Faith & Inspiration

Is Depression Linked to Anger?

By Hope Forrest

Depression is a funny thing. Well, actually, it's not funny at all. In reality, it's terribly depressing. I know this to be true as my husband, Sherwood, was diagnosed with clinical depression more than seven years ago. Since then, it's been trial by fire - for him, for our marriage, and for our sanity.

Back in 1996 when Sherwood was first diagnosed, our pastor asked him if he was harboring any anger in his heart. Our pastor mentioned that in his past counseling experiences, anger often played a part in the cause of depression. But after much reflection, Sherwood couldn't identify any hidden hostilities. He started taking Prozac and we tried to move on with our lives.

And, move on we did. Having heard the rainy coast can sometimes have an effect on depression, we packed up our stuff and headed out over the Rockies for bluer skies and hopefully greener pastures. It was the best move of our lives, but still, his depression persisted.

The years vanished almost as quickly as his bottles of Prozac. I adjusted to the man I was living with, but I missed the one I married. The girls learned to keep quiet during his bleakest days and to make the most of the good ones. From all appearances, we were a happy, well-adjusted family. That's the problem with appearances. They're not always what they seem.

I mean, we were happy enough. Well, maybe happy isn't the right word. But, we really didn't know any better. We loved each other, and God miraculously provided for us, so we plodded along. Putting one foot in front of the other, we stayed true to the course, and to each other. Right up until last month.

That's when we got our miracle. Finally. Just when we had stopped looking.

It was a few weeks after his father's death, and Sherwood was having trouble dealing with his loss. Attending a Sunday evening service, he went forward for prayer. They say confession is good for the soul, and this proved true for Sherwood. Emptying his heart to God, the weight on his chest that was a physical symptom of his depression, completely left him. To hear Sherwood describe it, 'My heart threw up.'

I guess our pastor was right after all. The thing is, when you're in depression, it's hard to look back and clearly see where it started. You're too down to see your way up. Drugs help you to cope, but they don't solve the problem. Confession, forgiveness, healing and thankfulness - that's what ultimately gave Sherwood back his peace - and gave me back my man.

Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me."

God certainly cleansed Sherwood's heart that night; the change was obvious and dramatic. Each morning, I watch Sherwood as he wakes up. The first thing he does is run his hand across his chest - just to make sure the weight is still gone. Our eyes meet and we giggle with glee. So sure of his healing, we've even sold our Prozac shares.

Do I think that all depression is heart related? From reading I have done, it seems depression can be caused by many other factors. For example, hormonal imbalances, especially after childbirth and in menopause, can cause depression. Other chemical imbalances in the brain have also been found to contribute to depression.

In my husband's case, it was purely related to issues of the heart. The horrible depression and heaviness was lifted only after God worked on his heart.

Hope Forrest is the name of a fictional mother and the writer of the satirical column, "Mum's the Word". Trying to achieve Martha Stewart living in a Marge Simpson world, Hope sometimes suffers occasional mental breakdowns. Hope Forrest's rantings have been published weekly in the Strathmore Standard for over three years, and have been featured several times at,, and Canadian Parents Magazine. Hope's alter-ego, Lori Bersaglio, enjoys speaking to groups of tired, weary mothers; her goal is to leave them feeling encouraged and refreshed. Visit Hope at:

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