Ultimately, all our depression and anxiety are born out of some sort of fear or the realization of a fear. Fear, according to the Bible, brings torment. This article explores the various mental, emotional, and spiritual torments that often lead to depression and anxiety.
There is a direct correlation between fear and depression. In fact, you will discover that highly depressed people often have fears that are very real to them and very near to their thinking.
To break it down a bit more, anxiety is the fear of your fears. Depression is often the result of feeling as if you are living your fears. For example, a loved one that is sick does not necessarily bring depression, but there could be a lot of anxiety over his health. If, God forbid, he dies, people often are plunged into depression because they are now living their fears and do not have the wherewithal to handle it well.
1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
From my experience as a counselor and pastor for nearly two decades, I have come to see the tremendous truth of the above Bible verse. Fear brings a torment to the psyche that affects the emotions, mind, and spirit. Let’s list a few of these torments.
- Fear consumes the mind and becomes the only thing a person can see.
- Fear can destroy and limit your relationships as few relationships can withstand the pressure of being dominated by fear.
- Fear creates nonexistent problems that trouble your emotions and dictate your actions.
- Fear prevents positive action.
- Fear creates an unstable environment that others will studiously avoid leaving you isolated and alone.
- Fear dominates your emotions.
- Fear causes you to be reactive instead of active.
- Fear builds an atmosphere of anxiety in even the most comfortable and normal environments.
Take someone who fears rejection and thus avoids social situations. Since his interaction with people is severely limited, he still can’t avoid the feeling he is being rejected by others. His social anxieties, therefore, lead him straight into depression-all because of a fear.
A wife who fears that her husband is either cheating on her or is interested in another woman will become very anxious when she can’t physically keep an eye on him. If she believes her fears to be a reality, she may sink into a depressed state believing her marriage is at an end. The truth of his faithfulness is irrelevant to her state of mind in this case. It is all based on her belief of the reality of her fear. Her fear will dominate her thinking and any protestations on his part will usually be seen as verification of her fears, leading to even more depression.
To overcome depression and anxiety, a person’s fears must be dealt with adequately. This can be a problem as people fear their own fears. Any type of confrontation with one’s own fears is emotionally challenging.
Interestingly, the opposite of fear is love. True love will result in security. The more secure you are, the less you fear. The key to overcoming anxiety and depression is finding a degree of love that brings a sense of security to your life. It won’t happen, however, by continuing to hide from your fears. Fear will prevent you from experiencing the love mentioned here. You must, at some point, face those fears.