Is Depression a tool of Satan?

Last night I heard something that I thought I would never hear. Someone informed my son that his depression and anxiety was spiritual in nature and was a tool of Satan.
They went on to say that if my son rebuked the depression and told it to leave his life then it would do so. He was counselled to call on God to help him and he would be cured.
When I heard this, my heart broke. It broke because I cannot believe in this day and age that something that is not easily understood is automatically branded as a ‘tool of the devil’. It reminds me of the Dark Ages when brilliant minds were burned at the stake because the general populace could not understand something that was outside of their limited beliefs.

This post is not an attack on Christians so please don’t take it as one. What it is, is one person trying to make sense of what was said by a Christian to my son (also a Christian).
I decided to do a Google search this morning using the words “depression is of the devil” and lo and behold a plethora of pages sprang forth.
Many of these pages spoke about mankind being created in the image of God – whole and perfect – and any disruptions (such as sickness) to this perfection must therefore be sent by Satan. Others spoke about depression being a by-product of sin in a person’s life.
I am not about to dispute that in some cases the result of a person’s actions may lead to a life of regret and disappointment that could in turn to lead to depression however having lived with depression myself and seeingΒ  it in the lives of people I love, I have to ask what ‘sin’ was committed that led them to suffer from such an insidious mental illness that robs them of joy in living? And who has the right to say to someone that they are suffering because they sinned? Jesus himself said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and “Judge not that ye be not judged”.

When a person (any person, not just one who is a Christian) suffers depression, it may have been triggered by any number of things. It could have been caused by the loss of someone, traumatic events in the past that have been come to the surface once more, financial or personal crises or combinations of all of the above. Science has discovered that most people who suffer depression also have a hormonal imbalance in their brains or a genetic predisposition toward it. This is why some people can go through life crises and not appear to suffer any ill effect whilst others crumble and find themselves in the depths of despair.

The person who spoke these words to my sonΒ  does not know of the times my child has cried and begged God to take away his pain. They know nothing of the times that he lay in bed praying, begging and pleading for God to heal him and end his torment. Surely if curing depression was as easy as telling Satan to ‘get behind you’ then my son would be whole and well and enjoying his life once more after his many hours spent in prayer.

I would agree that dealing with depression must be done on three levels – physical, mental and spiritual and it is for this reason that many of my blog posts are about finding the beauty in each day, being thankful for blessings and developing an attitude of gratitude.
However to tell a person who is in the depths of despair that they must not have called upon God for help is (in my opinion) completely wrong. That’s just like kicking a person whilst they are laying upon the ground and have no means in which to defend themselves.

In the defense of many of these articles that I found, they pointed out that seeking medical help and taking medication is not a ‘sin’ but that a person should not wholly rely on these as means of getting better.
I agree.
Whilst the medication may assist in stabilising the moods of a person suffering depression, they also need to put in some hard yards themselves to bring some sort of joy back to their lives.
Eating well is one way to do so.
Getting out each day and exercising in some form or another is another.
Sitting in the sunshine and absorbing some Vitamin D can also boost your mood.
These things assist in taking care of yourself physically.

Mentally, you need to fight a lot harder in reprogramming the way that you think about life and situations. But it can be done. As can developing your spirituality (whatever you choose that to be). When a person becomes more spiritual, they develop inner peace and this is not a bad thing at all.
All of these things combined can bring some sense of meaning and purpose to a life that is currently filled with anxiety and depression. Joy can be found once more.

So do I think that depression is ‘of the devil’? Maybe. Who knows. It certainly isn’t ‘pure, of good report or praiseworthy’ as is found in Philippians that’s for sure.
What I do believe though is telling someone who is suffering that their suffering is solely spiritual is wrong and only increases the guilt that they may already be feeling. A depressed person already feels unworthy and lacking and these words serve only to drag them further down.
When a person is depressed they require encouragement and support. They need positive affirmations. They need love.
What they don’t need is to be told that they are doing something wrong and that they are allowing Satan control over their lives. If you believe this yourself, then fine. But please don’t allow those words to spill from your lips when speaking with someone with depression.
The words are not helpful.
They serve only to deepen the wounds of a person in pain.
Please, please, think before you open your mouth when speaking with someone with depression.

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54 thoughts on “Is Depression a tool of Satan?

      1. I hope the word I chose was nicer than the one you had in mind. And here’s a p.s. Those bible-pilfering so-called Christians should take a look at the book of Job. There in the whirlwind God makes it clear that only he understands fully the workings of the world and he punishes those righteous advisors who added to Job’s misery by accusing him of having committed a sin for which, they insisted, he was being punished. Take God’s word for it. They were wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh, I am so sorry for your son and YOU to have to hear this ignorance. I am a Christian. I have battled with depression and prayed to God. He is the one who took care of me, found the right doctors to treat me, got me the correct medications and gave me my life back. Don’t listen to the ones who truly do not know what it’s like to live with depression or mental illness. They have no idea….God bless you and your loving son. Keep praying. God will listen to you and show you the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your response. I am incredibly angry with this person but I know that my son is reading my blog and the lovely comments so I am sure that they will ease his mind. Thank you.

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  2. I wish you were having a go at Christians and their stupid shit!! Oh AND I believe in God – and Jesus…and all the rest.. in fact it is the air I breathe!!!
    Suz – this just pissed me off righteously… I remember being told stuff like this. EVERYTHING is because of the devil and his grip on you – fight the devil fight the devil…I swear those kind of Christians are more damaging than the occult. THEY are the false prophets that Christ warns us of… THIS is my battle…THIS is what must change – this is what gives God a bad name – fuck it –

    Do you remember when we met Suz? Around that time – and I wrote a post about who prays for the devil? I thought about that when I first read of your sons pain… and now I know why.
    FEAR never healed anything…and it is what the ‘doctrine’ teaches. It is not what Christ teaches?? Surely?
    Wisdom tells us that love and faith is the answer – not our sins or fears? The DEVIL is the one making people blame him for everything and making HIM the centre of it all instead of us keeping our eyes on the POWER within us. I will be lashed for speaking ‘new age’ (LOL) but seriously – If Christ lives within us then THAT power IS within us already and NO DEVIL In hell can take it from us….we just need a little practical guidance to balance out again after stress and — I AM going to say this now dear… actually I am not – I will but maybe in a post or a private mail. I really need to say something to you but need to formulate my thoughts better…SHIT I am mad.
    It has given me a headache – I must focus and think. I want to write something for your son Suz. And then up to you if you want him to read.
    Love you babes.
    Dang..still boiling – going for a smoke…geees…

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      1. Suz…got yours dear. Going to sit and have a nice read soon…
        What do you mean emailSS?? Dont tell me I sent them all by mistake…good lord… oh my…
        Suz…please look toward my moniker… sorry πŸ˜•

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  3. I’m with Mona, it is ridiculous, I hate this idea that we are supposeably created by God, but all the negative things are the work of the devil. I don’t believe a word of it. It is what it is, depression and anxiety and something your son needs to work through, or learn how to deal with, and I know he has a wonderful support network around him. Just because some is a Christian doesn’t make them sane. I am referring to the idiot that said that.

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    1. Thank you Leanne. And I agree. I have pondered the sanity of this person for some time πŸ˜‰
      I think I agree with B in some respects. The Devil gets the rap all the time even if it has nothing to do with him.

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  4. Horse pucky! I swear on my liver, with God as my Witness that I’m NOT an alcoholic! My wife got my job lost and me kicked out of my home, and expelled from my congregation. From there, I ran into a lot of bad people on the street. Although, My Psychiatrist tells me I’ve been depressed ever since early childhood! We were poor and surrounded by crime, so I say environment and attitude go a long way to causing depression.

    Also, I’m usually greatly misunderstood, was awkward and sickly as a child because kraft dinner and hot dogs isn’t the best thing for your immune system. My mother and father both were alcoholics before and after my birth, so that can be a factor too. Many things can! But the Devil? Nope! People do these things to one another!

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    1. There are many who would argue that people do this things because the Devil makes them do it. I think some people just haven’t developed in the normal way unfortunately.
      Thank you for your comments Spartacus. I am truly grateful.

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  5. what a f97497390790437erotifhdrlkjhdljk.
    and not true of a christian belief either!!i love my god,im christian.i have every faith in him.he gets me through the hard times not offer an explation unfortunate as that is.
    i do see depression as satan BUT only becasue it is pure shitting evil!!evil in its own form.i hate it but saying it will go on the willy nilly of a comman is bollox too.would that person tell a cancer patient to just tell them tumour to go and it will.mental,pyschical illness are still so seperated in their understanding.it drives me mad.
    love to your boy.tell him to keep his magic and have faith when he can that things will change.or if he bleiefs in a god that they will hold him tight until he gets there.xx

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    1. I have no idea what that person would say to someone suffering any other disease. I believe it is what it is. The human body is subject to disease.
      Thank you for your love to my boy. Thank you for your lovely words. I appreciate them so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. i get your blog,anxiety/depression very big part of autism//aspergers

    i take part in a lot lot research

    if you would like a chat please do e.mail me

    Β Β Β Β  mark

    ________________________________ > Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 23:03:34 +0000 > To: mkentdad12@outlook.com >

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  7. I think what the guy who said that to your son really believes is not just that depression is a tool of the devil, but that depression is a sign of the devil residing in us. If depression was in fact the devil residing in us then it probably would be as simple as calling him out. Maybe even exorcism style πŸ˜›
    I believe that discouragement and depression are tools of the devil in that the devil uses them as tools to make us feel worthless. Depression itself is a problem, but the bigger problem is the shame and unworthiness we are made to feel because of depression. I think the devil uses depression as a way to make us feel alone and unacceptable to God or to other people. The devil tells us that depression is a sin or an abnormality or defect or something else that makes people feel ashamed.
    The reality is so far from that. Millions of people go through depression every year. Depression is a normal part of life and it’s hard, but the hardest part of it isn’t the depression itself. The hardest part of dealing with depression is feeling like you are alone and no one can understand. And that’s where I feel the devil uses depression as a tool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it were true that depression is a sign of the devil residing in my son then that would be negated by the fact that he has Christ in his life (or it would be getting pretty crowded in there I am thinking).
      I agree that depression is a normal part of life and in many cases is a result of the world in which we live that has so many stressors. We are working hard to show my son that he is not alone so that he is able to work his way out of this. This person would have been much better to also let my son know that he was there for him rather than subject him to more guilt.
      Thanks for your well thought out comment.

      Like

    2. That was so well expressed. Something that can be used to make one feel worthless – or should I say – even MORE worthless…a bit like kicking someone when they are already down.
      Cool comment – actually – in that regard!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I was once told by someone that I was emotionally stunted as long as I took anti depressants, which was kind of an ironic statement, coming as it did from one of the most emotionally stunted people I have ever come across. There are many judgemental people on this planet. Your son is lucky to have you and to be able to learn from you. Great post, thank you x

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    1. Thank you Binki for your kind words. I am sorry that someone said that to you. I believe the bible says that we should take the beam from our own eye before attempting to remove the mote from the eyes of another. Your story illustrates that parable exactly.

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  9. Hmmm…we may be living thousands of miles apart, but this has been something I have been dealing with over the last week. A cousin told all of us something along the same line. The part of your post about your son praying to have his pain removed? I can’t tell you how many times I found myself doing the same thing.

    I could say a lot about ‘Christians’–the ones convinced by the incorrect teachings from the mouth of an ignorant ‘human’–but that would bring me to the same hurtful level as they are.

    To The Son: One day, I hope to meet your mom face to face. Of course, I will have to overcome a phobia to do it, but I will. The best lessons I have learned to reach recovery, have been from people such as your mom. The people who fight each and every day. Will it be easy? No. That was a tough realization I had to accept. Keeping your physical body healthy will help to maintain the strength to deal with whatever pulls us down. (I’m preaching here, because I still eat unhealthy foods, and don’t exercise–but I’m working toward that goal) My point being, don’t give up! Your mom is a great person to turn to when you need a little help–which I see you recognize. My thoughts are with you, and believe that you can live and manage this awful disease. You will find joy and happiness as well—believe it.

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  10. Suze, I, too, believe in and follow Jesus, but am not one of “those” Christians. Shame on that person. Jesus was filled with love and compassion, two qualities obviously missing in the person who spoke to your son. I echo the sentiments written here in the comments, so I won’t repeat them. Just know I empathize. Depression is managed with a wise and compassionate medical team, appropriate medication, a positive spiritual relationship to God and loving and caring family.
    Praying for you and your son. ❀

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  11. Ugh. It kinda pained me to click on this from my reader. I was all, “Surely Sue isn’t one of those people…right?” (Although my favorite of my husband’s family, his aunt, is one of those people and I love her still.) I’m relieved you’re not, and I am so sorry that anyone would say such a thing. I think depression can be caused by soooo many things, not the least of which is an actual medical condition caused by imbalance in the brain, but I have never once considered the devil. I’m a child of God, and for that reason, I seldom do consider evil. Hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I won’t add fuel to the flames … but someone this ignorant doesn’t deserve having so much energy spent on him.
    You stated it so well Sue. No need to justify or defend against ignorance.
    Val x

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  13. How DARE someone say that? I try to be understanding when people say well intentioned but stupid things. But that comment? Infuriating!
    I am so sorry that you son (and you) had to be subjected to that level of ignorance.
    (sorry too, for spewing)

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  14. Only fools try to interpret the Bible to suit their own concept of beliefs.
    Bigger fools try to impart their views on those around them.
    If depession, poverty, wars, sickness and global inhumanity were the tools of Satan , then God is definitely losing the battle.
    Depression is a sickness of mankind with many diverse causes, nothing to do with a mythical Satan.
    Religion is a sickness in itself, look at the teachings of Islam.
    Your son is a fine man any mother would be proud of, he has/had an illness that can be overcome with love.
    Just my soapbox Sue.
    Ian

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    1. I must admit that although I don’t agree with everything you have written Ian, I value your right to your soapbox.
      My son gains comfort in his faith but he is still finding his feet in his beliefs I feel and opinions such as the one offered him in relation to his depression only serves to hurt rather than help.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I value your online friendship. πŸ™‚

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  15. I don’t even address the issue of spiritual authority and so forth.
    However, I do value evidence.
    .
    The evidence says that depression is a disease and that it is best treated by good diet, exercise, plenty of rest, meditation and prayer or mindfulness, etc.
    .
    There are many practitioners that treat the whole person these days to treat depression holistically.

    Love.
    ~ Eric

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  16. And let’s not forget the sect (polite word for cult, sorry, but, it’s a cult) that believes illness is a product of an unclean spiritual soul…or a sinner. Look at the people who have the ill kid who needs treatment (there’s usually a tragic story of one of these in the news every now and then) and the parents refuse the child that life-saving medical attention and instead are accompanied by the church leader and urged to ‘pray over’ the child. If it be God’s will, the child will heal…if it’s not, the kid dies and that’s that.
    Idiocy.

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  17. These ‘Christians’ (and I use the term very loosely) should be told “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing.”
    I have every sympathy with your son, I even suffer much as he does. Where I differ is that I’m not a Christian so I needn’t believe my illness is from or of The Devil. And, since I know myself fairly well, even though my self worth may be low, I know I haven’t committed any great sins unless in a past life of course. I hope your son knows that much about himself too so he can refute the things these unfeeling idiots say.
    I get so annoyed that what is supposedly a religion of love and tolerance is hijacked by people without the capacity to think for themselves and without the kindness not to be smug when they find someone who is not as well (physically/mentally) as they.Maybe they’ve been lucky not to lose someone or are just too unfeeling to care.
    xxx Huge to you and your son xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you David for your lovely words. I do believe that the person who said it (yes I know who it was) is a narcissistic person who only thinks about themselves. This would then mean that the words spoken by them are not thought about before leaving their mouth.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks. My girlfriend insists depression doesn’t come from God and if it doesn’t come from God then it must come from Satan but that only helps to make me feel worse.

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  19. Sorry for your son problem and yours too .
    Well .. This person who told your son that .
    Was absolutely wrong . Even if he or she believes in what he said .. The way was so wrong.
    Because the depressed person needs support and helpful words .
    To me , I do believe in the dark side of the depression.
    Depression actually is totally complicated illness.
    It’s not a physical ill .. It’s a soul problem.
    But hey, I’m not trying to say that it only comes because of the person sin . No its not like that.
    But since the depression is a soul problem. Then the religion is helpful for such a problem.
    By the way , i have seen many times for some depressed people who got better when they read holy book .
    I’m a muslim guy .
    And in the holy book there is some verse spoke clearly about the human depression or sadness. And that reading the book is helpful and also faith is .

    I wish that you and your son reading this while you are in a well and good health and hopefully recovered from the depression.
    enjoy and be happy always
    I like your blog ..

    Warm regards πŸ™‚

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