Link – To the Christian Who Told Me to Pray About My Depression Instead of Talking About It
“As a mental health advocate and writer who is extremely transparent with my own mental illness battles, I have received a lot of personal messages containing very strong opinions about mental health. I am usually quick to dismiss the feedback, as I realize some people just arent educated in mental health and I understand that closed-minded, judgmental opinions typically come from a place of ignorance. But there are some comments from Christian readers that get my blood boiling.
The most offensive and hurtful one to date read as follows:
Can we all stop talking about depression and start praying instead? I wish people would realize that we are all made in the image of God and that God doesnt make mistakes. Continuing to talk about depression and anxiety is just perpetuating the problem. If people could just remember that they are made in the image of God, depression would be a thing of the past.”
That logic is flawed in so many ways. The stigma of categorizing depression and mental health issues as “mistakes”, the refusal to see them as medical issues that require treatment, the judgement of people who are clearly suffering.
I can’t help but wonder if she would apply the same logic to autism or other physical disorders. Are they just a matter of praying more?
The callousness of some people who proclaim themselves to be of faith is shocking sometimes. As the author says, is that really what Jesus called us to do, to push them off with this sort of attitude when they are in pain?
That is most hurtful and lacks empathy.
As a Christian I am deeply disappointed that my faith is misrepresented in this way. Sorry but I just feel the urge to pen you a line to say how sorry I am that your blogging has received such a response.
I could go on and on and on with loads of points–but off the top of my head:
First we cannot claim to know the mind of Jesus or God.
Second and most important: we are asked to stand alongside our brothers and sisters; to listen and share.
Third we are asked not to judge and certainly not to throw the first stone
Fourth we are called to remember that we are not made in God’s image–we are actually sinners
Fifth talking to our brothers and sisters could even be something we do as a result of prayer.
Serena, I agree with you, and I think the person who wrote the article I linked to would as well, but unfortunately, there have been many instances of people not having empathy and telling others that their depression is “a lack of faith”. I hope that Christians who know better can correct those that do not.