What Is Depression?

If you place a heavy iron on a heart-shaped pillow filled with foam rubber, the buoyant pillow will become pressed down – “depressed.” But the next day, if you remove the iron, the pillow will pop back up to its original form. However, if you wait six months to remove the iron, the pillow will not return to its original shape. Instead, the pillow will remain flat and depressed. A pillow, which can sustain temporary pressure, is not designed to hold its shape for a long time under heavy pressure.

The same is true for the human heart. When “pressed down” due to normal pressure from normal situations (situational depression), your heart is designed by God to rebound once the pressure is removed. However, if you live under the weight of heavy pressure for long periods of time, your heart can enter into a “state” of depression. Realise, Jesus cares about your heart and knows that you are especially vulnerable when you are heavy-hearted. That is why He gives this word of caution …“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.” (Luke 21:34)

 

What is Depression?

  • Depression literally means a condition of being “pressed down” to a lower position (as in a footprint).
  • Depression can refer to a state of decline and reduced activity (as in an “economic depression”).
  • Depression can describe an emotional heaviness that weighs down the heart. The apostle Paul used the Greek word bareo, which means “pressed or weighed down,” to describe the immense emotional pressure and severe hardships that he and Timothy suffered at the hands of those who opposed Christ.

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.” (2 Corinthians 1:8–9)