DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My wife seems to be getting more and more depressed. A friend of hers says she just needs to pray more and have more faith, but I’m not sure if that’s right. Is depression just a spiritual problem, like her friend says? — J.W.
DEAR J.W.: Sometimes depression does result from spiritual problems, and if so, they need to be faced and confessed and brought to God for forgiveness and healing. After King David committed the sin of adultery, he fell into a deep depression that affected him both mentally and physically, until he repented. He later wrote, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away” (Psalm 32:3).
However, depression can have many other causes. I’m not a doctor or psychiatrist, of course, but I know of cases that came about because of chemical or hormonal imbalances in the body and were successfully treated when these imbalances were corrected. Other cases may develop due to worry or stress or from emotional traumas that happened many years ago.
Whatever the cause of your wife’s depression, I strongly urge you and your wife to seek professional help for her problem. Don’t be ashamed or feel that you’re somehow showing a lack of faith.
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If you had a broken bone you’d seek help, and if you have a broken emotion you also should seek help. One place to begin would be with your family physician. If your wife needs counseling, your pastor may be able to direct you to someone who’s both spiritually sensitive and professionally competent.
I know these are difficult days for you both, but do all you can to let your wife know you love her, and so does God. The Bible says, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak” (Romans 15:1).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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