Faith Vs. Depression
As a licensed therapist and a person of faith, sometimes it feels as if I am walking with a licensed boot on and a faith high heel on the other foot. They don't always align in walking this path of being a therapist. So, I'm putting on my walking shoes and sharing something I feel very compassionate about especially this past year. Here's one of those mis-alignments. I have heard pastors and church people speak out about depression and frankly it has me steamed! I have heard those suffering with depression that are people of faith, beating themselves us even more because they have it in their head that their faith is just messed up. You see, the brain is an organ in the body just like the liver and lungs are an organ in the body. If the liver or lungs were not functioning properly would you ever tell a person that their "faith is messed up" or they wouldn't have that liver or lung malfunction? NO? Well, then why in the world would you tell someone that is struggling with various types of depression or anxiety that their faith is messed up! Oh MY LANDS! Christians wake up or hush up! Yes, if someone is not walking their faith and living contrary to what they believe, then yes, a person could have depressive or anxiety symptoms because of that internal battle. BUT! What about the faithful person that has eperienced a loss of a loved one, a woman that is struggling with postpartum depression, a child that feels all alone and being bullied at school and people of faith are going to tell them to straighten it up spiritually? WAKE UP! What a disrespect and lack of compassion that is demonstrated for those truly struggling! People of faith are not some kind of robotic entity just because they adhere to faith. Their bodies get tired, worn out, struggle, break and misfire. Instead of pouring more anxiety on someone already struggling how about showing great compassion. Don't think someone should be "over it by now" simply because you have a time frame for their grief, depression or anxiety and if they are not over it...It HAS got to be a spiritual weakness! The people of faith struggling with depression and can't get themselves out of it sometimes need to have a neurological intervention with counseling and/or medications to adjust things. If your liver wasn't functioning would you take a med? If yes, then stop judging someone that just might need a med to get another organ the help it needs which is the brain. Some of you will read this and think my spiritual walk is off. I dare say just the opposite. It has actually spurred me to write this blog. I have great compassion for those struggling with depression in particular especially those that fight knowing they are people of faith and hide it because they know someone will judge their faith. Stop shaming those that need help and maybe we would find fewer people of faith committing suicide. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be the loving extended arms of Christ if you are a Christian. People of faith do not need to be shamed by the people of faith that are supposed to be representing Christ. Are you showing the love of Jesus? Are you being kind and compassionate? Are you weeping with those that weep? Are you holding those that need to be held? If not... what does your faith say about helping others that are hurting? Stop the shaming and start the loving. Maybe your words of love and compassion will be what keeps someone from ending their life... think about it.