change and be compromised. The Bible says,

 

“Outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

 

2. Depression can be a result of sin when…You are depressed over the consequences of your sinful actions, and you do not attempt to change. You do not take the necessary steps for healing (seeking biblical counseling, memorizing Scriptures, reading Christian materials, getting medical help when appropriate). You hold on to self-pity, anger, and bitterness when you have been wronged, instead of choosing to forgive.

 

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17

 

You use your depression to manipulate others. You continually choose to blame God and others for your unhappiness. You are depressed because you choose to let others control you instead of choosing to obey Christ and allow Him to be in control of you.

 

Jonah

The following is a discussion of the Book of Jonah.

 

Jonah experienced situational depression. It occurs as a direct result of sin. Jonah did not want to do what God told him to do. Instead of obedience, he ends up angry, pouting, and in the depths of depression. The brief look at each chapter of this book reveals what happened to him.

 

Chapter 1: Disobedience

 

Jonah is called by the Lord to preach God’s truth to the godless people of Nineveh. Jonah rebels and he boards a ship going in a different direction. Jonah’s disobedience brings repercussions on the ship’s crew. He is rejected and literally thrown overboard.

 

Chapter 2: Dread

 

Recognizing that the judgment of God is upon him to the point of losing his life (inside the belly of a great fish), Jonah cries out for mercy: “He said: ‘In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.'” Jonah 2:2. The Lord extends mercy and spares his life.

 

Chapter 3: Declaration

 

Jonah resigns himself to obey God’s call. He declares God’s truth, and all the godless people of Nineveh repent.

 

Chapter 4: Depression

 

Jonah becomes angry with God for extending mercy to those whom Jonah does not deem worthy of mercy. Ultimately, he plunges into a severe depression in which he is consumed with bitterness and despair to the extent of wanting to die. Look what he says: “O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live” John 4:3.

 

Jonah is filled with seething anger and self-pity; he makes this brief, poignant statement: “I am angry enough to die” Jonah 4:9