Depression is a word that is usually spoken of in hushed tones throughout the brotherhood, today. It is a little understood illness of which no definitive work has been written in many years.

      I hope to convey to the brotherhood, through this small essay, the complex nature of this illness, how it undermines the quality of life of the believer who suffer from it, and how other brethren can help those who suffer from it.


      Depression is not a new illness, but it has been a deeply misunderstood illness for centuries. It has only been during the last few years that significant changes in the recognition and treatment of this illness have been achieved.

      Depression is more than experiencing sadness. It is an illness that affects the chemical balance in the brain so that a person may have scattered thoughts that cannot be controlled; thus limiting that person’s ability to think clearly, perform everyday tasks, and find pleasure in activities usually enjoyed. It can also be manifested in physical symptoms such as lethargy, body aches, headaches, hypo or hypersomnia. Some forms of the illness are displayed in mood swings between mania and depression, in which a person may display euphoria, overconfidence, belligerence, impulsiveness, or make strange decisions, and then swing back to a more normal or depressed state. Since the pace and stress levels in life have increased in the last few decades, the incidence of depression has increased along with them. Such things as the loss of a loved one, moving, living in an abusive environment, illness, or an inherited propensity to depression and lead to an episode of this illness. Some people who have a family history of depression may suffer from an episode as early as childhood. If the illness in detected early and treated promptly with medication and/or counseling, a person may never experience a depressive episode, again. Unfortunately, some people experience several incidences and may have to continue on medication permanently.

      If a believer is noted displaying any of the above behavior patterns or begins too behave in a manner unusual for him, it is best to make a discreet inquiry to see if something is wrong. Sometimes brethren tend to think the worst and assume that the brother or sister involved may have grudge against someone or is losing interest in the Truth. It is very important that communications are left open so that misinformation, false assumptions, and misunderstandings will not result in the loss of a sister or brother from the Faith.

      Patience and kindness are attributes necessary when dealing with someone who suffers from this illness, and our Lord requires no less from us.

Bible References:

Resources on Depression:

Sis.Linda Brown