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Who in the Bible Had Depression

    Depression in the Bible

    Throughout the Bible, we find examples of biblical characters suffering from depression, from Job to Elijah to Jesus. Job’s story shows that Job suffered from depression after experiencing terrible losses. In addition, the prophet Jeremiah had a tough time with depression (Jeremiah 20:14-18). Elijah, who was king after the Battle of Mount Carmel, suffered from depression, as can be seen in 1 Kings 19. King David, who was regarded as a “man after God’s own heart,” also suffered from depression, as well.


    David, the great king of the Bible, may have suffered from depression at one point or another in his life. His actions may have reflected his depressed feelings. However, he never denied his faith in God. It is unlikely that he would have strayed too far from God, as he often prayed to him in times of crisis.

    His life was not always smooth, and he often made terrible decisions. The Bible describes David as “a man after God’s own heart,” but this does not mean that he was without sin. The bible also describes his deep sorrow whenever he sinned. He constantly pleaded with God to forgive him and restore his favor.


    The Bible indicates that Elijah suffered from depression at one point in his life, but we have little information about whether or not he actually suffered from depression. Elijah was clearly frightened and discouraged by his life in the days following the demonstration of God on Mount Carmel, and his request to God to take his life came just two days after God’s victory over Baal and his prophets. Elijah’s depressive episode did not end there, however.

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    In 1 Kings 18:16-39, we read about Elijah’s experience on the mountain. He met God and was amazed by his power and greatness. This must have left him in awe, but Elijah also experienced depression and was unable to overcome it.


    One of the most compelling stories in the New Testament reveals that Jesus had a period of depression. After the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He soon learned that he was betrayed by Judas, would be beaten, and would ultimately be crucified. It was a dark and depressing time for Jesus, who would soon be the perfect victim of the Father’s wrath.

    Jesus’ emotional turmoil was so deep that no human has ever experienced such turmoil. While his suffering was profound, Jesus was not guilty of sin or wrongdoing. He was simply living in the reality of human emotion.


    Heman, a prominent figure in the Old Testament, suffered from depression. His family background is sketchy, but we do know that he was a faithful servant of God. While his father was a sinner, his faith in God’s goodness was not diminished by his difficulties. Even though Heman had a difficult childhood, his positive contributions to the Bible were worth noting.

    In the Hebrew Bible, Heman is the author of Psalm 88. He is also known as Heman ha’Ezrahi. In her collection of poetry, Madeleine L’Engle wrote a poem about him, “Herman the Ezragite: Psalm 88:18.” In the poem, L’Engle imagines what Heman might have felt like.