Is There a Gift in Depression?

by | Jul 3, 2024

This week I was having a talk with my oldest son, Dustin, and we were discussing a friend who is so intelligent, we believe they most likely score high enough to get into Mensa. I mentioned that the friend is indeed brilliant and I wish for their sake that they didn’t struggle so greatly with depression. Dustin quickly added, “All the smartest people are depressed, Mom.” What?! This was news to me.

I thought Dustin’s statement was some kind of joke at first, and then he enlightened me that there is research that shows that many or even most of the world’s most intelligent people have struggled with depression. Upon doing a bit of Googling, I discovered that there is indeed often a correlation between intelligence and depression. While it’s true that people can also have a low IQ and be depressed, it is conversely true that there is a link between high intelligence and depression. Some famous people who might be considered in the high intelligence/depression category are Abraham Lincoln, Einstein, Beethoven, Charles Dickens,Winston Churchill, to name a few.

Dustin says one reason why highly intelligent people may struggle with depression is because they are good at spotting problems in the world — they see what’s wrong around them and what needs to change — and when they can’t fix it, they go into an emotional downward spiral.

I would venture to say that some of these highly intelligent, depressed people may not realize their brilliance. When you’re lying in a bed and not wanting to get out of it or shower or brush your teeth it doesn’t exactly lend itself to believing you’re brilliant.

Receiving this new piece of information about the link that can exist between depression and intelligence has caused me to deeply ponder. Here are some things to think about…

What if those who struggle with depression have a gift of identifying change that needs to happen in the world,that others haven’t realized yet?

What if those who struggle with depression have a gift of feeling deeper than your average person?

What if those who struggle with depression have a gift of being some of the greatest change agents the world has ever seen…if they can push past the depression, to action?

This is one of the many reasons why breaking the stigma about mental health is so important. Those who struggle with depression have the potential — especially when coupled with the power of God — to solve so many of the world’s problems.

These individuals are some of the world’s most valuable contributors.

This isn’t one of my 3 steps to solving this, or 5 steps to achieving that posts. It’s a thinking post. Just ponder all of this with me for a moment, and it’s implications. And I just wanna say…

Yay for medication!

Yay for therapy!

Yay for God working mightily by His Spirit through both of these things and more!


  1. Laura Elizabeth Flora

    Deanna This gives me Alot to think about!!!!!

    I am so glad Dustin told you this… now I’m going to go do some google research myself πŸ˜‰.

    I always learn and grow from your blog….

    Sometimes Your blog makes me Cry, this post sure did…..
    But it also gives me Hope…… So Much Hope!

    It gives me something to think about and learn from…..

    I have always hated my depression but maybe
    I should consider it a gift πŸ€”…

    It’s like my ADHD ,
    I can’t tell you that my brain being consistently active isnt aggravating LOL, I have to force myself to concentrate at times when my mind wants to wonder ….
    but I started following a couple that the husband has ADHD and him and his wife wrote a book called ADHD is awesome.. He is teaching people that it’s ok to be different and that ADHD is actually a super power πŸ€—…

    So’ I am retraining my brain to not think negatively about labels anymore….

    If ADHD is awesome and Depression is a Gift πŸ€” then where is the negative in that?
    There isn’t any….

    And In my therapy my counselor is teaching me that I am Enough and
    I am Loved …..

    You have taught me that so many times yourself and I am so grateful for you Deanna Shrodes….

    From the time I was
    18 and had a bad experience with counseling and then not having people in my life that supported counseling or Mental and Emotional Health issues, I have struggled and I have feared ever going to counseling again…

    But thanks to your leadership, I was able to let that fear go…..

    And I have come to love therapy….

    It really does help!!!!

    Most importantly in my life right now is I’ve been spending more time with God and learning more about Him then I ever have before …. This of course is the Best….

    I want God’s will for my life and I know as
    I Countiue to get well in all areas of my life from Spiritually with Jesus… The Physical, Mental and Emotional parts are healing too….

    For my life,
    I want to know The Best is Yet to Come….

    And whenever I am sad or having a hard time,
    I am going to hold onto this thought Depression is a Gift!!!


    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      I’m so glad this has given you a lot to think about and was a blessing to you. Love you!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe & Receive Your Free Book

Live and lead authentically with my free gift to you, "29 Ways to Become Your Most Authentic Self".Β Β Upon subscribing, you'll be taken directly to the PDF which you can download.Β 

Thank you for subscribing!

Share This