"How to Win Over Depression" review: 28-48

Last week I spent a good bit of time talking about how Tim doesn’t understand the symptoms of depression and what those symptoms can look like; this week it becomes blindingly obvious why Tim so deeply and fundamentally doesn’t understand depression. In his chapter “The Symptoms of Depression” he makes it very clear that he has a mental picture of the ideal depressed person. All of his descriptions of the various symptoms point to the common cultural understanding of how a depressed person behaves and what they look like.

We sit in corners, preferably with our arms wrapped around our legs and our head on our knees. Perhaps we even clutch our head. We mope. We cry. We rarely (or never) smile or laugh. We are exhausted all of the time. We never eat. We always look slovenly, unkempt, untidy, unhygienic.

That image is due to our culture taking the symptoms of depression– apathy, lethargy, sleep disturbances– and running with it in a direction that doesn’t make sense to every person. And yes, sometimes those descriptions can look and feel true for those of us who have depression. However, for many of us who have learned to cope with it in some ways, or who can put up the effort on occasion, we simply don’t look or act like that. I don’t walk around crying all of the time, although there are some days where that’s all I can do. Sometimes I don’t change out of my pajamas, but sometimes I dress up enough to look cute and I do my hair and put on a little makeup. In my experience, the outward manifestations of depression are just not that consistent.

But that’s not even the worst part of this chapter. That comes here:

Loss of Affection– This almost universal tendency of depressed people to withdraw from others is a result of their loss of affection. It begins with a lessening of their love for their spouse or children and grows until they really do not care about themselves, about others or about anything. This is a most harmful emotional state, induced by a faulty thinking pattern of self-occupation. Unless it is changed the depression will increase. Someone has cautioned, “Love or perish.” Unless you love others and yourself, you will destroy yourself.

Book goes flying: #1.

I started shouting and stomping all over my house. I had to stop to go clean something I was so furious, and Elsa sat on her cat tree and looked at me funny. I can’t even with this. Of all the reckless, irresponsible, ignorant, hateful, disgusting descriptions of what depressed people go through… just. No. Hell no. I do not love my partner or my family or my friends less because I am depressed and why on God’s good green earth do I have to even write that sentence Jiminy Christmas.

The apathy makes it harder to care about things, yes– in the sense that I have almost zero motivation some days to even drag myself out of bed. But apathy is not the same thing as the love I have for Handsome evaporating into some nebulous void. Even on my worst days I still love him. It’s really hard to show it, to make myself perform the actions that typically show someone you love them, but it’s not because I don’t love him and Tim can take that ridiculous notion and put it where the sun don’t shine.

And for the love of sweet baby Jesus does depression not ever have anything to do with “self-occupation.” That statement right there shows that Tim doesn’t know anything about depression, has never even bothered listening to the words coming out of our mouths. We are consumed by feelings of worthlessness, and the darkest times are completely other-obsessed. The lies that come in those time are all about how the people in my life that I’m letting down and failing, that their life would be better without me in it.

Describing the thoughts of worthlessness and apathy as “self-occupation” is the most unloving, ungracious, uncharitable thing I’ve ever heard.


Chapter Four, “The Cycles of Depression,” wasn’t as infuriating as Three, but it is frustrating because Tim spends the entire chapter pretty much conflating stress and depression. Also he mixes up “the emotional low/release following a period of high stress or emotion,” like what can happen to teenagers after graduation or me after my senior piano recital, with serious depression.

Also this chapter should have been titled “What Tim Thinks Depression Looks Like in Different Age Groups,” because it’s split up under different the headers “The ____ Decade of Life,” starting with the first and ending with the eight because Tim thinks that if you live until you’re 90 it’s because you’re not the sort of person who gets depressed. To which I say: my great-grandfather was in his mid-90s when he died and he was pretty depressed for the last few decades of his life.

Tim doesn’t have much compassion or love for depressed people, and this chapter makes it obvious. People who have “won” over depression are those who have learned to “account for their moods,” and “do not let them upset them” (35). People who simply whistle and sing can’t get depressed because whistling means that we’re “refusing to express depression” (36). Depressed people don’t have discipline integrity, responsibility (37). We do things (like masturbate) that make us feel guilty, and feeling guilty leads to depression (38). Women who avoid having sex because it hurts are “building up fear” that can destroy her marriage and thus lead to depression (39). Women who don’t “spruce themselves up” aren’t investing in our “self-worth” and that can lead to depression (40). Women struggling with empty nests who don’t “get involved in helping other people” will be depressed (43). Women who are “expecting to go to pieces” as we age can “be sure [we] will” (45). Spouses who are grieving their loved one’s death are “indulging in self-pity” (and yes, the example he gives is of a woman who dies shortly after her husband) (47).

In short, according to Tim, people are depressed because:

We give in to depression.
We refuse to use simple coping mechanisms like whistling.
We don’t have integrity.
We are sinning.
We give in to fear.
We don’t help other people.
We grieve too much.

We’re probably a woman.

What do any of these things have to do with suffering with severe depression? Oh, right. Nothing.

Also: could use some help from my lovely readers. I read an article recently that mentioned there was a study that people with depression actually tend to be the most empathetic and caring because we understand deep emotional pain and want to help other people. I can’t find it, but if you know the one I’m talking about that would be incredibly helpful. I don’t like making claims like that without citations, but it was an intriguing argument and I’d like other people to see it.

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  • Tim LaHaye doesn’t have the first clue what love is, it’s painfully obvious from all his writing. When your wife’s in a car accident, check on the car first, then her. Someone whose last thoughts are of saving a family member? Pfft, if she’s not exactly the right kind of Christian she deserves mockery, contempt, and of course eternal torture.

    (Both Left Behind references.)

  • Jocelyn

    Hi Samantha! I often read and rarely comment, but thought this might be helpful. Could the source you’re looking for be here? A quote from the above: “Zahn-Waxler (2000) described ‘the presence of an early developmental pathway where surfeits of empathy, as well as guilt can place individuals at risk for later depression’ (p. 226)” (p. 54). It’s an interesting read. (Although, minor side note, I object to their categorization of autism as a mental disorder and their belief in autistic people’s lack of empathy. Just because it doesn’t look like neurotypical empathy doesn’t mean it’s not there.)

  • Ashlynn

    the ‘self occupation’ thing.. god.. i brought up to my friends recently how much that was something my mom or the people at my church supposedly “helping” me talked about, this idea that my hypochondria or fears of “what if no god and everything is pointless” was the root cause, rather than a symptom. and if i just “got outside myself”, id get better.

    my mother would get frustrated with me if i came to her needing re-assurance too often, as though i was “dwelling” on it and self inflicting my hurting.

    one more reason im super glad im state’s away from all of them now and have cut contact. it still hurts and screws with me really badly tho.

  • trevel

    I wonder how much he’s simply gotten the causality back-to-front on. For instance, I can easily believe that depression causes masturbation. At any rate, his list seems to exist for the purposes of making depression worse.

    I blame perfectionism for my depression. Did he list that one as a possibility?

    • Not yet. He’ll get to it.

      • You know, considering how neutral or positive that same exact comment–“Not yet. He’ll get to it.”–could be if you were talking about a different author with a different book, it’s funny how ominous it sounds here.

        • trevel

          I heard a “DUH DUH duuuuh” in the background when I read it.

          • juulie

            LOL! Yes, indeed!

      • trevel

        Given his record so far, I assume that he’ll claim it’s one of the ways to get yourself out of depression — becoming perfect, as he is perfect.

  • Dear Tim Lahaye

    I was taught to be afraid. By people like you and people who believe like you, I was taught to be afraid. The world I grew up in was a fearful place. If you weren’t perfect, you were going to hell. If you led your brother to sin, you were going to hell. If you disobeyed your abusive parents, you were going to hell. If you didn’t trust God enough, you were going to hell. And let’s not forget all the end-times talk, the condemnation of the world that existed around me,and making perfectly normal urges seem like sins that would make Darth Vader proud. Tim, people like you made me afraid and now you have the nerve to tell me that being afraid is my fault. Tim, bless your ever loving little heart. I mean that in the most southern way possible.

    I am afraid. I’m terrified. I’m also depressed. And while those two things are tangentially related, my depression seems to be pretty hereditary in nature. So I may have been depressed even if I wasn’t afraid. So bless your heart, Tim.

    A person who is both afraid and depressed

    • PS:
      …………………/…./ /
      ……….”…………. _.•´

  • Rebekah

    It’s kind of hard to account for moods and emotions when you don’t really have any….

    Also whistling. huh haven’t tried that one. If it works, well i know where my future job prospects are.

    • *raises hand* I whistle and sing nearly non-stop. Have most of a music major under my belt. Also suffered from major depression for about 20 years. Music may help with moment to moment moods, but it sure as hell doesn’t cure depression.

      Although my husband has learned to judge my moods pretty accurately by my brain’s playlist over the years.

      • My partner knows when I’m having a good day: it’s because I’m singing. Singing when in depressed is … awful.

      • trevel

        I actually used to have an album that (while I was undiagnosed) helped with my depression. It started with really horribly sad music and slowly, by the end, had worked in some hope. It was music I felt like listening to when I was really down, and it ended with me feeling better. It worked as mitigation, but certainly had no long term effects. (Although when depression is really bad, “feeling slightly better” can have a wonderful effect.)

        • Coldplay’s “Death and all of his friends” is that album for me.

          • Mine was some christian countryesque guy. Coldplay probably would have been a better choice.

          • Imho, anything is better than country. But I lose all sense and human decency when I’m forced to listen to country.

          • trevel

            Look, just because country music is inarguably a blight on humanity doesn’t … well, there’s … uh… yeah, I got nothing in a defense of country music. This is an album that I only listened to when I was *already* depressed.

            “Well, I’m feeling really bad. Might as well listen to the song about how birds are dying unloved and alone.”

            Country Music: Arguably Slightly Better Than Despair.

  • I knew an evangelical man would work in a way to say that women had better give sex out regularly or something bad will happen, and it will be their fault. If you don’t dole out the sex, you’ll fall into a depression!

    • It’s like a square on evangelical bingo.

      • Sarah S

        Ha! Seriously.

  • juulie

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Love is not a feeling or an emotion. It is a decision, a commitment, a choice. My depression has been manageable because of my love for my husband, my kids, my friends. When I needed to get up and make breakfast for my little one, I didn’t have the feelings that would make it fun to get up, but I did have the commitment to do the right thing. That love can happen even in the deepest depression even without the sunny, ooey-gooey feelings that go along with parenting at times. And by being straight-forward with my children, I also could witness to them of God’s love for me and for them to pull us through life together . That we could love each other and support each other even when our feelings might not be quite obvious.

  • Melody

    “Spouses who are grieving their loved one’s death are “indulging in self-pity” (and yes, the example he gives is of a woman who dies shortly after her husband) (47).”

    That one is just.. not that the rest isn’t equally horrible, but this… You are supposed to feel grief if a loved one dies! It means you loved them… Unbelievable. It reminds me of a recent interview I read where a woman lost her husband and she was happy he was with the Lord and… wait for it.. she was also happy that his (non-Christian) friends had heard God’s call/invitation at two different occassions the last few months: one was her husband’s baptism and the second her husband’s funeral… I was baffled when I read that: she was basically saying that this was worth it somehow and I was simply stunned…

    • Maddie C.

      If I may try to offer an explanation? I have only read your post, but what I gather from it, it sounds like this woman was choosing to focus on the positives of her husbands death. It’s not that she wasn’t sad or even upset by it, but what she is choosing to focus on and take from and share with others is the good that came out of it.
      I guess, in a similar fashion to the way family members might take comfort in the fact that though a love one died, because of it someone else was able to live (through organ donation).

      • Melody

        I understand wanting to feel that at least something postive came out of her husband’s death, but it felt (definitely to me) way over the top. She said things like I’m not sad and rejoicing in it etc. She didn’t really appear to be sad at all, perhaps putting on a brave face, I don’t know. It just seemed that she was so entrenched in Christian fatalism and inabilty to be angry (at God / death) that she, probably unconsciously, sounded like she hardly even cared that he had died. I’m sure she doesn’t actually feel that way, but it sounded absolutely horrible (much like Time La Haye).

        Of course, because I am questioning and looking critically at my own strict Chrisitian upbringing, these things rub me the wrong way. It also reminded me of my grandfather who when his son died and my grandmother was heartbroken, basically said that she had to be happy because he was in heaven and there was no need for grieving… So yeah, bit of a sore spot for me, these kind of remarks…

  • Brennan

    Wow, this isn’t just horrifying, it’s insidious. The more I think about that passage you quoted the worse it gets because I’m almost certain it’s not a random mistake. He wasn’t examining depression in good faith and came to the conclusion that first people stop caring about others and then they stop caring about themselves. That’s counter to the experience of pretty much every depressed person ever. Even an extreme narcissist who had only viewed depression second-hand in the lives of casual acquaintances would have trouble coming to that conclusion after thinking about it for a few minutes. The only way that that statement works is in service to his agenda.

    I look at that, and I have to see it in light of that old Evangelical bludgeon: Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. If you can make the argument that a loss of love for Others precedes the loss of love for Yourself, then you address all your remedies to correcting the supposed deficit of love for others and assume that love for oneself will flow naturally. And if you’re preaching to an audience that’s grown up on J.O.Y., then it’s all too easy to push it a step back and claim that all depression starts with a lack of love for Jesus. Just like that, you have a condition that the LaHayes of the world can “fix” with an altar call and a sermon tape. And if a person claims to love God and is still depressed, LaHaye has an easy out because clearly that person’s not a “real” Christian. Prescribe more altar calls, more sermons, more Christian advice books, and layer on the guilt until they’re too afraid to even admit to weakness for fear of having their salvation called into question. It’s not a treatment that will actually heal anyone, but it can, over time, get plenty of people to stop “acting depressed” or at least stop associating with LaHaye and his ilk when they are depressed. Praise the Lord! Tim LaHaye just fixed depression!

    I would bet cash money that “depression stems from a lack of love for God” will appear somewhere in the next hundred pages.

  • I wouldn’t take that bet. Not one bit.

  • 13thsong

    Wait, what the heck. Can you elaborate on the point about not avoiding painful sex because the fear will just build up? Is he implying that women have an obligation to have sex even if it hurts? What? What. WHAT.

    • Full quote:

      Another cause for this depression is that her dreams and expectations were so idealistic that real experience becomes disillusioning. This is particularly true if she encounters severe discomfort in intercourse. Some girls find that the consummation of the act of marriage is somewhat painful and unfulfilling. Instead of recognizing that this is a common experience that will soon be overcome by repetition, she may build up a fear or dream of the experience which will destroy the couple’s relationship. This often leads to depression.

      • What?!? I don’t even know what he’s trying to say here. Is he saying if sex hurts a women it’s because of her “idealistic” notions and that if she doesn’t let them go she’ll fall into depression???

        • I don’t think he’s arguing that– just that it’s silly for women to expect sex to be pain-free and that we’ll get used to it if we just buck up.

          • ? I’ve only had painful sex a couple of times and that was an indicator to me something was wrong. If there is pain there is either a (rare) biological problem or the woman isn’t ready (in other words someone is doing something wrong). What a dangerous message he is spreading.

          • Crystal

            Disgusting. Just what women like me are told when we try to fight for better periods too – painless for me. Ugh!

          • I’ve mentioned on this blog before that my wife and I had a struggle after we got married with intercourse. There was a medical reason it was painful for her, and we got that taken care of, but then it continued to be a problem. That was because she had associated intercourse with pain, and had trouble relaxing.

            You know what was NOT the answer to that? Making her feel ashamed or obligated to just buckle down like Lehaye is doing. There are times when I can see what he’s wanting to do, but he’s just so gross, and so damaging, and so awful in all of the ways that are also so unnecessary.

            Also, I think this is another good example of what Samantha pointed out in the first post – Lehaye commonly and habitually doesn’t distinguish between different depression types because for him, there are no different types. It’s all the same.

            Which is just gross.

            I’ve done quite a bit of looking at evangelical books on child-raising and other “practical” topics as a personal project. You know what you commonly find with people like Lehaye and Dobson when you compare the books they wrote in the 60’s and 70’s and the updated versions they put out in the 90<?

            Not much.

            As in they don't significantly update their books to reflect the scientific understanding that we've gained since the 70's. That's not just baffling, it's nearly criminal. I'd be willing to bet good money that the same is the case here with this book.

          • They won’t significantly update their books, because to do so would be to admit that they were wrong. And they can’t be wrong because they ‘got the answers straight from the Bible’, and they used those answers to build an empire for themselves that involves a lot of royalties and personal plugs in other ministers’ books.

            Also, they outright discredit and ignore modern medical research. All that book learning is just a godless liberal agenda, doncha know? Scientists are always making up stuff to appease the liberal elite for more grant money. Everyone knows that mental illness is a spiritual problem that can be cured with just the right sermon…for a gift of $29.95, of course!!!


          • And this is what’s fascinating (in a skewed sort of way) about this kind of book. It didn’t NEED to be this way. With just a little bit of humility, one could say things like, “based on my understanding of Biblical principles, it seems like…” and that would allow for updating when later discoveries are made.

            But then, I just used the word “humility” and that there is a rather large problem for certain authors… *sigh*

  • Are you reading the original or the updated version of this book? I looked at the preview of the 1996 edition on Amazon, in which LeHaye admits he’s “learned a few more things” about depression since the last edition, but if that’s true, looks like he’d have to come out with a whole new book. This is infuriating.

    • Original, but I’ve looked over the updated version and it’s not substantively different.

  • Adele

    The book A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, references a study linking severe depression to heightened empathy. You can see the section on Google books here:

    Lynn E. O’Connor appears to be associated with a bunch of papers on empathy and depression including the one(s) referenced in the book above. Here is one that might be what you are thinking of:

    One note: There are other studies also in scientific journals that argue for impaired empathy being associated with depression. I didn’t dig too deeply, but the impression I got is that O’Connor is arguing that there are different types of depression and one common type is associated with heightened empathy.


  • I think the more you care and feel the more you are depressed. Two in my household suffer from depression and there is no quick fix and certainly they are very loving! Insanity. I’m ready to throw a book too!!

  • nessa3

    I can see why most churches and christians treat depression so incorrectly…if they get there info from authors like him….Thats crazy.
    If that were so then how did I get depressed…because I am one of those who stuffed feelings and plowed threw everything…never let into negative emotions….I wasnt allowed to……I have depression because I never dealt with my emotions and pain….just tried to have a happy face and move on.

  • This book really grieves me. Way to heap more pain on a depressed person’s head LaHaye. ?

  • cathy hendricks

    A Lahaye book is never worth anyone’s time!!!

  • Anne

    You said: “I read an article recently that mentioned there was a study that people with depression actually tend to be the most empathetic and caring because we understand deep emotional pain and want to help other people”

    How about this?

  • ARGH this kind of thing is so absolutely infuriating, not just because it is so aggravatingly WRONG but because it is so insanely prevalent among certain circles! This was exactly the kind of attitude that kept my family from realizing that my abusive father needed treatment for so long, and the same kind of attitude that I carried with me until just under a year ago and kept me from seeking treatment for my own issues. Most of our church held that mental illness was basically made up nonsense to excuse bad character, and that any such thing could be overcome with “the Good Word,” and it’s caused me damage that I’m only now starting to get over. It doesn’t help that my first attempt at seeking therapy a few years ago resulted in a therapist that basically said many of the same things.

    Ah well. There isn’t enough rage in the world for this kind of horrible, but I can’t spend my whole life angry.

  • Crystal

    “Also: could use some help from my lovely readers. I read an article recently that mentioned there was a study that people with depression actually tend to be the most empathetic and caring because we understand deep emotional pain and want to help other people. I can’t find it, but if you know the one I’m talking about that would be incredibly helpful. I don’t like making claims like that without citations, but it was an intriguing argument and I’d like other people to see it.”

    I would tend to argue that people who have suffered from ALL kinds of mental illnesses, INCLUDING depression, are empathetic because mental anguish, etc. Having experienced mental illness myself of a different type, I would tend to say that.

    Also, I think you are very brave to read this book and hope you can get through it. Thanks for teaching me about depression; I can use this information to help others now.

  • Whistling! Wow, if I had known about that, I would have saved all that money I spent on therapy.

  • The one time I was really depressed was going through a divorce. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but it helped me. A friend gave me a copy of Harlan Ellison’s Deathbird Stories. The title of one of the stories is I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream. The book even starts with a caveat not to read it in one setting as the stories are too intense. What the book did was help me visualize my pain and put my feelings into words. It helped me through a temporary depression and would most likely not help with clinical depression.

  • I remember being very confused as I came out of my first major (2-years) bout of depression. It really did feel like coming back to the land of the living, and I tried to connect with some touchstone people who’d watched me go through that.

    One described her helplessness watching me go through that depression as seeing me stuck in some kind of dark room lined with mirrors– that all I could see was me, and I couldn’t get out or past myself.

    It crushed me– I had three early elementary kids and never interrupted my care of them, but that accusation (of being self-focused) hits really close to home as a result.

    To complicate it all, much of my healing (far as I can name it) came from looking straight at myself and doing the identity-exploration work that I think I was supposed to do in adolescence.

    Surviving the assaults/lies of depression sometime means to make an empirical case against my own heart’s (or friends’?) accusations.

  • I am so confused. If I don’t spruce myself up, I could get depressed. But if I wear a mini-skirt, it’s a sign of depression. What if I was younger and all my “sprucing up” clothes were mini-skirts? Oh, what to do…

  • CynicMom

    You know who seemed very depressed to me? Barbara Fitts (the mother next-door) in the movie American Beauty. You know, the one who kept her house spotless and sat inside it staring at the wall all day. The one who said to her neighbor, “I’m sorry the house is such a mess” when it was clear it had been spotless for months. The one who was totally submissive to her husband, without a personality of her own.

  • Oh, this is terrible. But a lot of this is also the basic premise of the song “Turn It Off” from The Book of Mormon, and that makes me laugh, and that is better. The Book of Mormon musical is a surprisingly good palate cleanser for LaHaye.

    • That is a wonderfully disturbing song.

  • That loss of affection paragraph seriously makes me angry. Yes I do tend to withdraw from people, but that is me, it is not a “universal tendency of depressed people.” And my withdrawing from people has absolutely nothing at all to do with loss of affection or love for anyone. That is such bull! If anything, I tend to withdraw from people BECAUSE I have love and affection for them and don’t want to feel like a burden especially when I can’t even explain how I feel or why. More often than not it is my constant affection and love and consideration for people that keeps me from saying anything at all because I don’t want to put anything on them that they don’t want in their lives.

    • Crystal

      I don’t want to say anything insensitive here, as I have personally never had depression, but I think that the ones who truly love you can help you with your struggle and I don’t believe you should ever feel you have to be silent around them.

      • Thank you. That wasn’t at all insensitive. I’m starting to really discover who in my life I can actually talk to and share things with, without them saying stuff to the tune of “get over it and enjoy life”

        • Crystal


  • Rebecca

    Tim LaHaye makes me think of my favorite scene from Donnie Darko:

  • *sees the comment about not putting out causing depression*
    *growls in anger*
    *sees the full quote from the book in the comments*
    *rages and starts flipping tables*

    God DAMNIT!!!! This… numbskull doesn’t know the first thing about how women function does he??? I have to physically STOP BREATHING in order to have sex with my husband, whether I want to or not. Because he will NOT leave me alone about it when he decides that he’s went without long enough. And yes, it hurts. Every God Damned time. And if a wife is left “unfulfilled” by sex with her husband, then something has gone WRONG and she does not have to simply PUT UP WITH PUTTING OUT!!!


    Two virgins having sex is a recipe for disaster unless there’s been some SERIOUS education beforehand!!

    I don’t blame you one bit for throwing the book across the room. Please tell me you’re taking very good care of yourself as you descend into this cesspit of ignorance and depravity. You matter more than this book does.

    • Crystal


      I don’t want to make it all about myself, but when you are mentally sick and you have sex, it can be more likely to affect you negatively one way or the other!

      For me, sometimes, because of the illness I am recovering from, I sometimes get my mind filled with a lot of junk when I want to think sexually. That’s my story though.

      As for your husband, he sounds like an odious prig of an unmanly coward. A man should always use his strength to benefit his family, not hurt them! And no one should EVER be forced to have sex. He sounds so confounded selfish.

      Is it impossible to tell him how you feel? Because if it is, that’s terrible and he ought to be very ashamed of himself.

      I hope I haven’t rattled on too much, and have been sensitive to you.

  • Nick C

    Where exactly is the line drawn between “sprucing up,” whatever that is supposed to mean and “immodesty” — whatever that is supposed to mean, another impossible burden placed on women?

    At some point I am also guessing “not submitting to their husbands” is going to be a factor here, that is at least implied in the have sex even if it hurts. (A point for another day, but I’ve read commentary that demonstrates that passage does not mean anything near what fundamentalist take it to mean.)

  • Sheryl Tribble

    “the example he gives is of a woman who dies shortly after her husband)”

    Gendering that one female is particularly ironic, because men who lose their spouse are much more likely to die in the next six months to a year than women are. One theory is that women are better at self-care than men, but I have my doubts about that. One older couple in our church, the wife had a stroke and the husband took over all cooking, cleaning, everything, up to and including having to dress his wife every day. He coped beautifully for years — but when she died, he said his life was over, and he was pretty much right.

    He had all the skills necessary to care for himself, but he was just lost without her. He didn’t commit suicide or anything — I think it was a heart attack he died of, something that previously hadn’t been an issue — and I’m not sure I’d call what happened with him depression precisely (not sure he even lived long enough for the diagnoses to change from “mourning” to “depression”), but I’ll bet money he was “guilty” of what LaHaye is talking about. Which, again, is more common with guys.