I usually am not one to write about celebrities’ lives, but this recent suicidal death of Robin Williams speaks right to the core of depression and true identity. His death brought shock waves to the world that loved this brilliantly funny man who brought so much joy into the lives of many for generations. His death has lit up the news and social media for the past few days with memorials and comments on his life, battle with depression, and sad end.
I have read numerous posts and articles about Robin’s life and his, along with others’, battle with depression. Rarely have I read or heard any mention of God other than they believe that Robin is finally free from his demons and keeping all of heaven laughing. His death has brought the issue of depression and suicide to the forefront of society and opened the dialog for an oft hushed issue, which is a good thing. But I feel the solutions most are offering are helpful but only temporary “band aids” and not dealing with root issues.
As one who has battled devastating depression and considered suicide on more than one occasion, as well as one who knows what it was that finally set me free from the dark, slimy pit of despair, I feel I can speak to this issue.
Depression is often called a disease. Which it is because there is much “dis-ease” in our bodies and with life and its circumstances. It can have a physical cause, but there is always an emotional and spiritual connection as well. Our physical beings are connected to our mind, will and spirit. I battled deep depression for most of my life beginning as a child being the recipient of intense teasing and bullying due to a birth defect. It drove me to despair, and I began to hear strong voices in my head telling me the world would be better off without me in it and there was no hope that life would ever be good or joyful, and I would never be accepted into society as “normal.” I heard an interview with Robin where he spoke of these “voices,” and they were telling him similar things to what I heard and to what others who have contemplated suicide have heard. Those voices are from the pit of hell.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10
I discovered when I was 42 that I had a low thyroid, and it had most likely been a large contributor physically to my depression. However, it was not the physical part of the depression that drove me to consider suicide. It was the mental, emotional, and spiritual side. Satan took advantage of the physical part, knowing I was vulnerable, and bombarded me with lies and deception. The more I listened and believed the lies, the more depressed I became. The dark, slimy pit grew deeper, and I was convinced there was no way of escape. The voices told me the only way out was death and then I would at last be free and at peace.
A depressed person is someone in the grips of a mistaken identity. I was there. Convinced that my life was of no value; I was a loser, unwanted, unloved, and life was hopeless. I believed it was up to me to try to talk myself out of the depression, take some medication to resolve the issue, or that it was my fault that I was so down, and I should be positive and just “snap out of it!” I tried all those things; positive self-talk, medication and therapy. They were helpful, but ultimately they did not heal the core issue. I was battling a spiritual problem with human weapons.
“He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18
Jesus came to set the captives free. We are often captive to a mind and spirit that is in the grips of the enemy. Only God’s truth can set us free from depression, addiction or self-destructive habits. When I began to understand the truth of how God sees me as a forgiven saint and not a worthless sinner; as one with great life purpose and plan, I felt the chains of despair broken off. I found hope again, felt cherished and loved in a way I had never experienced before; God’s unconditional, freeing love. It was not until I BELIEVED the TRUTH of who God says I am versus the lies of whom Satan and the world said I was that I was released from the clench of hopelessness. As I embraced my TRUE identity in Christ, and who He is in me, I came out of the dark pit into the life-giving light. The other half of the John 10:10 verse tells us that Jesus came to give us life and not just ordinary life, but abundant life!
“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Life is tough, and Satan will not let up with the attack of lies and deception. But as I take every thought captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and keep renewing my mind in the truth (Romans 12:2); abide in Christ and a rich, intimate relationship with Him (John 15), I walk daily in purpose and freedom.
Every time I hear of someone taking his or her life I am deeply grieved and saddened. I feel the enemy has seized another precious soul. I, and I think God, long for everyone to know and embrace their TRUE identity in Christ and be set free from the demons that plague them. I only wish that Mr. Williams would have known this truth and been set free from his demons in a healthy and life-giving way. May all those who are battling the debilitating disease of depression embrace this truth. The truth that will set them free to an abundant life filled with purpose and hope – to be all God created and desires for them to be.
For His Glory,
If you are battling depression, please contact us at True Identity Ministries or reach out to someone who can help lead you to God’s life-giving truth. You are precious in His sight!
I share much more detail of my journey from depression to freedom in my book TRUE IDENTITY, available through our website www.TrueIdentityMinistries.org or Amazon. Also available in Ebook format.