Monday, July 26, 2010

Depression Is the Perception of Reality As It Really Is Apart from Christ (Reality Bites!)

This is probably the most insightful article on depression that I've come across thus far. The definition provided hit the nail on the head for me.

"It is my conviction that depression usually arises from a perception of the world (as it is apart from Christ) which is more honest and accurate than that of the average person. This may come as a surprise to those who have never experienced deep depression, or even to those who have. After all, the common response, when one is depressed, is to remind him of all the good in life. If one is depressed, is it not because he has an eye only for that which is wrong in the world? Because he is blind, as it were, to the many thousand legitimate delights that life has to offer? I would contend that this is not the case. The world is deeply, deeply wrong. The hatred, the killing, the lust and sinfulness that run rampant throughout life are hardly to be compensated for by the fleeting and ephemeral diversions from reality that distract the minds of the common inhabitants of earth. Life begins in pain, proceeds through struggle and travail, and from these rough beginnings does not go on to brighter days, but instead fades increasingly until it ends in death after the manifold trials of old age have finally and fully been undergone. The pointlessness and gratuitousness of the many sorrows and pains of life are so blatant that the only response by which one may cope with them without despair is to numb himself from the pervasive presence of reality by amusements which divert the attention from life’s sad dilemmas. This is how most of the world gets by; and so great is the self-delusion, that they are smilingly able to call themselves happy. But their happiness is built upon chimeras, upon the elaborate constructions of unreality in which they spend the greater part of their lives. For a few persons, this coping mechanism of diversion appears as hollow as it is in reality. It is largely to these faultedly honest persons that depression comes. This is not to say that depression comes only from a conscious deliberation on the nature of the world as it really is apart from Christ. Many times, perhaps more often than not, it is the unconscious reaction of the soul that has felt, even if not deliberated upon, the vanity of life in a fallen world. But in any case, it usually arises from some recognition, deliberate or not, that the world is all wrong. These preliminary thoughts lead me to my conclusion that the only true cure for depression is the hope that is in Christ. Everything else is a mere masking of the symptoms" (Nathan Pitchford, Thoughts on Spiritual Depression).

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