Owning My Depression, No Longer Ashamed

After reading a few more articles about the recent suicide of Rick Warren’s son, I have been wondering how the church, at large, has responded. It saddens me that no doubt, non-believers are having a field day with it, from calling Christians hypocrites to expressing spite that the family deserves the hurt and pain because of anti-gay stances (my paraphrase).

I don’t know who to be more upset with – Christians, who I think should know better when it comes to love, or unbelievers, who cannot find compassion in this tragedy. But I am still upset, maybe I am more upset with my own family members because I wanted to talk about how it affected me, and they didn’t bother to ask. I brought up the subject with my brother and his wife, who pastor at a local church. They didn’t say much, barely even acknowledged it. Why? Is the topic so taboo that it cannot be solved readily?

Many aspects come to my mind. Mental illness, according to some Christian views, is the work of the enemy. Satan has a foothold in our thinking, and so. .  .we must “renew our minds” with the word of God. There is a lot of shame behind illness as if a believer cannot receive healing for lack of faith.

I had fought my depression for years until it was unbearable, and my sister-in-law gave me the name of a Christian therapist. We prayed, and she helped me through the stigma and shame. It was not that prayer did not work, nor did I not have enough faith, because I know that through all the seeking, I truly believe that God still had His best interest in mind for me. I had a couple of talk therapy sessions, and my therapist helped me to identify some areas of struggle and thinking. She urged me to see my doctor to get on antidepressants. I stopped going to therapy, thinking I had my stuff in control, but quite honestly, I have yet to resolve some of those issues.

Do I believe that God answers prayers? Absolutely. Has He healed me physically before? Yes. It’s documented in my medical files. Do I deny the use of modern medicine? Absolutely not. Was it God’s will for me to go through the ordeal? Yes, I believe so. And what did it teach me? Humility.

I still have anger issues, a lot of it, and some days are good, some days are bad. Just like the depression. I’m not going to get Christian-ese and start preaching that Jesus is our ultimate Counselor, because you’ll receive what you want to receive, despite whose truth it is. The self-righteousness of some so-called Christians is simply unnecessary. Non-believers are so quick to throw back in the Christian’s face how hypocritical it is not to love everyone equally, when bottom line it is all about interpretation, and perspective.

Photo: Public Domain

When I first heard about the tragedy, for some strange reason, I was comforted. Maybe now Christians can take a good look at themselves, and realize some truth in application, make some adjustments and reevaluate the testimony we share with the world? Are we to revel in someone else’s hurt Christian or not?

Related Articles:

My Take: How churches can respond to mental illness – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Christian Leaders Appalled at Hurtful Responses to Rick Warren’s Family Tragedy.