|Posted on January 6, 2015 at 8:55 PM|
Mental Health/Psychology/Psychiatry has always been taboo in the church community. If you showed any sign of depression or anxiety, the leaders would be ready to exorcise the demon. However, if you think about it talk therapy has been with us for centuries. What say you of the confession booth in the Catholic Church? The Pastor/Priest/Spiritual leader has functioned as a therapist more than they care to even acknowledge. Once you are called to the life of caring for God’s people, there will come a time that you will have to listen, carry their deep secrets and bring comfort. Is the church ready for the person that truly deals with depression and vacillates between being happy and sad? Is a prayer enough or do we introduce the pill? I believe in the power of prayer and that it truly changes things.
Clinical Depression can be powerful and deadly to the life of an individual. Depression not only affects the individual sufferer, but it is deemed to be family disease, in that it affects the person’s family and those around them. The deadly thing about depression is that it goes unnoticed. Sometimes it is considered to be a personal weakness and not a medical condition. My friend Depression is a medical condition.
Within the Christian circles an individual can carry the biological, psychological and spiritual burden of this condition, and in addition the stigma, guilt and shame associated with the perception that they are either not “strong enough” or “blessed enough”, to be delivered or they are just in sin period. As a result, many Christians have tremendous anxiety and internal conflict around seeking and receiving professional help. In some instances, it might be worse for them to let anyone in their church know they are receiving mental health treatment, even if it’s Christ-centered. Rather than risk being shamed or stigmatized, many stay quiet about their depression choosingto suffer in silence
Making the choice of seeking Psychological, Psychiatric, or any form of Mental Health help is an individual’s right. Seeking the guidance and the pray from a Spiritual leader is a necessity. Therefore as I present some facts, as a Mental Health Counselor, working towards my career in Psychology I have seen individuals who have needed both a Prayer and A Pill. Be wise and seek help, if you feel like you cannot cope with what you are dealing with. The Church needs to be educated on the damage that depression (the silent killer) can do.
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