["St. Michael Fighting Demons," by Master of the Legend of Saint Ursula (Bruges), 1480-1500]
One of our exorcists shared a recent experience: "Last night, a feeling of depression and hopelessness came over me. I was hardly aware of it in the beginning; it started subtly. Eventually, I found myself in the middle of a dark despair. I felt enervated and done in. This is surprising for me because I really don't have a history of depression." He went on, "I finally recognized it as a possible demonic obsession and commanded the evil spirits of depression to leave. After a few deliverance prayers, the evil mood lifted."
Once a month St. Michael Center offers a live online deliverance session. These sessions are much appreciated with several thousand attending. After the sessions, we typically receive scores of email testimonies of healings, thanks be to God. One of the most common experiences is the lifting of a depressed or anxious mood. For example, here are some excerpts:
*I started with anxiety, worry and depression. I feel peace now. Thank you!
*Very uplifting. I am more joyful. Less oppression. Thank you.
*I felt relief and gratitude for this session. I've been suffering from great anxiety and anger issues. Thank you.
*My body felt like I'm carrying a heavy boulder on my shoulders. After the session, I felt light, like the boulder was removed.
*During the session I felt such energy and renewal as though a kind of electricity was passing through my body. Presently I am witnessing energy like never before. Thank you."
*I felt a loosening of the bondages of depression ... and divisions within our family. Thank you!
*I experienced an inner joy and peace and hope. A knowledge that Jesus has freed me of my scruples, anxiety and sadness and He is looking upon me with love."
Most of the time, feelings of depression and anxiety have psychological roots and need to be treated on the natural level. But our experience suggests that demonic obsessions accompanied by feelings of depression, anxiety and despair are more common than we realize.
Four signs that the mood has demonic roots are: (1) it being out of character for the individual, (2) it begins and ends without a natural trigger, (3) it is unusually intense, and (4) it responds to prayer.... In these cases, medications and psychotherapy might have some limited effect but ultimately are not fully successful. Only prayer and a spiritual healing will lift it.
In more resistant cases, afflicted people may have a combination of psychological pathology and a demonic obsession. Satan is an opportunist and takes advantage of our psychological weaknesses. He will exaggerate the natural dynamics and torment the soul with an intense depressive and/or anxious mood. These folks need both natural healing remedies such as psychotherapy and medications, plus a healing spiritual regimen.
The exorcist then said: "My experience reminded me of my new client who also suffers from intense demonic obsessions with depression, despair and suicidal thoughts." (This exorcist has a spiritual history of being a burden bearer.) He went on, "Perhaps my experience was God's way of allowing me to help by carrying a little bit of her burden. I pray for her every day."