By Charles Ogbulogo
There is a poignant expression in the Scriptures on the pervasive nature of depression: Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The New International Version of the Bible substituted the word nations for heathen.
With insights from semiotics and the guide by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, there is great wisdom in accessing the core concepts of any discourse.
The core concept in the text before us today is depression with its etymology in Medieval Latin depression and which appeared in Old French depression.
It is a term in astronomy (not astrology), referring to the “angular distance of a star below the horizon.”
The verbal form, depress, refers to the act of being pressed down.
Depression connotes a sense of suffering under the weight of a mighty object, even when the weight is not visible, hence the heathen imagines a vain thing.
In line with the procedure for concept architecture, we can stretch out the synonyms of the word depression to include:
Another critical idea is to heathen the meaning which transcends the strict religious reference to accommodate people who display little wisdom in their daily living.
This expanded understanding could explain the pervasive nature of depression across generations and demographics.
Charles M. Schwab, (Chairman of Bethlehem Steel)
Michael Jackson (famous pop star)
Andre Agassi (tennis star)
Diana (Princess of Wales)
Casey Johnson (Johnson & Johnson Heiress).
The matter is made more complicated in the age of the millennials and the age of the Z generation who are more prone to depression than most other earlier generations.
Depression is a malaise not fully understood.
Many tend to rely on their imperfect knowledge and skills, hence the need for something different and deeper.
This is the merit of this book: God’s Answer to Depression. Pastor Adekunle Olusanya, Bible teacher, Counsellor, and Leadership and Stress Management Consultant has presented us with a multi-pronged treatise on the epidemic of depression.
He presents deep knowledge and wisdom in the things of the Creator as the panacea.
He brings to bear his vast experience in spiritual intelligence in confronting the menace of depression.
The outcome is a 303-page book structured into 14 chapters, with preliminary pages and a robust bibliography.
The tone of the book is set in the foreword by Reverend Francis Olubambi, President, of Vision International Christian Ministries.
Reverend Olubambi notes with regret that many highly endowed people fail to take their mandates and the calling beyond the nadir on account of depression.
Many more do not enjoy the good life because of depressive tendencies made manifest in divorce, violence, conflicts and suicide.
The book presents the phenomenon of depression across physiological, psychological and social domains.
From the physiological dimension, we realize the potential in everybody
The psychological angle reveals the role emotions play in level.
Cultural dynamics, including the use of social media, tend to complicate the issue.
These factors have accentuated issues of mental health.
These challenges are products of our thoughts, attitudes and behavioural dispositions.
There is also a wide range of defence mechanisms, including denial, justification, projection, antagonism, manipulation and obsession.
Yet the answer is not in the arm of the flesh.
Real wisdom is divine.
It connects to the source of the truth – the Word of God.
The doctors of the future would eternalise this fundamental truth hidden all through the ages.
This wisdom is the strongest weapon to confront the enemy behind the malaise of depression.
Though the author gave a hint of his predilection for counselling, he demonstrated a deep knowledge of the matrix of depression.
He located the neurological basis of depression within the brain.
He also analysed the hormonal nexus implicated in the malaise.
He discussed with dexterity the nuclei which release the hormones that regulate brain functions.
Subsequent sections of the book address issues of emotions and depression as well as predisposing factors.
There is an interesting expose on the toxic triangle in depression.
These are binge eating, chemical abuse and despair.
Binge eating leads to insulin resistance, which prevents the liver from absorbing insulin to mop up excess sugar.
Chemical abuse refers to the over-indulgence in alcohol.
Despair manifests in negative self-talk, wrong thinking, reflecting filtering,
The blame game
Discounting the positive
Undue focus on the negative.
The author provides guidelines on overcoming depression, including:
There are also great insights into the understanding of the purpose of creation for man, how God answers our prayers and the power of prayer in dealing with depression
We learn from the author that depression is not demographic-sensitive.
There are also timeless and universal therapies.
The starting point is to think great thoughts about God and our relationship with Him.
We need to think good thoughts towards others.
The author presented his treaties as a teacher.
He re-emphasised critical points on how to defeat depression.
These include deep breathing, realism, meditations, faith, fellowship, moderation, understanding, being selective in association, creative relationship and accountability.
These variables relate to deep connectivity to wisdom, the principal thing.
These thought processes are connected with the principles of emotional intelligence.
Apart from a credible bibliography and judicious use of reference materials, including the scripture, the author drew validation from global personalities.
This example tells the story:
La Bruyere: …Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think.
There are amazing endorsements from experts and leaders on the timeliness and import of this book.
For a first edition, the quality of packaging and production is very high.
Future editions would include an index and a glossary as well as an updated section on references.
The publishers would also pay attention to the binding quality.
This book satisfies the needs of the professional and the enthusiast in matters of wellness from the Throne of Grace.
I consider this honour a great privilege to present you God’s Answer to Depression by Pastor Adekunle Olusanya