Liz Spikol linked to this and I had to comment on my blog about it.
An essay piece by D. Paul Reilly in the Nassau Guardian (Bahamas paper) focuses on evangelist John Hagee’s sermon, “How To Get Rid of Depression.”
“And then Pastor John Hagee said one of the most important phrases I’ve ever heard, which actually catapulted me into recovery from my ‘Self-induced’ depression. John Hagee said ‘You can get rid of your depression the moment you decide to.’ Wow! What a moment of truth that was!”
“Now, lest I get some Medical Doctors, some Psychiatrists e-mailing me about my comments here today, let me add that there are indeed some people who may have inborn chemical deficiencies in the brain which can cause depression. These types of individuals do perhaps need medication to replace the chemicals which they are lacking. However, in the majority of cases, it really is a matter of ‘Mind over matter.’ Whether we realize it at the time, because of some traumatic event in our life, we became very angry. We then turned that anger inward, which manifested itself in the outer world as depression.”
I do agree with his point that much of depression in many people is psychological and not some “chemical imbalance.” CLPsych argues frequently against the theory. But that doesn’t mean it’s not clinical, lifelong, or ongoing. (That was probably redundant.) The prescription for the cure:
“As Pastor John Hagee so correctly said, "We can get rid of depression the moment we decide to." Of course, God will assist us tremendously with the process, once we have made the conscious decision to be happy once again. Professional Counseling [sic] can also be beneficial when we are experiencing depression.”
This may be the case for some people, but for others, it’s impossible to just wake up one day and say, “Gee, today I’m not going to be depressed!” Unless you’re a celebrity Beyonce or Angelina Jolie.
People need to wage war against clinical depression. There are some days when they’ll win the battle; other days, they’ll have a string of defeats. But short-lived victories don’t mean depression is gone. I like to say it’s “in remission” — still there but not currently active. For some people, the heavy black cloud just never goes away.
I believe in God performing miracles. God can change anything whenever He wants to. He can choose to lift the veil of depression on one person while allowing someone else to suffer. I can’t explain why He chooses one person over someone else. All I know is that He’s capable of doing that. But for a person to essentially “snap out” of it, I don’t buy. Meds can help a person, but divine intervention and/or counseling help a whole lot more.