What is it?
Unless stated, this section is written by Jeannie’s spiritual daughter, Julie Davies
First, let’s start with defining mental health. There are many ways to define it, but from mentalhealth.gov:
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well being and it affects how we think, feel and how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Mental health is important at all states of life.
Depression is a real, treatable brain illness, or health problem. It is a serious medical condition in which a person is in a state of sadness, feeling hopeless, persistent despair and many times not able to function in daily life. Depression is not your fault or caused by something you did wrong. Depression can be caused by big transitions in life, stress, or changes in your body’s chemicals that affect your thoughts and moods. Depression can run in families. Maybe you haven’t realized that you have depression and have been blaming yourself for being negative, or not having enough faith. Remember that depression is not your fault.” (From NIMH Fact Sheet, 2016)
According to the World Health Organization, major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability among Americans age 15-44.
Depression can look very different in people and sometimes it does not just look like sadness, but can come out in anger, especially in teens and adult males.
God’s word says “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:1-2
We are set free from guilt and shame, especially regarding our mental health. We are complex people with complex brains and there are no easy answers to the complexity of mental illness, and very rarely is it only a spiritual issue. How sad it is in the church when people are struggling from a real mental illness like depression and someone tells them, or implies, they are suffering because they don’t have enough faith! This sort of innuendo and action only adds to the person’s suffering and could trigger unnecessary guilt and shame. This is not loving and it’s not from God.
We must offer HOPE! There is always HOPE in Jesus!
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1Timothy 1:5 God’s purpose for ourselves and for others is love, compassion, and grace.
God can heal in many different ways. He can heal you through prayer, the Bible, good Christian counsel and through community. Also, He can heal through therapy and medication.