Is depression more than a spiritual issue?
Dr. Linda Mintle shares why it is important that we consider the possible roots of depression.
“We need to be careful when we’re looking at somebody and somebody is really struggling with depression.”
Depression can have a variety of causes. It is important that we do not write off someone battling depression as someone who need to have more faith.
“There are there are medical roots to depression so that when somebody is fighting a significant disease, something like cancer or heart disease, part of what happens because of the physiological changes in the body and the hormones and everything that’s affected the brain.All of the parts of the body there are affected. Depression results because of depletion of some of the chemicals in the brain and some of the changes that happen.”
Often, someone who is experiencing depression may simply be suffering from a side effect of an underlying disease that is changing the physiology of the brain. In addition, many Americans are on medications that have the potential to cause depression as a side effect.
“Those medications that they’re taking may be treating some other kind of problem. As a result a side effect of that medicine that they’re taking could be an increase in depression.”
According to Dr. Linda, some people can even be genetically predisposed to experience depression.
“Genetics play a role in the way people adapt to their environment. There are some people who are more genetically predisposed. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to have to be depressed, but there are people that have more of a predisposition than other people.”
Dr. Linda reminds us that depression isn’t always just a mental issue; it is often physical and physiological.
“Sometimes those kinds of things are operating underneath and we have no idea. Instead we are just saying ‘well they just need to trust Jesus more.’ They do need that; we all need to trust Jesus. Everybody needs to trust Jesus more.”
“That has nothing to do with depression, unless it is part of your root of your depression. If something that’s going on is spiritually, then you need a spiritual solution for it. Look at the cause of the depression and then that has a lot to do with how we begin to respond.”