Ellen White Topics
Disease has pressed heavily upon me. For years I have been afflicted with dropsy and disease of the heart, which has had a tendency to depress my spirits and destroy my faith and courage. 1T 185

The mother can and should do much toward controlling her nerves and mind when depressed; even when she is sick, she can, if she only schools herself, be pleasant and cheerful and can bear more noise than she would once have thought possible. She should not make the children feel her infirmities and cloud their young sensitive minds by her depression of spirits, causing them to feel that the house is a tomb and the mother's room the most dismal place in the world. The mind and nerves gain tone and strength by the exercise of the will. The power of the will in many cases will prove a potent soother of the nerves. 1T 387

You should labour with care and observe periods of rest. By so doing you will retain your physical and mental vigour and render your labour much more efficient. Brother F, you are a nervous man and move much from impulse. Mental depression influences your labour very much. At times you feel a want of freedom and think it is because others are in darkness or wrong or that something is the matter, you can hardly tell what, and you make a drive somewhere and upon somebody which is liable to do great harm. If you would quiet yourself when in this restless, nervous condition and rest and calmly wait on God and inquire if the trouble is not in yourself, you would save wounding your own soul and wounding the precious cause of God. 1T 622

When you married your wife, she loved you. She was extremely sensitive, yet with painstaking on your part, and fortitude on hers, her health need not have been what it is. But your stern coldness made you like an iceberg, freezing up the channel of love and affection. Your censure and faultfinding has been like desolating hail to a sensitive plant. It has chilled and nearly destroyed the life of the plant. Your love of the world is eating out the good traits of your character.

Your wife is of a different turn and more generous. But when she has, even in small matters, exercised her generous instincts, you have felt a drawback in your feelings and have censured her. You indulge a close and grudging spirit. You make your wife feel that she is a tax, a burden, and that she has no right to exercise her generosity at your expense. All these things are of such a discouraging nature that she feels hopeless and helpless and has not stamina to bear up against it, but bends to the force of the blast. Her disease is pain of the nerves. Were her married life agreeable, she would possess a good degree of health. But all through your married life the demon has been a guest in your family to exult over your misery. 1T 696

Your life is now miserable, full of evil forebodings. Gloomy pictures loom up before you; dark unbelief has enclosed you. By talking on the side of unbelief you have grown darker and darker; you take satisfaction in dwelling upon unpleasant themes. If others try to talk hopefully, you crush out in them every hopeful feeling by talking all the more earnestly and severely. Your trials and afflictions are ever keeping before your wife the soul-harrowing thought that you consider her a burden because of her illness. If you love darkness and despair, talk of them, dwell upon them, and harrow up your soul by conjuring up in your imagination everything you can to cause you to murmur against your family and against God, and make your own heart like a field which the fire has passed over, destroying all verdure and leaving it dry, blackened, and crisped. 1T 699

A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul. Nothing is so fruitful a cause of disease as depression, gloominess, and sadness. 1T 702

The effects produced by living in close, ill-ventilated rooms are these: The system becomes weak and unhealthy, the circulation is depressed, the blood moves sluggishly through the system because it is not purified and vitalised by the pure, invigorating air of heaven. The mind becomes depressed and gloomy, while the whole system is enervated, and fevers and other acute diseases are liable to be generated. 1T 702

You can be a happy family if you will do what God has given you to do and has enjoined upon you as a duty. But the Lord will not do for you that which He has left for you to do. Brother C deserves pity. He has so long felt unhappy that life has become a burden to him. It need not be thus. His imagination is diseased, and he has so long kept his eyes on the dark picture that if he meets with adversity or disappointment, he imagines that everything is going to ruin, that he will come to want, that everything is against him, that he has the hardest time of anyone; and thus his life is made wretched. The more he thinks thus, the more miserable he makes his life and the lives of all around him.

He has no reason to feel as he does; it is all the work of Satan. He must not suffer the enemy thus to control his mind. He should turn away from the dark and gloomy picture to that of the loving Saviour, the glory of heaven, and the rich inheritance prepared for all who are humble and obedient and who possess grateful hearts and abiding faith in the promises of God. This will cost him an effort, a struggle; but it must be done. Your present happiness and your future, eternal happiness depend upon your fixing your mind upon cheerful things, looking away from the dark picture, which is imaginary, to the benefits which God has strewn in your pathway, and beyond these, to the unseen and eternal. 1T 703

You belong to a family who possess minds not well balanced, gloomy and depressed, affected by surroundings, and susceptible to influences. Unless you cultivate a cheerful, happy, grateful frame of mind, Satan will eventually lead you captive at his will. You can be a help, a strength to the church where you reside, if you will obey the instructions of the Lord and not move by feeling, but be controlled by principle. Never allow censure to escape your lips, for it is like desolating hail to those around you. Let cheerful, happy, loving words fall from your lips. 1T 704

Faith and hope trembled in the expiring agonies of Christ because God had removed the assurance He had heretofore given His beloved Son of His approbation and acceptance. The Redeemer of the world then relied upon the evidences which had hitherto strengthened Him, that His Father accepted His labours and was pleased with His work. In His dying agony, as He yields up His precious life, He has by faith alone to trust in Him whom it has ever been His joy to obey. He is not cheered with clear, bright rays of hope on the right hand or on the left. All is enshrouded in oppressive gloom. Amid the awful darkness which is felt by sympathising nature, the Redeemer drains the mysterious cup even to its dregs. Denied even bright hope and confidence in the triumph which will be His in the future, He cries with a loud voice: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." He is acquainted with the character of His Father, with His justice, His mercy, and His great love, and in submission He drops into His hands. Amid the convulsions of nature are heard by the amazed spectators the dying words of the Man of Calvary. 2T 210

Very many families are living in a most unhappy state because the husband and father allows the animal in his nature to predominate over the intellectual and moral. The result is that a sense of languor and depression is frequently felt, but the cause is seldom divined as being the result of their own improper course of action. We are under solemn obligations to God to keep the spirit pure and the body healthy, that we may be a benefit to humanity, and render to God perfect service.

The apostle utters these words of warning: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof" (Romans 6:12). He urges us onward by telling us that "every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things" (1 Corinthians 9:25). He exhorts all who call themselves Christians to presents their bodies "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God" (Romans 12:1). He says, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27). 2T 381

My husband has laboured untiringly to bring the publishing interest up to its present state of prosperity. I saw that he had had more sympathy and love from his brethren than he has thought he had. They eagerly search the paper to find something from his pen. If there is a tone of cheerfulness in his writings, if he speaks encouragingly, their hearts are lightened, and some even weep with tender feelings of joy. But if gloom and sadness are expressed, the countenances of his brethren and sisters, as they read, grow sad, and the spirit which characterises his writings is reflected upon them. 3T 96

Some preserve a cold, chilling reserve, an iron dignity, that repels those who are brought within their influence. This spirit is contagious; it creates an atmosphere that is withering to good impulses and good resolves; it chokes the natural current of human sympathy, cordiality, and love; and under its influence people become constrained, and their social and generous attributes are destroyed for want of exercise.

Not only is the spiritual health affected but the physical health suffers by this unnatural depression. The gloom and chill of this unsocial atmosphere is reflected upon the countenance. The faces of those who are benevolent and sympathetic will shine with the lustre of true goodness, while those who do not cherish kindly thoughts and unselfish motives express in their faces the sentiments cherished in their hearts. 4T 64

Through the merits of Christ, through His righteousness, which by faith is imputed unto us, we are to attain to the perfection of Christian character. Our daily and hourly work is set forth in the words of the apostle: "Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith." While doing this our minds become clearer and our faith stronger, and our hope is confirmed; we are so engrossed with the view of His purity and loveliness and the sacrifice He has made to bring us into agreement with God that we have no disposition to speak of doubts and discouragements. 5T 744

Through the intemperance begun at home, the digestive organs first become weakened, and soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. Unhealthy conditions are established, and there is a craving for more stimulating food. Tea and coffee produce an immediate effect. Under the influence of these poisons the nervous system is excited; and in some cases, for the time being, the intellect seems to be invigorated, the imagination more vivid. Because these stimulants produce such agreeable results, many conclude that they really need them; but there is always a reaction.

The nervous system has borrowed power from its future resources for present use, and all this temporary invigoration is followed by a corresponding depression. The suddenness of the relief obtained from tea and coffee is an evidence that what seems to be strength is only nervous excitement, and consequently must be an injury to the system. CTBH 31, 1890 (CG 403)

A child frequently censured for some special fault, comes to regard that fault as his peculiarity, something against which it is vain to strive. Thus are created discouragement and hopelessness, often concealed under an appearance of indifference or bravado. ED 291

Because God's love is so great and so unfailing, the sick should be encouraged to trust in Him and be cheerful. To be anxious about themselves tends to cause weakness and disease. If they will rise above depression and gloom, their prospect of recovery will be better; for "the eye of the Lord is upon them . . . that hope in His mercy" (Psalm 33:18). MH 229

Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. MH 241

In order to have good blood, we must breathe well. Full, deep inspirations of pure air, which fill the lungs with oxygen, purify the blood. They impart to it a bright colour and send it, a life-giving current, to every part of the body. A good respiration soothes the nerves; it stimulates the appetite and renders digestion more perfect; and it induces sound, refreshing sleep. MH 272

The lungs should be allowed the greatest freedom possible. Their capacity is developed by free action; it diminishes if they are cramped and compressed. Hence the ill effects of the practice so common, especially in sedentary pursuits, of stooping at one's work. In this position it is impossible to breathe deeply. Superficial breathing soon becomes a habit, and the lungs lose their power to expand....

Thus an insufficient supply of oxygen is received. The blood moves sluggishly. The waste, poisonous matter, which should be thrown off in the exhalations from the lungs, is retained, and the blood becomes impure. Not only the lungs, but the stomach, liver, and brain are affected. The skin becomes sallow, digestion is retarded; the heart is depressed; the brain is clouded; the thoughts are confused; gloom settles upon the spirits; the whole system becomes depressed and inactive, and peculiarly susceptible to disease. MH 272F

Remember that in your life religion is not to be merely one influence among others. It is to be an influence dominating all others. Be strictly temperate. Resist every temptation. Make no concessions to the wily foe. Listen not to the suggestions that he puts into the mouths of men and women. You have a victory to win. You have nobility of character to gain; but this you cannot gain while you are depressed and discouraged by failure. Break the bands with which Satan has bound you. There is no need for you to be his slave. "Ye are My friends," Christ said, "if ye do whatsoever I command you." MM 43

A reaction such as frequently follows high faith and glorious success was pressing upon Elijah. He feared that the reformation begun on Carmel might not be lasting, and depression seized him. He had been exalted to Pisgah's top; now he was in the valley. While under the inspiration of the Almighty, he had stood the severest trial of faith; but in this time of discouragement, with Jezebel's threat sounding in his ears and Satan still apparently prevailing through the plotting of this wicked woman, he lost his hold on God. He had been exalted above measure, and the reaction was tremendous. PK 161

Don't go to others with your trials and temptations; God alone can help you. If you fulfil the conditions of God's promises, the promises will be fulfilled to you. If your mind is stayed upon God, you will not go from a state of ecstasy to the valley of despondency when trial and temptation come upon you. You will not talk doubt and gloom to others. You will not say, "I do not know about this or that. I do not feel happy. I am not sure that we have the truth." You will not do this, for you will have an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast.

When we talk discouragement and gloom, Satan listens with fiendish joy; for it pleases him to know that he has brought you into his bondage. Satan cannot read our thoughts, but he can see our actions, hear our words; and from his long knowledge of the human family, he can shape his temptations to take advantage of our weak points of character. And how often do we let him into the secret of how he may obtain the victory over us. Oh, that we might control our words and actions! How strong we would become if our words were of such an order that we would not be ashamed to meet the record of them in the day of judgement. How different will they appear in the day of God from what they seem when we utter them. RH FEB 27, 1913

The true Christian does not allow any earthly consideration to come in between his soul and God. The commandment of God wields an authoritative influence over his affections and actions. If everyone seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness would be always ready to work the works of Christ, how much easier would become the path to heaven. The blessings of God would flow into the soul, and the praises of the Lord would be on your lips continually. You would then serve God from principle. Your feelings might not always be of a joyous nature; clouds would at times shadow the horizon of your experience; but the Christian's hope does not rest upon the sandy foundation of feeling. Those who act from principle will behold the glory of God beyond the shadows and rest upon the sure word of promise. They will not be deterred from honouring God, however dark the way may seem. Adversity and trial will only give them an opportunity to show the sincerity of their faith and love.

When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God has changed. He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever." You are sure of the favour of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. Your eye must be single, and your whole body shall be full of light. The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that His love provides. Let your faith be like Job's, that you may declare, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Lay hold on the promises of your heavenly Father, and remember His former dealing with you and with His servants; for "all things work together for good to them that love God." RH JAN 24, 1888

Those who do not feel that it is a religious duty to discipline the mind to dwell upon cheerful subjects will usually be found at one of two extremes: they will be elated by a continual round of exciting amusements, indulging in frivolous conversation, laughing, and joking; or they will be depressed, having great trials and mental conflicts, which they think but few have ever experienced or can understand. These persons may profess Christianity, but they deceive their own souls. ST OCT 23, 1884