A woman recently emailed me asking, When did you first realize you were clinically depressed?

Great question. My wife and I were pastoring a wonderful, growing church. I was having books published and writing cover stories for national magazines, as well as traveling around the world speaking and appearing on network TV. I had two great kids who were doing well in school. And I had great health.

But none of those things made me happy. I had absolutely no motivation to get out of bed. And all the prayer and positive thinking weren’t helping! What is wrong with me?!

Male depression doesn’t always present itself as sitting in the dark, eating one’s body weight in dark chocolate and writing really bad poetry. It’s often zero motivation to do the things you once loved.

But there is hope! Now that I’m on antidepressants, I’m doing much better. So, as the cartoon notes, don’t let well-meaning people convince you it’s a spiritual problem. It may be, but it may be a biochemical issue as real as diabetes, high blood pressure, or ED.

Here’s a helpful post on dealing with depression.

Copyright © 2018 James N. Watkins

Related posts
Mental health issue

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I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category:

Hi, I’m Jim. Lent is my favorite season because a) there’s no shopping to do, b) no decorations to put up, and c) no awkward office parties! So, click for a whole Easter basket of Lent and Easter goodies. Plus . . .

Articles on everything from sects to sex. (Scroll down for latest.)

Book excerpts including my latest The Psalms of Asaph: Struggling with Unanswered Prayer, Unfulfilled Promises, and Unpunished Evil


Comedy/drama scripts

Jim Talks: Like “Ted Talks” only funnier

Writers’ resources

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encouragement, entertainment, James Watkins


I love the story of Gideon: not the guy who keeps leaving his Bible in hotel rooms, but the Jewish judge who describes himself as “the least in my entire family.” God has called Gideon to liberate the Israelis from the cruel oppression of the Midianites. But to defeat the enemy of over 100,000 troops, God provides him with just 300 men. (Nope, I didn’t leave out any zeroes. That’s 100,000 v. 300!) And they’re probably the guys who get picked last in pick up games.

Totally inadequate?

God seems to delight when we feel totally inadequate. [Continue reading]


My mother is a woman. My wife is a woman. My daughter is a woman. (See pic.) And I have three adorable granddaughters. So, a hearty happy International Women’s Day! Here are some of my favorite posts about women:

Am I a “feminist”?

A case for women in ministry

Daughter is one tough mother

Men and women are different from the neck up

No hablo, estrogen! Becoming bilingual in relationships

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Most days, I’m successful in navigating the emotional mines floating in my life with prayer, persistence and Prozac. I can’t deny the feelings, but I can also refuse to deify them. They are not my God, but bio-chemicals, sub-conscious reactions or, perhaps, the pizza I ate before bed.

So, I find myself paraphrasing Civil War Admiral Farragut’s order as his 18-ship fleet sailed into the heavily-mined port of New Orleans: “Damn the emotions! Full speed ahead!” [Continue reading]


3 Ds of faith

March 5th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Lois and I recently had a financial setback, which immediately sent me into full-blown crisis mode. Unfortunately, there’s a familiar pattern to my faith crises.


I wish there was a more flattering word for it, but for about a week, I doubted that God had a plan and that he was already working for the good (Romans 8:28) to provide for us. It was up to me to keep us from living in a cardboard box! So, I frantically brainstormed ways to cut expenses and generate more income: sell my books on the street corner, pawn my guitars, and give up dark chocolate. [Continue reading]


Celebrating Black History Month

February 26th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Black History Month
To quote the early rap group, DCTalk, we’re all “Colored People.” So, I hope no matter what color you are, you’ll enjoy some of my favorite columns for Black History Month:

James Robert Watkins: ex-slave, author, soul brother I’m proud to call this social reformer family!

Martin Luther King Jr’s “Ten Commandments for Cultural Change”

Race relations by the numbers An award-winning cover story I wrote after a summer of racial unrest and violence

Top ten signs your church may be prejudiced


The apostle Paul, in his letter to the church of Colossae, wrote “pray that I may proclaim [the good news of Christ] clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace.”

The Reverend—and revered—Billy Graham certainly fulfilled what “the Bible says.” He died today, February 21, 2018, at age 99. [Read my tribute to Billy Graham]


Florida school shooting
Every mass shooting or terrorist attack prompts questions of how could the massacre have been prevented and, often, where was God during this horrific crime. Associated Press photographer, Joel Auerbach, captured the answer to the second question as a distraught woman with an Ash Wednesday cross on her forehead comforts another woman.

Until Jesus returns to restore peace and safety to this fallen world, Christians are his hands and feet here on earth: The woman in the iconic photo. Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach who was killed shielding students from gunfire. A long-time friend who knew Feis from church told reporters, “Aaron had a big heart, and he’s an extremely loving person, very quiet and a good sense of humor, but I’m not surprised that he did what he did,” LaGuardia said of Feis.

Unfortunately, we live in fallen world populated by people with moral and mental illness. (And God is no more responsible for evil then light is responsible for darkness. Darkness is the absence of light.) But followers of Jesus Christ offer his love, comfort and peace. The apostle Paul writes:

      All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

As I watch these tragedies unfold, it reminds me that Jesus died and rose again for a world desperately in need of love, peace and healing. And those marked with the cross are Jesus’ hands and feet to comfort and support those wounded in this life.

Copyright © 2018 James Watkins

Related posts
Dealing with school shootings
Dealing with terrorism
“Don’t be afraid”
I’m giving up fear for Lent
Is gun control the answer?
An Rx for gun control
“In this world you will have trouble”
Talking to your children about school shootings and terrorism
“There is no peace on earth”
“Threat level” solidly “green”

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