A Letter from the Christian Struggling with Depression

Vivian Bricker

Contributing Writer
Updated Mar 26, 2024
A Letter from the Christian Struggling with Depression

Just because a person is a Christian does not mean they are immune to the effects of the fall of mankind.

Recently, I have been going through an episode of depression. As someone who has a major depressive disorder, I will go through multiple bouts of depression throughout the year. When the episodes are not present, I still feel depressed, but not as extreme as I do when I’m going through a depressive episode. Depressive episodes cause me to feel hopeless for the future and to worry that life will only get worse.

None of these problems or feelings connected with depression are sins. It is a huge misnomer within the Christian community that depression or other mental health issues are sins. This could not be further from the truth because depression, as well as other mental health concerns, are real illnesses that anybody can develop, including Christians. Just because a person is a Christian does not mean they are immune to the effects of the fall of mankind.

The truth is that we would not have any problems, including depression if it wasn’t for the fall of mankind. God never intended for us to get sick or have mental health issues, yet it was a result of the fall. If anyone has ever told you that your depression or other mental health issues are because of God pronouncing judgment on you, know that they are wrong and ignorant of the Bible. God never pronounces judgment on His children nor does He curse His children.

God loves you, and He will help you in this struggle. While God will not take you out of the depression, He will walk with you through it (Hebrews 13:5-6). Therefore, allow this truth to uplift your heart. During a depressive issue, it can be extremely hard to feel hopeful, motivated, or joyful, but know that the pain will not last forever. There is hope at the end of the journey. 

Personal Experience with Depression

When talking with my therapist a few years ago, she asked me if I truly wanted to end my life or if I just wanted the pain to stop. This has been something that has stayed with me from the day she asked me this question. The truth is most of us with depression also struggle with suicidal thoughts and attempts. However, if we think over the question my therapist posed, we can see that most of us just want the pain to end—we don’t want to die. 

This is something that everyone needs to know. Those of us who struggle with depression often say things such as, “I want to go to sleep and never wake up,” “Everyone would be better off without me,” or “I hate my life. I just want to die.” All of these are warning signs of depression as well as suicidal thoughts. If you or your loved one is having these thoughts, it is important to reach out for help. Talk to a crisis line for support or go to the nearest hospital.

You can also talk to your primary care doctor or a therapist if you have one. It is tempting to isolate yourself during these times, but it will not be beneficial. Locking yourself inside your room and isolating yourself from everyone will only make the pain worse. From personal experience, I can share with you that this never helps you feel better. It is important to take time to grieve and feel your feelings, but it’s also important to do the things to help you get well. 

A few things that I have found to help during a depressive episode is to try to do small tasks. Granted, you probably will not feel like it, but once you start the task, the motivation will come. As an example, I didn’t want to do anything the other day. However, I made myself get outside, take a walk, and then by the time I came home, I was more motivated and less down. There is something about getting outside in the sun that can help with your feelings of depression. 

If getting outside is not something you can do, try to get moving in some other way. Even just ten minutes of exercise or movement can really do wonders for your mental health. By going ahead and getting up, you will be more motivated to do other tasks and have a better day. It is unrealistic to always be productive throughout a depressive episode because there will be really hard days. During these days, give yourself grace, and don’t be so hard on yourself. 

The Call for More Christians to Be a Source of Support

Yet again, as someone who struggles with depression, I can attest to how much support we need. We need other believers to lift us up in prayer and to truly be there for us. Unfortunately, in my own experience, I have not found many Christians to be helpful during times of depression. Rather than being by your side and helping you through the pain, they ghost you or leave you alone in your time of need. 

Don’t do this. If you are a friend of someone who has depression, truly start being their friend. Real friends don’t leave their friends in their time of need. True friends are there for each other through the good times and the bad times. As Christians, this is something that needs to change. Nobody is bringing glory to God if they are abandoning their friends and ignoring them when they are in need. The text message or call they send you might be their last. 

Knowing God is with You Amidst the Pain

Lastly, it is vital to remember that God is always with you, even amongst the pain. In our pain, we often feel alone or as though nobody understands. Those around you may not understand, but God does. The Lord understands all of your pain, and He is staying right beside you. He isn’t going anywhere, and He wants you to know that you can always turn to Him.

The love He has for you has no bounds (Romans 8:37-39). You might feel unlovable, but God says you are loved (John 3:16). You may feel as though you are alone, but God is right beside you (Psalm 23). Know that no matter what, the Lord is with you, He always loves you, and one day all of your pain will be gone. It will not always be this hard as the New Heaven and New Earth is our final destination (2 Peter 3:13).

In the New Heaven and New Earth, depression will no longer exist. There will be no more crying, pain, or death (Revelation 21:4). Therefore, even if you may struggle with depression throughout your life, as most of us will, we can have hope that we will not experience this pain forever. Until then, we must help prevent depressive episodes and know what to do when they happen.

Sadly, I cannot promise you that you will never have a depressive episode again because this is not realistic. However, what I can promise you is that God will always be with you, and He loves you always. It might feel at times that He is not present or doesn’t care, but this isn’t true. He is always present and always cares even if you don’t feel Him. 

Remind yourself of these truths and write them in easily seen areas if it is hard to remember. Write “Jesus is with me always” on a notecard and tape it to your mirror. Or you could write, “God loves me no matter what” on a notecard and tape it to your door so you see it before you leave for your day. Depression is a terrible disorder to have, and my heart goes out to you. But know that even in your pain, there is hope, and this hope is found in Jesus. 

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/splendens

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.