DVD on Depression by Judith MacNutt shown to the team on Friday, February 27, 2009 Judith dealt with depression and other related illnesses. She began by referring to Scripture and great people there who became depressed. Moses had the responsibility of leading the people of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land. He was the only person in the Bible who actually saw God. But he was often frustrated by a difficult group of people. Judith described Moses as being sometimes borderline depressed. Saul often fell into deep despair. David had to minister to him in music. The Psalms are a real reflection of the human condition. David seems to be either celebrating or in despair. Even Jesus said to his disciples in frustration ‘How long do I have to put up with you?’ On the cross Jesus took on the sin of the world. Preparing for that experience in the Garden of Gethsemane He came out three times to be comforted. But what does He find? His disciples sleeping with sorrow. Judith says that psychiatric patients often use sleep as a medicine. Jesus went back into the Garden when He found the disciples asleep. God sent an angel to comfort Him, when human comfort was not available. Judas Iscariot sank into a deep depression. He took his own life because he was in despair. Despair is the deepest level of depression. Judith feels that these examples are recorded to show us the human condition. In this world we are not yet in the fullness of the Kingdom. Depression and anxiety are all around us today. There are more panic attacks and anxiety than in any other age of history. The reasons for that include financial problems, terrorism and the direction our children are going in. 20% to 25% of the population in USA is clinically depressed. World Health Organisation says that in ten years depression will be the number one disorder in the western world. Suicide in the US is the third leading cause of death in teenagers. Is the frequency of depression in the Church any different from the secular world? No. Just as common in the Church, but we do not talk about it. Judith was worried by a Christian article which said if you are depressed, if you have Scripture that is all you need. Depressed people need more than this. It is not enough to say to seriously depressed people to read Scripture or listen to a music tape. The problem is much more complex than that, and we need to use complex tools to solve it. Christians can have depression just as much as anyone else. We need to take advantage of medical knowledge. When we are clinically depressed it is because something in the brain is not working properly. There is a depletion of certain neuro – transmitters. It may take anti-depressants to bring healing. Christians should not feel guilty if they have to take this medication. Judith talks about an attractive young woman, in her 30s, involved in ministry, who came to her because she was depressed. She had tried prayer, confessing the Word, fasting, etc, but none of them had brought healing. She needed anti-depressants. In four to six weeks she was perfectly normal. Depression is a physical problem, not a moral failing. Causes of depression Genetic causes – because of our DNA we have a vulnerability to become depressed. Something severe in childhood can cause a change in the RNA or DNA, can modify the genes. The loss of a parent, loss of a sibling, rape, trauma, can cause the brain to alter. The good news is that the brain can be modified again through prayer, counseling and medicine. As prayer ministers we have an important part to play in healing. Depression is not the same as discouragement Discouragement is transient (it will pass), there is an obvious cause, we can be spiritually stable, can control our thoughts, can still enjoy ourselves, we can work our way out of discouragement; we can still have good concentration. Depression – becomes a clinical disorder if it lasts longer than two weeks. There is prolonged sadness, extreme worrying and anxiety, irritability; we can be surrounded by love but cannot feel it, we have no interest in anything; real loss of energy; hopelessness (feel this is the way it will be for ever), inappropriate guilt, inability to concentrate, a racing mind (mind always working), suicidal tendencies. How do we treat depression? Treat body, mind and spirit 1. Body – need to look at the family background. If there has been a history of mental illness in the family that makes it more difficult. Take care of the body – good eating programme. Exercise – good 20 minute walk each day. Churches could get people to go out for a walk with those who are depressed. Medicine – a psychiatrist ideally should prescribe the medicine. Have a good physical – interaction of medicine can cause depression, and also hormonal changes. Teenagers and senior citizens are vulnerable (bodily changes may be taking place) 2. Soul (personality) what is the lifeline experience that makes up this person? Counselling can get to the root cause of the depression. 3. The Spirit – is where we bring in inner healing, deliverance prayer and generational prayer. Judith says that all three levels of healing are needed (body, mind and spirit). People can get better and do get better from depression. It is a very treatable illness. Christian leaders – some have died in depression. They did not get the level of healing prayer they needed. Maybe they were not even receiving medical treatment. Satan wants to isolate people, to get them separated from their support system. He wants to tell people that they are worth nothing. Some comments by the team after seeing the DVD 1. Focused too much on medical treatment (probably because Judith has done separate DVDs on inner healing, deliverance prayer and generational healing. 2. People sometimes do recover through their relationship with God (Canon Jim Glennon was healed through focusing all of his waking hours on God). 3. One team member said that if depression is caused by something not working properly in the brain that is helpful to know when we are praying. 4. One person felt Judith did not distinguish between indigenous depression (caused by a chemical imbalance) and reactive depression (a reaction to circumstances). 5. A nurse said she had never received this good teaching when doing her medical training. 6. When praying with depressed people we may need to take all of the responsibility ourselves. I have found that to ask depressed people to make too much effort themselves is often too much for them.