Back on June 20, 2001, the entire nation was shocked by the actions of a mother who drowned her five children in their bathtub. The world asked the question: “what would make a mother kill her own children?” What would have caused her to commit such a heinous crime–on all five children? The answer is depression. In this case, it was psychotic depression. This major depression caused this mother to break with reality. [Archibald D. Hart, “The Psychopathology of Postpartum Disorders,” Christian Counseling Today 10, no. 4 (2002): 16-17]
Was there nobody who could have rescued this mother and her five children? The answer to this is yes. For this reason, we need to gain an in-depth understanding of depression. The Lord admonishes us all to…
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” Proverbs 24:11-12
The above verse calls our attention to the fact that we should care about our fellow individuals in every way possible. We should understand depression, which includes the following: its definitions, signs and symptoms and help needed. Although we cannot treat them professionally, we can help them through this situation with our prayers.
What is Depression?
Note the following example:
If you place a heavy iron on a heart-shaped pillow filled with foam rubber, the buoyant pillow will become pressed down–“de-pressed.” The next day, if you remove the iron, the pillow will pop back up to its original form. If you wait six months to remove the iron, the pillow will not pop back into shape. It will remain flat and depressed.
The same is true for the human heart. When “pressed down” due to normal pressure from normal situations, which is known as situational depression, it has the possibility of bouncing back. Your heart is designed by God to rebound once the pressure is removed. If you live under the weight of heavy pressure for long periods, your heart can enter into a state of depression. Realize Jesus cares about your heart and knows that you are especially vulnerable when you are heavy-hearted. Here is a word of caution from God.
“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon your unawares.”
Luke 21:34 KJV
Dissipation, drunkenness. Anxieties of life
It literally means a condition of being “pressed down” to a lower position (as in a footprint). It can refer to a state of decline and reduced activity (as in an “economic depression.
It can describe an emotional heaviness that weighs down the heart. The apostle Paul used the Greek word bareo, which means, “pressed or weighed down,” to describe the immense emotional pressure and severe hardships that he and Timothy suffered at the hands of those who opposed Christ.
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9