As the evangelical church has become painfully aware recently, pastors struggle with mental illness, including depression and thoughts of suicide. In light of recent events, many are wondering: Why are pastors depressed?
A survey of protestant clergy in Canada conducted in 2003 showed that 20 percent of respondents had been diagnosed with an emotional condition; specifically, 16 percent said they had been diagnosed with depression. “This is double the Health Canada findings which states that approximately eight percent of Canadian adults will experience major depression in their lives,” the study authors write.
A 2014 LifeWay study among pastors in the U.S. found that these numbers don’t seem to have changed much in the almost decade has transpired between the two studies. LifeWay’s study indicated more than one in five pastors have personally struggled with mental illness of some kind. It should be noted this number mirrors the national average of people in the U.S. who struggle with mental illness, according to research from 2018.