I recently received this comment that took me to task for the content of Blog #46.
“I just read Blog# 46. I have a problem here and there with Mr. Wootton. What does he mean by ‘true depression’ as the one that is ‘caused by mental illness.’ The ol’ medical model. Have you ever read
The Myth of Mental Illness, by Thomas Szaz? There are various causes of true depression that are not mental illness. What does he mean by mental illness?: Clearly identified depression chromosomes? A virus? A bacterial infection? Chemical imbalances that are built into damaged DNA? A disease that a person contracts after he/she is born? How is this disease contracted? A chemical imbalance that occurs because of trauma, stress, bad thoughts, toxins? If the latter, then we are back to situational/contextual depression…which he says is not true depression.”
I confess that I was not careful enough in recognizing the content of Blog #46 that I took out of context from the book Depression Advantage. This is something I had not seen before in Tom Wootton’s works, and he probably explains what he means in more detail elsewhere, but it was my error in not paying closer attention to the wording.
Here is my simple explanation of what I know about depression. Depression can come from the body through a congenital defect from birth, genetics that predispose one to depression, toxins in the body, chemicals like cortisol that build up in the body from a continual state of high anxiety, and various diseases of the body, to name a few.
Depression can come from the soul through bad experiences in childhood, physical or verbal abuse, bad parenting, a dysfunctional family, negative self-talk, traumatic events, and a host of other conditions not conducive to a positive self-image or a stability that keeps the mind, will, and emotions in a healthy state.
Finally, depression can come from the spirit through a besetting sin, guilt, shame, an unrealistic concept of God, the lies of Satan, the lies of the world, and other assaults on the spirit from any number of sources, including some ministers who paint a picture of God as judgmental without mercy, or those who say, “You just don’t have enough faith.”
And yet there is a mystery about all this. How do these entities work together? Where do things start? What really is the cause of the depression? The body, soul, and spirit are so intertwined that what happens to the body seeps into the soul and spirit. And what happens in the soul seeps into the body and the spirit. And what happens in the spirit seeps into the body and the soul.
This is why I believe that overcoming depression MUST deal with all three entities, because there are tendrils of depression that need to be rooted out of all three. I must say that I am passionate that this is the case, mystery though it be as to how it all works together. Even the psychiatrists and psychotherapists don’t know for sure, but can still help us, as ministers of the gospel don’t understand everything about God, but can still help us.