I suffer for people who attend a fellowship with believers who do not understand that mental health is a real medical issue. That means that those who are plagued by depression or anxiety don’t feel like they have spiritual family they can turn to.
I also suffer for people who feel that because of stereotypes, real or imagined, they can’t let anyone know how they suffer.
Mental illness is one of the enemy’s most popular tools to keep saints from living their fullest, most authentic lives. As long as he has free range in the minds of those who don’t understand mental illness and really don’t want to, men and women will continue to hide their pain.
How sad is it that those who so desperately need fellowship and someone to come along side of them, are so afraid of telling anyone because they think they’ll be judged for failing to lean on God to make this “go away” or are seen as unreliable, not to be trusted or just “not right.”
I live with generalized anxiety and depression; the result of a traumatic childhood. My mother suffered with bi-polar disorder, again the result of a traumatic childhood. (and was never diagnosed or treated.) My daughter has bi-polar disorder and my son, anxiety and depression.
How much of this was due to my lack of parenting skills? How much is a generational curse? Does it matter?
Chains can be broken. Healing can happen. I know that the God I serve can remove the pain in a split second. But why doesn’t He?
Why doesn’t He heal everyone with diabetes, or arthritis or any other illness?
My point is, mental illness is as prevalent as any other disease, and maybe even more so. The treatment of mental illness is also possible.
I take medication. I have since 1988, after the birth of my daughter. Without the serotonin supplement my brain needs I am incapable of the joy that I have and greatly desire to share with others.
Mental illness is not a spiritual deficiency.
Mental illness is not necessarily a demonic attack, although Satan will use our weaknesses against us.
Mental illness is not always something that can be overcome by prayer, although we who have it should continue to live with an expectation that we could be healed tomorrow.
Mental illness is not something that can be overcome by “pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.”
Mental illness is often linked with people who have a yearning to create whether as musicians, writers or painters and sculptors.
Is it something we would trade away if it meant we couldn’t be artists? Not me. Using the creative tools that the Master of the Universe gave me so enriches my life! Artists see things differently than that rest of the world. We feel more deeply, we react more deeply. We rejoice and mourn more deeply. How can that be a bad thing?
Please, if you’re a person suffering with mental illness, along with your prayer life, include a trip to the doctor. Find out if there are ways you can live a fuller life where joy is present at every turn of every day!
Please, if you know someone who suffers with mental illness, ask them how you can pray for them. Encourage them to get help. Offer to take them to the doctor’s office and stand by in the waiting room until they’ve had their consultation.
Remember that artists are feelers. Help them discover their “super power” of empathy. Help them serve their Lord in the way He created them.
He did not create us to have mental illness but He did create us to feel and experience life differently than many others.