What is Depression: The Condition Understood ~ David Murray

At the beginning of chapter three of David Murray’s resource on Depression, Christians Get Depressed Too, he asks the reader to consider this question: What is depression? He states the necessity to consider it this way:

There are two reasons we should be concerned about getting a right answer to this question. The first is physical and the second spiritual.

Physical Reason:

It is only in the knowing of the symptoms of Depression that a counselor can help identify it in their counselee, or even themselves. Knowing the symptoms allows the counselee to seek appropriate help. Many times people suffer from Depression and never realize what they are going through because they do not recognize the symptoms.

Spiritual Reason:

Because of false teaching within the Church and throughout “biblical counseling”, many who have the symptoms of depression, without identifying them as such, begin to think that they could not be a Christian, thinking and feeli9ng the way they do. “Christians don’t get depressed” is an extreme position taken by some biblical counselors.

David Murray’s purpose of chapter three, entitled “The Condition”, seeks to “…show from Scripture that such symptoms are not only compatible with being a Christian but are also found in some of the most eminent Bible characters…”

It is in this chapter that Murray answers the question, “What is Depression?” and observes how it is related to, and reflected in, five areas of our lives:

  • Our Life Situation
  • Our Thoughts
  • Our Feelings
  • Our Bodies
  • Our Behavior

We will take a look at these areas beginning in the next post. David Murray states three caveats before proceeding in his book, and I reproduce them here for you now:

  1. These five areas are interrelated. You cannot successfully separate any one area from the other.
  2. The sequence of these areas addressed in the chapter are not necessarily how they chronologically appear in the depressed individual.
  3. Most of Murray’s focus will be on thoughts, “…as false thought patterns are often the biggest contributor to depression and also because it is an area where, with God’s grace, we can most help ourselves…”
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