Here is a balanced but blunt assessment of trying to medicate our way out of depression:

“Much scientific and medical research has been done to try to understand the interrelationship between depression, genetic predispositions, and other psychological factors.  We still have much to learn about these matters and about the long-term effects of various types of treatment.  What we do know is that in many cases physiological symptoms connected with depression are the fruit of issues that are rooted in the realm of the soul and spirit-issues such as ingratitude, unresolved conflict, irresponsibility, guilt, bitterness, unforgiveness, unbelief, claiming of rights, anger, and self-centeredness.

If these root issues are not addressed God’s way, the consequences inevitably show up in our bodies and souls, creating very real physical and emotional problems.  In some instances, medication may help alleviate the symptoms of depression.  However , if the depression originated in something other than a physical malfunction, medication will not permanently solve the problem.  Properly administered, medication may help a severely depressed person get stabilized enough to think clearly, providing a window of opportunity for the individual to begin dealing with the issues that created the problem.  But there is no prescription drug that can ‘fix’ the deeper issues of the spirit.  Unfortunately, far too many people suffering from depression have come to view medication as a ‘solution’ for their problem.  If the sufferer does not address those inner heart issues, she cannot hope to ever be truly free.[1]

(By the way, the above quote would be equally applicable to male depression.)

Here a few applications from above quote:

  1. Depression is most often the result of not only physical but spiritual problems.
  2. Spiritual sin can manifest consequences through physical symptoms.
  3. Medication can possibly provide an opportunity not to avoid but to deal head on with unresolved sin in us or towards us.
  4. Becoming a clinically-diagnosed “victim” will never bring the physical, emotional, and spiritual liberty that only the Spirit of Christ offers.

2 Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2 Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Do you disagree or agree with the above paragraphs?  Why?  What would you add to the discussion?


[1] Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe and The Truth That Sets Them Free, pp. 204-205.