Charlie's Blog: How To Overcome Depression


How To Overcome Depression

 With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and he was attentive to me. And he heard my prayers, and brought me out of the pit of misery and the mire of dregs. And he set my feet upon a rock, and directed my steps.

At the outset, this post will not attempt to blow solar energy and light into your posterior. People who suffer from depression get very annoyed at advice that tells you to take that frown and turn it upside down. Anyone who gives such garbage advice has no connection to reality. And such nonsense cannot withstand its first contact with brutal reality. Good advice on this issue must be grounded in the reality of existence which is inherently bleak. But existence is not inherently hopeless.

There is hope for people who suffer from chronic depression. This is something that can be overcome. Overcoming is not being free from the feeling of depression but simply not being overwhelmed by depression.

I am also not a mental health professional. I am just a guy with a blog on the internet. I have to write this disclaimer for the obvious reason that people want to blame everyone else for their failures except themselves. You're not going to blame me. You are responsible for you.

The Elephant in the Room

When it comes to depression, the elephant in the room is suicide. In recent years, celebrities who have everything good in life elect to end their charmed lives by their own hand. The thing they have in common is that they were atheists when they killed themselves. Finding life not worth living, they hoped to escape into the darkness of nothing. Their consciousness would cease to exist along with their pain and despair. They did not realize that suicide increases that pain and despair and makes it permanent.

God exists. This means that Hell exists. People that commit suicide go to Hell. I know this is not a fashionable or popular thing to say, but there would be far fewer suicides if more people said it. Protestantism fails in this regard with their sola fide heresy and "once saved, always saved" garbage that denies mortal sin. Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church teaches this but keeps its mouth shut on the matter in fear of offending people. They should be more afraid of souls going to Hell.

Jesus said that it would have been better for Judas Iscariot if he had never been born. This can only mean that Judas went to Hell. Judas was not beyond forgiveness for his sins, but he put himself beyond forgiveness by hanging himself. Suicide is the unforgivable sin by its nature because you cannot repent of the sin after death. To die in mortal sin is to be condemned to Hell, and suicide is a mortal sin.

Nothing you suffer in this life will ever compare to the sufferings of Hell. Perhaps you deny the existence of God and Hell. I can tell you that your current misery comes from this denial. Even if you don't believe, suicide closes your options forever. The smart thing to do is to keep those options open as long as possible. An option is hope.

The False Comforters

Once upon a time, the mental health profession used to help depressed people by talking to them. Just having someone to talk to seemed to help even if what the shrink had to say was worthless. You could achieve the same relief by talking to the bartender down at your local pub.

Somewhere, the shrinks got tired of talking to people and decided that they needed to medicate them because drugs are the answer to all of life's problems. But if this were true, then Freud wouldn't have had to overcome that nasty cocaine addiction. As for those psychotropic drugs, their effectiveness is debatable. Many in the psychiatric profession have come to doubt their effectiveness with a placebo showing similar results in trials and experiments.

Mental health professionals offer false comfort. You just lost your job. You have been diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer that will cause you a great deal of pain and suffering until you die. Your spouse has left you for an adulterous fling. And your child just died from a heroin overdose. Here, take this pill, and everything will be fine.

People don't need a psychiatrist. They need a philosopher. This is because depression is a natural and rational reaction to a world that is messed up and tragic. Mental health professionals are not philosophers. They don't deal with deeper issues. They just want to treat your symptoms and make them go away. They are not going away because life does not go away. Life could go away, but this would be the elephant in the room that we already discussed.

Anger Without Enthusiasm

To overcome depression, it helps to define the term. I think the best definition of depression comes not from a psychiatrist or a philosopher but a comedian. This comedian is Steven Wright who said that depression is anger without enthusiasm. That man is a pure genius because he captured it in that simple statement. Depression is not sadness. Depression is anger.

When you become angry, you either work to fix the situation, or you lose your sanity and make it incredibly worse. In both of these cases, the anger is enthusiastic. People feel relief in the enthusiastic expression of anger. This is one of the reasons for all of these senseless incidents of workplace violence and mass shootings. These people are complete lunatics and fools, but they find relief from their despair by the enthusiasm they have in the violent expressions of their anger. Being fundamentally atheistic and suicidal, they see no eternal consequences to their actions and their evil.

If committing suicide condemns your soul to Hell, then killing additional people along with yourself will certainly send you to Hell and to an even greater level of torment. Hell has levels corresponding to your evil, and your eternal torment will be greater or lesser as a consequence of your level of evil.

When anger loses its enthusiasm, it becomes depression. This is usually as a consequence of futility. Your situation is messed up and unjust, but you can't do anything about it. Without an outlet, the anger is turned inward and becomes self-destructive. The energy drains from you, and your enthusiasm for life vanishes. It feels as if nothing you do matters, so there's no point in bothering with anything. This is why depressed people take to their beds and couches. This is a form of pre-suicide where the depressed person ceases to live even though they continue to draw breath. Even breathing takes more energy than the depressed person feels that they have to give.

Job's Comforters

When a person is depressed, there never fails to be a string of fools in the Cheer Up Crew to pour salt in the wounds. The Cheer Up Crew think that depression is just sadness which can just be washed away with sunshine and a smile. These people are idiots. They tell you stupid things like "be positive" and "stop being negative." They exacerbate the depression by increasing the anger.

This is what Job's comforters did to him as he lay suffering. Even they could not muster a cheer up message, so they opted to blame the victim for his travails. Somehow, he must have brought the calamity upon himself. The Cheer Up Crew will do this to you, too. This is because blaming the victim absolves them of any responsibility for helping you. They blame you and drop you. These are not good friends.

The most comfort you will receive will be from others in similar circumstances or who have survived similar circumstances. A collection of these people is known as a support group. Unlike Job's comforters, these people have been there and understand your feelings.

The Way Out

If depression is anger without enthusiasm, why is the depressed person angry? This may seem like an emotional question that a counselor could address, but it is actually a philosophical question. Every person desires happiness, but this desire is frustrated in this life. This is not mere disappointment at not being able to get what you want. The fact is that people who get everything they want end up becoming depressed and killing themselves. This cuts deeper to the fact that life has a fundamental absurdity about it. It all seems like some colossal sick joke. This perception is the correct one. Life is a sick joke. It demands that we seek happiness but provides no way of achieving it. This is known as absurdity.

The frustration inherent in this absurdity is what causes the frustration, angst, and despair. Albert Camus captured the problem of absurdity succinctly when he wrote.
There is only one really serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that.
For Camus and other atheists, life is meaningless. People have to provide meaning to their lives. Yet, they all fail in this regard. This is because life without God is meaningless and absurd even when that life is pleasant. But with God, life has meaning and purpose even if that life is unpleasant. 

If the thought of God fills you with anger and disgust, you have discovered the source of your depression. The depressed person is angry at God but cannot express this anger. Either God is real, which makes the anger stupid. Or, God isn't real which also makes the anger stupid. Locked into this logical dead end, this anger leads to futility and the loss of enthusiasm in that anger which is depression.

Believing in God and living in obedience to God is what relieves the anger that is fundamental to depression. This is not a matter of opinion. Study after study shows that religious people enjoy greater mental health than atheists and the non-religious. For some reason, faith in God is good for you. Faith in God brings relief to those suffering with depression. God is the way out of depression.

Nothing will change the fundamental reality that life is filled with a great deal of grief and suffering. You will experience sadness, anger, and loss. Even people with faith endure these negative aspects of life. Jesus Christ suffered sadness, pain, and loss. But these negative emotions are not the same as depression. Jesus wept, and He was sad. But He was never depressed.

Depression always comes back to anger at God. The depressed person is mad at God but can't do anything about it. When he does do something about it, it is usually destructive and self-destructive. The depressed person can't inflict punishment on God, so he inflicts the punishment on others and on himself. Someone must pay the price for all of this misery.

Depression ends when anger at God ends. People of faith have no anger towards God. They have love. They know God loves them, and they love God back. This love persists and endures even when bad things happen to them. They trust God's heart, and they trust in God's plan even if they don't always understand that plan.

The depressed person must turn to God to find a way out of his or her depression. God is the only way. No other solution provided by the mental health establishment, the pharmaceutical industry, or philosophy will work.


The first and most obvious objection to my depression solution is that it is too simple. Depression is a complicated problem needing a complicated solution. I disagree on both. Depressed people want to make it complicated to avoid the answer that they already know to be true.

The second objection is that people of faith become depressed. This is only partially true. Most of the time, people of faith become sad because of something bad in their lives. Life is not always sunshine. It is also clouds and rain. But when people of faith become depressed, it is because they have become angry at God and doubt either His goodness or His existence. They are descending into atheism which brings depression with it.

The third objection is that it is impossible to believe in a good and loving God with all of the misery, evil, and suffering in the world. This is the old philosophical problem of theodicy. The atheist fundamentally believes that he or she can run the world better than God but end up causing even more misery, evil, and suffering in the process. Whatever you may think of the way God runs things, do not delude yourself into thinking you are going to do a better job of it.

A fourth objection will be that people become depressed because of a chemical imbalance in their brains. This is reductionism. Basically, you are a bag of meat with various chemicals causing reactions in your brain. Your kid dying from leukemia is just an imbalance in your brain. On this basis, all of our loves, fears, hopes, and beliefs about life can be reduced to brain chemicals. Then, you just need to readjust those chemicals with other chemicals with patents on them. On this basis of reductionism, a crack addict is the epitome of happiness.

A fifth objection is that some religious people believe in really stupid stuff and seem detached from reality. I agree. This would be the world of Protestantism and New Age spirituality. The answer to these errors is Roman Catholicism. But even people who merely believe in God such as adherents of 12-Step programs for addiction receive benefit from their faith in God. I can personally attest that the Catholic faith is unflinchingly real.


Depression is a simple problem with a simple solution. People reject this diagnosis and solution because they reject God. Yet, what hope can atheistic therapies and philosophies offer? When you consider that God really is the answer to this problem, you feel both a longing and a hope in your breast. You can feel your heart wanting to leap for joy. God is real, and He cares. He has a plan for your life even if you don't understand that plan. But you can trust that plan because God is good and wants your ultimate good.

Ultimately, depressed people will reject my simple solution. They will dig themselves deeper into their pits of despair because they would rather be miserable than to love and trust God. And they would rather perish in that despair and suffer eternal damnation than open themselves to God's love and direction. Their defiance merely makes my point. Depression is anger at God.

Sad times will come in your life. There will be injustice and anger at that injustice. There will be grief. Yet, belief in God makes us capable of enduring these awful things. The depressed person can't find the hope or joy in the sunniest day. But someone with true faith in God can feel love, beauty, and happiness in a rainy day. God can turn any grief into joy. You just have to trust Him and let Him do His job. Your job is to trust the plan and flee atheism. If you do this, you will overcome that depression.