Depression and Supernatural Influences

We understand your concerns, but we simply can't go along with idea that all depression is demonic in origin. We're also not comfortable with your suggestion that there is no legitimate place for the use of medication in dealing with this common psychological condition.

Please don't misunderstand. We're Bible-believing Christians, too, and we take the reality of the supernatural realm as seriously as you do. But this doesn't mean that we should discount the validity of psychology, medicine, or the value of common sense solutions to everyday problems. You may be right in assuming that some cases of depression are attributable to demonic activity, but we suspect such instances are extremely rare. In many cases, feelings of depression are directly related to physical causes, such as chemical imbalances in the brain. In these instances, appropriate medication can be a tremendous help to the patient. Far from simply "masking" the real issue, antidepressants can normalize disturbances in neurotransmitter function in the brain. In certain individuals they are the only way to get to the root of the problem.

To broaden the discussion, we think it's a serious mistake to suppose that all mental illness is demonic. One might as well say that all physical illness – for example, an ear infection or a case of strep throat – is demonic. Illness of all kinds – physical, emotional, and mental – is an aspect of human brokenness. It's a result of the fall of man as we find it recorded in Genesis Chapter 3. Since God designed human beings as physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual beings, the effects of the fall find expression in every aspect of human nature. Accordingly, it's uncommon that we encounter a problem that's exclusively spiritual. That's why Christians can find substantial help with many of the difficulties they face in life by consulting with a qualified physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.

Before closing, we want to emphasize the point that clinical or major depression is a very serious problem and should be treated as such. Its causes can be extremely complex, including a blend of genetic, biochemical, personal, family and spiritual factors. Clinical depression is more than a temporary emotional slump. It involves a persistent – lasting two weeks or longer – and usually disruptive disturbance of mood and often affects other bodily functions as well. If this describes your family member's condition, you should definitely pray for them and confront the powers of darkness on their behalf. But don't neglect to encourage them to take their medications and to remain under the care of a trained physician or qualified counselor. The best plan is to address the problem from all possible angles.

If you'd like to discuss this subject at greater length, call our Counseling department for a free phone consultation. They'd be pleased to assist you in any way they can.

Blue Genes: Breaking Free From the Chemical Imbalances That Affect Your Moods, Your Mind, Your Life, and Your Loved Ones

When Someone You Love Suffers from Depression or Mental Illness

Mood Swings: Understand Your Emotional Highs & Lows and Achieve a More Balanced & Fulfilled Life

Unmasking Male Depression

Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide

Mental Health (resource list)

Marriage: Dealing With Depression

Grief, Trauma or Depression?

This information has been approved by the Physicians Resource Council of Focus on the Family.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional for specific questions regarding your particular situation.

Copyright © 2011, Focus on the Family.