Talking to people about depression can be a bit overwhelming. They try to give you so many opinions like you are a broken record just needing to be fixed. Depression just doesn’t work that way. I’ve tried many different ways to combat depression, counseling, church, therapy and medicine. Some ways helped and others left me even more wounded. Sadly, I love being a Christian but the church left me the most wounded. Well, let me say my first counselor left me the most frustrated, he slept through our sessions and kept comparing me to his wife and a boat...I don’t know but he had a year till retiring, I think he was just tired hahaha but that’s another story on another day!
Depression and the church! This season of my life I find myself trying to fix my relationship with God and particularly the church. There are a lot of articles out there regarding depression and church and I try to steer clear of the topic but seeing that I am in a much better and a much different place with my relationship with God, this topic was a must for me to address, a little I won't go to deep.
Although, I’m struggling on how to address it besides the, “I live with depression but don’t call me broken.” I personally think it’s crazy that we don’t treat mental illness like cancer in the church, people say if you suffer from mental illness then you have unbelief that God can cure you but you wouldn’t say that to a cancer patient. Do I believe God can heal? Absolutely, does that mean he heals us on our timing, NOPE! It's like someone with mental illness has a date they have to get rid of depression by or they are not a faithful Christian. The turn to the bible, you a sinning that's why you are depressed, etc. I can go on with the rhetoric.
I’ve spent so many times in my closet, behind my bedroom door, in the bathroom on the floor, praying and talking to God about depression and there are times I’ve walked out and God has got me through. Have I questioned why God hasn’t fully released me of depression, Yes!! But the more I lean on God the more I know that it’s not about my time, it’s his time.
The thing about depression is that it’s not always about, I lost a loved one, my relationship is over, I lost my job. That is how the church a lot of times treat depression and that’s why so many Christians struggle with getting help. They live in silence. The best thing for me was when a doctor referred me to a therapist (Yes, outside of the church). Immediately she said, “We need to send you back to a doctor to check you out.” Immediately I learned that for women we can have things going on with us hormonal, internal that can cause us to be off-balanced and can cause depression, blew my mind, I learned that abnormal thyroid hormone levels can cause depression, anxiety, mood swings, etc. Hormone imbalance can also be a cause. So all those times I’m sitting in church speaking with the pastor or that crazy counselor that kept asking me if I’m upset at someone, something happened to me in my life, etc. I was so frustrated and crying because none of those things were right but I knew I was sick.
If you struggle with mental illness go get some help, it’s ok because you are not broken. The best thing I did for myself is learning of my risks and what I needed to do as a woman to take care of myself and my health. I still struggle, my hormones are still wacky and imbalanced but I handle my day better understanding what’s going on in me, whether then think I’m broken.
What is your take on Depression and the church?
Both (Men & Women) have you ever had other things checked out to see if it's causing your depression?