Depression is Real

The whole world was shocked when one of its greatest actor/comedians, Robin Williams, took his life. Many questions followed. How could a universally loved, highly successful, genius entertainer take his own life? Didn’t he know how much he was loved? Why didn’t he ask for help? Why didn’t someone at his work recognize his need? Shouldn’t a brilliant talent like Williams be immune to such an illness? All great questions but according to medical professionals depression has a way of twisting reality and nothing about life, including success, brilliance or the love of others matters. It causes pain so agonizing that it can conquer love and hope.

Perhaps you periodically struggle with depression or you know someone who battles this dreaded illness. God does not regard depression as sin, nor does he take it lightly. Rather, he responds to those who suffer its darkness with great tenderness, understanding and compassion. The Lord wants us to develop the habit of leaning upon His Word so that it will bring encouragement in the midst of the battle. Even then, depression can come to people of God especially following great success and spiritual victory. We see this after Elijah’s victory at Mount Carmel. The Bible says that Elijah was afraid and fled for his life…He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. (I Kings 19:3-4).

No one is immune to depression and rarely can one combat depression by themselves. Certainly, God is able to miraculously heal but often He works though community to bring healing. He is the creator of medicine and great medical minds and, oftentimes He will use this community to bring hope and healing to the depressed. 

Our workplace challenge is to acknowledge depression for what it is…a very powerful and dangerous illness. Recognize its symptoms and be careful not to judge the people who live in its grip. While it is tempting to try and fix things yourself (only God, in His power, can do that), it is best to convince the depressed person to seek treatment. Tell them they are loved and with the appropriate treatment they will feel better. Finally, pray for them and know that God will work through you for their good and His Glory.