American Psychological Association notes the following symptoms regarding clinical depression:
People with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.American Psychiatry Association informs us much the same:
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:The Bible informs us that what many call depression is really sadness or a downcast spirit. Importantly, though, notice that a sad countenance can be put off very quickly but a downcast spirit can be severe and appears to correlate to bone cancer. In fact, in the following verses, we see a sad countenance appears to be a small matter, a downcast spirit is a severe matter, but God will comfort those who are downcast—presuming they call upon Him and expect to be comforted.
Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression.
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite—weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in restless activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad countenance, and be of good cheer.’ (Job 9:27)
- A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
- But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us (2 Corinthians 7:6)
Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is skilful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.”Saul began to experience what it is like to go from being in the presence of God back to having the Devil torment him. Far better not to know the blessings of God and then have to experience what it is like to be disobedient and have to once more get back into fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Instead of Saul seeking God, he took the shortsighted option, and sought relief from someone within his kingdom by listening to the advice of his sycophantic servants. God used this to His advantage to bring about His own purpose and David was summoned.
So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well, and bring him to me.”
One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skilful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the Lord is with him.”
Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”
And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a skin of wine and a kid, and sent them by David his son to Saul.
And David came to Saul, and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer.
And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.”
And whenever the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand; so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. (1 Samuel 16:14–23)
Saul was suffering severe depression and probably going out of his mind with torment. When we read the full account, King Saul appears to show signs of manic-depression or what psychiatrists like to refer to as bipolar disorder. However, in line with the Scriptures provided above, God provided comfort for Saul through the music of David.
Christians who walk with God do not suffer depression, even if evil spirits surround them and they may feel oppressive negative sensations of depression. The joy of salvation within enables them to overcome these feelings of hopelessness, uselessness, utter despondency and despair, even suicide—I speak from experience.
The Way To Life Requires Us To Be Honest And Acknowledge The Truth