Throwback Thursday: Laughter vs. Depression


By Carolyn Dale Newell

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

Prov. 17:22 (NKJV)

Several years ago, I was very depressed. Don’t let someone tell you Christians do not get depressed. Elijah was depressed, and he prayed for God to take his life (1 Kin. 19:2-4). I had a chemical imbalance that was intensified when my teen-age daughter left home and cut off all communications. I cried uncontrollably, and I did not want to leave the house. Food didn’t taste good, and I had interest in nothing. I could not sleep, and like the prophet, I wanted to die. My husband did not believe in depression or anti-depressants, but he quickly became a believer in both.

I loved to watch TV shows that made me laugh, but I didn’t realize at the time that the Bible tells us that laughter, a merry heart, is like a medicine. I guess that is why I am so silly now. Sometimes, I will be the only one in a room who will laugh at something.

Did you know that laughter relieves stress? It causes the body to release endorphins; our natural chemicals that make us feel good. Laughter can lower high blood pressure, and it burns calories.

It is wonderful when Christian comedians and gospel singers can put a smile on a face. They encourage us with reminders of God’s love and promises, but they also make us laugh. People are going through trials, and a few minutes of laughter is just what they need.

If you think you may be suffering from depression, I urge you to please seek medical help. I also want to reinforce that depression is normal, so don’t feel ashamed. God gives us grace and mercy, but He has allowed scientists to develop meds for certain circumstances. If you know someone who may be depressed, please get them out of the house for some fun. God knows us so well, and He knew that we need laughter.

Dear God,

Thank You for giving us laughter. Thank You for blessing us with people who make us laugh. Father, be with each one who may be suffering from depression. Guide them to the right place for help, and pour out Your comfort and grace upon them. Thank You. In Jesus‘ name, amen.


Read 1 Kings 19:1-18.


Did you see yourself in this devotion? If you can identify with my symptoms of depression, or you recognize them in a family member, please seek medical help.

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.


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