Depression and Suicide in Difficult Times

  • Being without hope comes depression and suicide.
  • The FDA gave emergency certification of vaccines because people need hope.
  • When people are in despair they need religion and the Universal faith.

The main cause of suicide is depression. Depression can come to people in many ways. One of the ways it may come to people is through poverty. When a person is accustomed to a life of wealth, and for many reasons he has lost his riches, this may be the cause of depression even suicide. Poor people can be happy even living under the stresses of poverty when they have the minimum life requirements food, shelter and friendship. Poor people work hard to maintain themselves and their families which gives them satisfaction even if they have not more than low income life.

Wood engraving pictures the Satan. The Satan will tell you to give up hope. Don’t listen to him. There is always hope and a share in the afterlife as a reward for your patience.

The bible teaches not to be jealous of others that have more wealth. A single man or woman should not be jealous when they see married happy couples but should continue to strive to find a suitable soul mate. The desire to improve life is the motor to help people to fight depression. Depression comes through giving up hope. The best medicine against depression is striving to improve. Depression can lead to suicide if it is not treated by the right type of counseling. To avoid depression people will often become alcoholics or use opioids.

Corona Pandemic takes a toll on emotional happiness. Continuous lockdowns become a source of frustration. Businesses are forced to close. Unemployment grows. Idleness is a cause of depression. The emotional stress of the Pandemic has become a greater enemy than the virus itself. People who have lost loved ones cannot be happy. They need to be encouraged by their friends to continue their lives despite their sorrows.

Everyday life has its disappointments; so much more life under the stresses of a pandemic. This is one of the reasons why the FDA has given emergency permissions to vaccinate the masses with the hope that it will end the pandemic. People need hope. Depression can be a greater enemy than corona virus. There are different categories of people. Some people don’t care about themselves or others. For these people their lives continue without concern for their nation or other people. The good people in the world need help during these difficult times. Medicine, psychology and psychiatry is working to help people on the emotional level that they should not have to depend on alcohol or opioids.  When there is depression; there is also the danger of suicide.

Faith in God and the teachings of the Bible are a universal healing for depression. Religion encourages people to accept their sufferings not only as a curse but also as a blessing. Religion teaches that for the sufferings in life there is a reward in the afterlife. This is a great consolation for those that have lost their loved ones from Corona, disease, accidents, and homicide. Religion helps but can sometimes be a cause of depression for many people.

The other side of religion which sometimes causes depression is when people will blame themselves for the damage which is done to others. Religion teaches to be happy. It can also bring with it guilt. Religions will teach the fear of God and sin. Sometimes religion will use the fear of God and sin as a tactic to control the minds and lives of people. For this reason many people in the world have left religion. Churches are empty. Attendance at synagogues has fallen especially Conservative and Reformed temples. The same is true for Islamic.  One of the reasons for the downward trend in participation of people in their religions is the feelings of discrimination of feeling like an outcast in their congregation. Usually religion attempts to keep their congregations on one mind set. People have questions about this mind set. They find it difficult to accept this mind set. The mind set may be orthodox, conservative or reformed. In each mind set there are breakaways.

Religions which came into the world encouraged their followers to be missionaries. They even attempted to make their followers into soldiers for their faith. When people are fighting for their cause their minds are removed from sorrow; they are a soldier of God. This approach toward calming the anxieties of people worked.  Today this approach is no longer a good strategy to help people fight off the Satan who gives to people negative feedback. The Satan today is winning to make people lose faith in their religions. One of the biggest causes of suicide today is caused by the guilt feelings which people have when they lose faith in their religion. The religion will very often punish these people with severe guilt which can lead to suicide. In the Jewish world there have recently been several suicides of young people that tried to rebel against their religious faith. This is true also amongst Christians and Islam.

Rabbi Odesser brought to Judaism a new movement for spiritual freedom based on a letter written to him by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov Chassidism

Orthodox religion is teaching their people that they have no free choice. A Jew is obligated to follow the laws and commandments of the Torah. A Muslim according to the Koran cannot leave his faith. A Christian that deserts Christianity is doomed. The obligations and their punishments are written in the divine scriptures of all these faiths. One of these punishments is excommunication which can become the cause of suicide. The purpose of religion has in many ways been twisted. Religion which was given to God for the people to make their lives better has turned around to be for God the King.  Life which was given to man by God as a gift is being taught in religion to be for the sake of God and not a gift to man. About these two sides of religion, there is an argument amongst scriptural scholars.

For some scriptural scholars finding spiritual freedom is the goal of religion. There are other scholars that place spiritual freedom in the background and teach only obligation reward and punishment. When the Bible is taught to people without giving them free choice, it can turn around to become the cause of their destruction. Before Moses taught the Jewish people the teaching of the Torah of Moses, he first gave the Jewish people their freedom.

When Judaism became a religion teaching only obligations without giving each Jew spiritual freedom came Jesus to bring to Israel another religion. Today Christianity is giving this message to Christians that they are second class; and only Jesus is important. The Islam faith has recruited millions of Moslems to fight the battle for Islam. They are told that their purpose is to be a sacrifice for God. These teachings are accepted by many Moslems but rejected by the majority. The Abraham Accords is an example of followers of Islam that believe peace is more important than war.

Pope Francis in a recent message on International Holocaust Remembrance Day attacked national and religious causes which preach genocide. National genocide is when the leaders of the nation consider their nation more important than World Unity and Peace. Religious genocide comes when the leaders of a religion make their religion the only purpose for the creation of the world.

In this way fundamentalists in Islam only consider their religion and its doctrines to be important in World Faith since Mohammed is called by them the last prophet. Christian fundamentalist leaders will preach that there is no way to God except through Jesus with punishments in hell for non-believers. Jewish religious leaders will often teach that the connection to God comes only through the Jewish people and the Torah of Moses which can never be changed.

Innocent people are today in the middle of this religious conflict which is causing mankind additional emotional distress amidst the Corona Pandemic crisis. Religion has lost its connection to freedom. People in the middle of the crisis of Corona are left in a wilderness without spiritual guidance.

Another cause of suicide in the world has come through guilt which people have for becoming homosexuals. Although the Bible condemns homosexuality, Pope Francis has reached out to bring these people into the Christian faith teaching that they are not guilty only imperfect human beings. A spiritual movement is in the world to teach forgiveness.

Religion has come into the world because the world needs religion. Today it is even more important to teach the Universal Faith where each person is considered to be a free soul. The Universal faith teaches the resurrection of Moses with the prophets Jesus and Mohammed. It gives respect to religion but stresses spiritual freedom as more important. In the world of Islam during the Ottoman Empire, the prophet of the Baha’i faith introduced the concept of the Universal faith to Muslims. In Judaism a movement for spiritual freedom began through Chassidism, Progressive Jewish spirituality. Today Pope Francis is bringing this message to the whole world from the Vatican. There is opposition on all sides from Orthodox fundamentalists but there is today freedom of speech, freedom of religion.

In the middle of the Corona Pandemic crisis besides medical scientific cures for Corona, is needed spiritual help through religion and the Universal faith. Corona came after other pandemics in recent history including the Opioid crisis, which makes the Universal faith more essential for mankind under the stress of life in the 20th century.

David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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