The Gerasene Man and The Depressed

Dressed and in his right mind. That was the condition of the Gerasene demoniac when Jesus left him. (Luke 8:26ff and Mark 5:1ff)

Demon possession is not something many people are comfortable talking about these days. Nor is it a “common” occurrence in this culture. Nevertheless, people who are not in their right mind is more common than one might expect.

Severe depression can put a person in such a state of mind that there is nothing “right” about it. Conduction a life under the burden of that affliction can often be masked, but never controlled. It is as though the body is outside itself looking on as the activities of the day are carried out.

Unlike the Gerasene man, possessed by demons, the person suffering from acute depression is not chained to a wall – naked and erratic; in their mind perhaps, but seldom in reality. They only suffering that goes on goes on within the confines of a distorted reality. Their lifeless form simply mimics living since they know what it was like and can repeat it as though by rote.

It is easier for people to understand demons than to understand the depressed. You can describe demons and put a form to the spiritous. With depression the ethereal has no form. People cannot wrap their minds around anything coherent. They find it difficult to accept because there is no rash, no oozing sores, no fever to control. It is simply there. It is not as though the severely depressed are crazy. They are not. The are merely tormented by their own lack of meaning and purpose.

They are wrestling with their own personal demons.

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