Q: What is depression?

A: A deep sense of despondency, discouragement and sadness, often linked with a sense of personal powerlessness and a loss of meaning in and enthusiasm for life. Many biblical characters show evidence of such behavior, which originates in a number of different ways.[1] Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.[2]


Q: How do I know if I am depressed?

A: Major depression includes severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life.[3]


Q: Medically speaking what causes depression?

A: Medically it is assumed that, “depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.”[4]


Q: Psychologically speaking what causes depression? 

A: Karl Abraham and Sigmund Freud concluded that depression is really anger turned inward upon the self.[5]


Q: How are grief and depression related?

A: Part of the grieving process is anger turned outward, a reaction to the truth of the situation which is directed toward someone other than self and almost always includes some anger toward God; and anger turned inward, sadness and depression caused by a combination of false and true guilt.[6]


Q: How can depression be overcome?

A: Depression caused by anger turned inward is often resolved by forgiveness. 


Q: How can residual anger be overcome?

A: The redirection of our anger involves turning our original anger into constructive, solution-oriented planning to alleviate the problem. Productivity, not hostility, is the path to personal growth and maturity[7]


[1] Martin H. Manser, Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (London: Martin Manser, 2009).

[2] Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic, (Accessed January 22, 2015).

[3] Author not listed, National Institute of Mental Health, (Accessed January 22, 2015).

[4] Ibid.

[5] Jack W. Hayford and Kathy A. Hagan, Redemption and Restoration: Reversing Life’s Greatest Losses, a Study of Ruth and Esther, Spirit-Filled Life Bible Discovery Guides (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996).

[6] Karl Abraham, “Notes on the Psycho-Analytical Investigation and Treatment of Manic Depressive and Allied Conditions,” in The Meaning of Despair, ed. Willard Gaylin, (New York, 1968), pp. 26-49; Sigmund Freud, “Mourning and Melancholia,” in The Meaning of Despair, ed. Willard Gaylin, (New York, 1968), pp.50-69.

[7] Edward E. Hindson, God Is There in the Tough Times, (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 1999), p. 34.

2 Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast [depressed], comforted Us by the coming of Titus...


Psalms 34:18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.


Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.


Psalms 60:3 You have shown Your people hard things; You have made us drink the wine of confusion.


Ephesians 4:30-32 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.


Job 10:1 My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.


Romans 4:18-21 …who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.


Ecclesiastes 2:17-20 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind. Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.


Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.

Mental Health America

National Institute of Mental Health

WebMD - Depression 

Focus on the Family - Dealing with Depression

Edward E. Hindson, God Is There in the Tough Times (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 1999).

Dan Allender, “Look Your Anger in The Face,” Discipleship Journal May/June 1995(Issue 87).