Pastors on Antidepressants

I read somewhere recently the comment that “it is sad news that 22% of pastors today are on antidepressants.” I can’t remember where I read that, but depression does that to me … hmmm.

In processing that comment over the last few days, I have to say that I think the sad news in not that 22% of pastors today are on antidepressants, but that ONLY 22% of pastors are on antidepressants. I know that’s a strong thing to say, and obviously it’s coming from a pastor who uses them. Uh … yes, that would be me!

I know alot of pastors. ALOT! I’m just tellin’ ya … it would help many of them to seek help for why their Monday drags into Tuesday and the rest of the week!

Pastoring is a care-giving profession. Many of us pastors don’t want to call it a “profession”, but it’s what we do, even if you’re bi-vocational. Why don’t we care as much if psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, elderly care and mental health workers are on antidepressant medication? I, for one, have not heard “alarming” statistics on how many of those care-giving professionals are on medication.

In this post, I know there’s alot I am saying, as well as a ton that I am not saying. I am presuming you know that I don’t see depression as purely spiritual or medication to help it as some kind of taboo subject. Any who know me personally are aware that I have struggled with clinical depression for a number of years, at least since being diagnosed in 2001, but probably for many more years before that.

Just a little of my ramblings on the subject. Feel free to toss in questions or comments if you have them! Maybe I ought to write a little more on my journey in case it’s helpful to someone else.

  • Veronica Joy
    Posted at 17:40h, 06 December Reply

    It often surprises me that in this day and age with so much information available that some one would make a comment like this. It is obvious that this person has never suffered from depression. The other question that enters my mind is Why, does this person consider a Pastor, not a man, and so different as to defy illness? As we look biblically we see that men and women of God do not have a protective bubble around them. The Prophet Elijah is a prime example of the fact that men and women of God struggle in the area of depression. The Psalmist David wrote “I would have lost heart had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” David (the man after God’s own heart), was a man that dealt with depression. We just have to recognize that people make comments in ignorance and not allow their comments to be used of the enemy by impacting us in a negative way.

  • The Entrepreneurial Pastor
    Posted at 20:26h, 07 December Reply


    I think you’re right. Pastor’s live a crazy life. It wouldn’t surprise me if the number was more than 22%. After all, the poll was only really a sampling.


  • Pastor Paul
    Posted at 23:43h, 07 December Reply

    I agree Cedric. It is a wild journey, this pastoring thing. I am sure the number of us finding help in the medication is actually larger than the poll shows.


  • Pastor Paul
    Posted at 05:27h, 10 December Reply

    I think you’re right Veronica! Thanks for sharing your heart here. We are all made of the same “clay”, even given our unique shaping and giftings from God.


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