The Problem of Depression:
By: Mike Stokes
We have examined the medical file of Moses and found the main reasons for his depression. Now we will consider Elijah the prophet. Medical experts tell us there are three stages of depression: Mild, Severe, and Serious. We label them: Discouragement, Despondency, and Despair. After crossing the line of despair, it can become so acute that a person can loose contact with reality.
Why was Elijah depressed?
(2) Elijah (1 Kings 19: 1 21)
We can track Elijah’s life with a series of events: Famine, the incident on Mt. Carmel, a threat from Jezebel (a woman as notorious as her name implies). In (v4) Elijah’s words sound much like Moses words “take my life.” Again, we have an exhausted depressed man. Why?
Physically (1 Kings 18: 46, 19: 3)
He ran for thirty miles, from Mt. Carmel to Jezreel, then ran for his life to Beersheba, about a hundred miles, then continued another day’s journey into the desert. He is physically exhausted.
Emotionally (1 Kings 19: 10)
Elijah struggled with a Martyrs complex. He complained that he is the only one left who cares about the Lord’s work. He is very depressed and emotionally drained.
It seemed to him that the world, Jezebel, and God was against him. His fear indicates that his eyes were not on God.
The prescription God writes for Elijah is in (v5-8). We may be ashamed of him at this point, but God does not rebuke him, anyone depressed does not need to be scolded and shamed. God provides food for him, allows him to sleep, later on gave him a friend. Next time we will consider the file of another of God’s prophets, one who is a real enigma.
Disclaimer: The men mentioned in this particular series of articles are battling depression due to environmental and/or spiritual struggles. While this is the case for some people in other people depression is a clinical problem that needs to be treated by a medical professional. That is a completely different category of depression.