I called on Your name, O Lord, from the lowest pit. – Lamentations 3:55
The recent death of Robin Williams by suicide has raised the issue of depression and wealth, or lack of it. If money doesn’t cause depression, it can certainly exacerbate it. We need to think about this before we’re at the end of our rope.
Why is a downturn in the economy called a Depression?
Think of the Great Depression. 1929. Stock Market crash. Very rich people were reduced overnight to paupers. Many couldn’t handle it. People jumped from buildings and bridges to their deaths. These are the ones who made the headlines. There were probably many more in lower income brackets who committed suicide.
It doesn’t matter how much or how little, if money is a god, it will sometimes push people over the edge. People who are already depressed are more vulnerable.
I contend those who survived the Great Depression were those who had faith in themselves and in God. These were the ones who could see a future, a better tomorrow.
What really makes you happy?
People who suffer from depression have forgotten what makes them happy. I know. I’ve been there. Your relationships make you happy. The love you give and receive. Suze Orman signs off from her shows with the admonition to put people first, then money, then things. I might argue with her about putting money before things, but it’s true you have to have money to get things; however, you can’t live without things. No one can eat money. But I have no argument that people come before either money or things.
Since I’m a Christian, my relationship in Jesus is first in my life. If I hadn’t had Him during my times of depression, I might have committed suicide. Even in the depths of despair, there was always that hope of eternity. When you think in terms of eternity, death is no solution. Why my faith saw me through when other Christians succumb to despair, I don’t know. One thing I do know. Depression, whether caused by money or anything else, has a solution.
What is the Solution?
You may have heard that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. That’s true. Depression is temporary. Anything that can lift the fog of depression long enough to see that it’s temporary is a solution. Aside from medication that can help some, communication and vigilance are the most helpful. If you have depression, talk it up. Depression likes to hide in dark corners. Expose it to the light. Shout it on the housetops if necessary. Everyone in my family and my church knew there was something wrong. They were praying. If you have a loved one struggling with depression, talk and pray, then pray and talk. Keep it up, be vigilant.
That’s an enormous comfort, to know you’re not alone. The cause of my depression had nothing to do with money. It was grief. I’d lost three close family members in a year’s time. Maybe I didn’t know how to handle grief at the time, but the problem was temporary.
Money problems can trigger depression, but trust me, it will get better. Don’t try to avoid it. Look the problem straight in the eyes and take one small step at the time.