Depression: Mental Health Pandemic

dreamstime_l_117776783Depression is widespread in the world, affecting people across age, occupation, race, culture, nations, geography – like some “pandemic”. With lockdowns and a world coping with COVID-19, depression will probably become more prevalent. Some researchers report that about twenty percent of people are either experiencing some form of depression or have been diagnosed with depression.

How does one understand depression? Everyone’s history and experience with depression is unique but there are some common aspects. Some people feel ” spiritually dry, emotionally empty”, some with a “black cloud” around them. There can be conflicting and deep emotions – sadness, hopelessness, anger, shame and more. There is often the sense that something is not right, deep within one’s soul. Lack of energy, insomnia and other physical symptoms often come with depression. But what exactly is depression and where does it come from? Some people would be willing to face their deepest pain if they only knew what it was. Others never want to go there, perhaps afraid of what might be revealed. But our emotions are “indicators of our souls” and getting in touch with them can be a pathway to healing and renewal.

How does one cope with depression? The prevailing medical approach is a prescription for a  psychiatric drug that can help manage the symptoms, but sometimes not that well. The medication has been described by some researchers as a “lobotomy of the soul” such that you do not feel the “lows” while sacrificing the ability to feel joy or the “highs” of life and relationships. But you never find out the reason for the depression, apart from the claim that it is a biochemical imbalance in your brain while more and more researchers in psychiatry challenge this hypothesis. Some researchers even claim that  psychiatric drugs can prevent healing or that psychiatric diagnoses should not be so readily trusted.

During my over twenty years in leading people through healing and transforming prayer, I have seen many sources of depression which when understood and faced in Christ’s presence has led to healing and restoration. Self-hatred, deeply buried shame, unresolved guilt, the inability to forgive, rage or anger “frozen” in the past, betrayal, lack of father or mother love, regrets from past decisions, injustice, rejection of self or from others, abandonment, lack of eternal security, inability to receive God’s love or love from others, and many more were eventually uncovered as the source of depression. Sometimes, there were multiple sources of depression.

Psalm 42 is a tremendous resource for understanding depression. This Psalm offers far more than neurochemical solutions or psychological technique. The Psalmist asks several times “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” Learning how to “pour out your soul” and getting in touch  with deep feelings moves us to personal revelation. Surely, personal transformation is far better than symptom management.

I invite you to listen to my exposition of Psalm 42, a psalm which provides incredible, deep, and profound insights into depression. Understanding is the first step to healing and personal transformation. I begin by reading the psalm from the NIV translation.

 

Author: Dieter K Mulitze, PhD

Dieter is the Director of Ministry for Deeper Love Ministries, and has written three books on the ministry of transforming and healing prayer. One of Dieter’s main roles in this ministry is teaching the seminar series and speaking at conferences. Dieter’s three books serve to articulate and strengthen the theology and practice of the ministry of transforming prayer for the whole person. Dieter graduated from the U. of Guelph (BSc) and holds a PhD in quantitative genetics from the U. of Saskatchewan. Dieter was an associate professor with the University of Nebraska, and has co-authored scientific papers in several professional journals. He is a graduate of Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., with the Master of Christian Studies (MCS) degree, concentrating in spiritual theology. Dieter has served as an elder in a number of churches and is on the board of Deeper Love Ministries. Dieter is bi-vocational, also serving as CEO and Founder of Agronomix Software (www.agronomix.com), a software development company which develops, distributes and supports a software application for plant breeders and agronomists worldwide. With his experience in the corporate world, Dieter has also taught on the theology of work. Dieter is no stranger to international travel – having lived in Syria and Morocco for a total of 6 years and travelling to over 50 countries worldwide for business or ministry. Dieter and his wife Ellen live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They have one daughter, Karissa, who lives in France with her husband and children.

4 thoughts

  1. Hi Dieter Thank you this was wonderful.I know that there are many parallels but do you have anything focused on anxiety?Kind regards KimSent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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  2. Thank you…I feel I need counselling…I don’t know,,,years of struggles, and weilding a sword…I need to learn to put it down and let Jesus fight my battles…I picked up a sword at a very young age of about 4 or 5 to fight battles that weren’t mine…I’ve never put it down…I feel my life has been a climb with a back pack full of rocks…I’ve gotten tired, lost interest in life….I just covet you’re prayers….I guess when your beaten down long enough, you stay there..I feel like a stone,,,does that make sense?,,thank you for reading this… Blanche

    Sent from my iPad

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