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Is depression a sin?

Job, during his difficult days, cried out with words that sound depressing. Is it?

15 If I am guilty—woe to me!
Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,
for I am full of shame
and drowned in my affliction.
16 If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion
and again display your awesome power against me.
17 You bring new witnesses against me
and increase your anger toward me;
your forces come against me wave upon wave.
18 “Why then did you bring me out of the womb?
I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
19 If only I had never come into being,
or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!
20 Are not my few days almost over?
Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy
21 before I go to the place of no return,
to the land of gloom and deep shadow,
22 to the land of deepest night,
of deep shadow and disorder,
where even the light is like darkness.” Job 10:15-22

Depression after a devastating event, like what Job faced, can be defined as grief. When we grieve, we say all kinds of confusing and depressing things. This kind of depression can be short lived and understandable, while other forms of depression can be ongoing.

Some depression is physical, caused by a chemical imbalance or an ongoing ailment. The person doesn’t want to be depressed, but the effects of the pain are so harrowing, it just twists the mind into a downward spiral.

Some depression is mental, linked to painful thoughts, like rape. Therapy can help redirect those thoughts.

Some depression craves attention. People love to be depressed since it gets sympathy from people. Here, depression is self-serving and sinful.

Some depression is built on a lack of faith, refusing to see God’s power in a situation. Here, depression is a spiritual issue and could be because of sin.

It’s difficult to say that all depression is sinful. The last two examples of depression—attention-getting and lack of faith—probably are closer to sin than the others. If someone is serving themselves, then it is sin. If someone refuses to believe in God, then that would be sin also.