Mental illness and the church uh-oh. “I know where she’s going with this”
Well, you’d probably be wrong. Sit a bit and listen as I start off with this: I am a self proclaimed Christ centered mental health advocate. What does that mean? Well, that means that I am relying heavily on my relationship with the Lord to get me through some difficult times. I rely heavily on the worship music, prayer, bible reading and so on. I know that this has lead to me not taking my Lorazepam as much as the pdoc has originally prescribed – but I am not delusional.
Well, actually I am but….meh, you get my drift.
There are those days when my brain does not want to behave and I am taking 5 or 6 of those suhckahs, just to make it through the day. Also, I take my Risperidone and my other medicines – like I should be. Why? I have a mental illness.
But there are some of my fellow Christians who believe that you can do this with just prayer. That you can pray out your disease. That you can not be a real Christian and have a mental illness – its like an oxymoron. If you have enough faith you wont suffer from any mental illness!
Poppycock! (hee hee. I just love that silly word)
God allowed people to make the discovery of these medicines to help you, why would you stop yourself from taking it? A disease like depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are medicines there to fix that imbalance; think of insulin for a diabetic. Same principle.
I recently read an article that referenced Gideon of the bible, Elijah of the bible and David of the bible as most possibly being mentally ill; but strong enough in their faith they beat their disease. He talked about how they went through such major times of depression and anxiety and that even Elijah was even suicidal at one point. What the writer failed to mention was that yes – Gideon was full of great anxiety but he had just met an ANGEL OF GOD and yes he did overcome it with prayer, but God answered him with a MIGHTY miracle of the fleece being soaking wet and the surrounding ground bone dry one day and the very next day having the same fleece being bone dry and the surrounding ground soaking wet. I would have no anxiety at all either if God answered me that way too.
Next, Elijah was suicidal. The Queen Jezebel had just threatened his life. But like he says in his article, God did guide him (1 Kings 19:7a And THE angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said….) see for those not biblically trained like I was *sniff, sniff, brush, brush* ; when it says THE angel of the Lord it means that God actually did come to him. Now, wouldn’t you get out of your suicidal funk if God was guiding you and standing before you?
Now King David was full of despair and anguish and I believe looked toward God like I do. Except for one thing, I have a debilitating mental illness. King David on the other hand could just have suffered from circumstantial depression.
See? In the end, to sum up my diatribe – you can’t make a comparison. You don’t know the states of the people then and you yourself don’t know unless you suffer from a mental illness. Which is the problem of people in the church, they think they know. They have a bad day where nothing is right for them and so they know what you are going through. Well, if that was the case…dang, I’d be agreeing with ya. All you would need to do is pray – but its not like that. Its so much more.
I do believe that God wants us as Christians to do as the writer suggests: As we draw near to colleagues, family and friends who struggle with mental illness, may we reach out in faith and without fear.
There is too much fear surrounding mental illness, we are not scary. We are not to be feared.
We just want to be loved.
Don’t try to fix us, let the doctors and God deal with that. You? We just want love from you.