Anxiety. Fear. Depression. Anger. We are collegiate missionaries and not counselors, yet we are regularly encountering these emotions among students on nearly every campus we serve. Over the next 2 weeks, as well as last week, we will be posting papers written by TJ Chesnut for a seminary class on Biblically counseling individuals experiencing these emotions. Hopefully each paper will give you Scriptural direction as you relate with students. - Andy
Using a more severe form of depression as their benchmark (Major Depressive Disorder), the American Psychiatric Association defines depression as, “A common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act.” While this serves as a footing from which an individual can begin to understand depression it is not so cut and dry that it can be accurately defined in its entirety within a couple of sentences. Ed Welch speaks wisely in describing depression “as a continuum of severity. On one end it is bothersome, at the other end debilitating.” A depressed individual may show symptoms from three different categories ranging from emotional symptoms to physical/behavioral symptoms to mental symptoms.