Health – Depression

Not all that long ago, depression was known as melancholia and looked upon as a resulting state of mind when a loved one died, a person lost their job, or maybe things just weren’t going the way a person hoped they would, so they would sigh and find it hard to get through the day.

But we now know that depression is classified as a mental illness and it has become, for some, an everyday way of life. Hopelessness and fear consume them, and too many come to believe that suicide is the only way to find peace.

“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.”

It affects how you feel, how you think and behave, and it can cause a number of physical and emotional problems. A person can have trouble just getting through a normal day, sometimes even feeling as if life isn’t worth living.

It seems odd that it is during the holiday season filled with joyful celebration and the start of a new year with the potential of fresh beginnings, that we find the number of suicides and instances of depression and discouragement to be higher than at almost any other time throughout the year.

Many things can contribute to depression such as feelings of low self-esteem, bullying, conditions in the world, loss of a job or loved one, long debilitating illness—as occurred during the personal and societal changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The symptoms of depression can include

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts and frustration
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in normal activities
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Reduced or increased appetite with resulting weight loss or gain
  • Anxiety
  • Slowed thinking
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplained physical problems

Anyone who has any of these symptoms or others like them should talk to a friend, a loved one, someone you trust, or it might be time to consult with your physician.


“Nothing is so fruitful a cause of disease as depression, gloominess, and sadness. Mental depression is terrible.” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 702

We must, however, always remember that we know the One who cares for us in a way no one else does or even can. Jesus is always here and He loves us (see Christ’s Object Lessons, 100).

“Do not give way to depression, but let the comforting influence of the Holy Spirit be welcomed into your heart, to give you comfort and peace.” This Day With God, 305

“A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul … .

“Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression.

“Because God’s love is so great and so unfailing, the sick should be encouraged to trust in Him and be cheerful. To be anxious about themselves tends to cause weakness and disease. If they will rise above depression and gloom, their prospect of recovery will be better … .” Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 2, 482

“A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health.” My Life Today, 150

“Let nothing depress you. It will not pay to allow yourself to become cast down. Satan is pleased when he can work his will in this respect. You are to look to the One who has never failed you, who will never leave you. You need not be discouraged, notwithstanding there may be many things of a discouraging nature to meet … .

“Let us gather to our souls the sure encouragements the Lord has given, and read often the precious promises of His word. Christ is our Mediator and our Redeemer.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 19, 62–64

Today, in this world of ever-increasing sin, depression and discouragement have a stranglehold on many people, even, or maybe more so, on professed Christians. Studying God’s word, reliance upon His promises and the arm of the Holy Spirit, prayer, a positive frame of mind, helping others in need, spending time in the sunshine, breathing in the fresh air, and making certain that we have adequate exercise and rest are all effective defenses against depression.

However, it is not wrong if a person feels the need to consult with the appropriate physician and/or counselor because of sadness and depression, and this should not be looked upon as lack of faith in God. God is the Great Physician, and He can and will help us when we ask according to His will for our lives. But He also has given man the knowledge and skill to help himself. We should ever look to Him who knows all things and does all things for our best good when we seek counsel from man; but we also must use the counsel that God has given us. He created us. He made every part of our body and mind to work efficiently when we maintain it according to His guidance. We are colaborers with God in our spiritual health, and He has also provided that man may be a colaborer with Him in his physical health.

[Emphasis supplied.]