Mental Health Awareness

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One of the stigmas society perpetuates is the supposed “shame” of struggling with mental health.

I have noticed, unfortunately, that it may be even worse among believers in God. Some people assume that anxiety and depression must be character flaws and as such an indicator that someone is not spending enough time in prayer or reading the Bible, but that is not necessarily the case. I know you can feel depressed without thinking negative and have anxiety without worrying,, but not everyone seems to acknowledge that your feelings are not necessarily linked to poor thinking and many will judge you as a bad person for it. So rather than getting support some people are shamed by believers even more than they would be by the secular society.

I remember one day I asked a group of believers for some tips because I was feeling very anxious, and while one lady recommended a tea that seems to be calming and good for sleeping, another women seemed bent on insisting it must be purely spiritual and seemed to think that taking anything for it seemed to show a lack of faith. But that is not true. We can learn from the Bible that God does lead someone to use natural remedies to cure problems. “In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.”’ Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly

And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: ‘I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.’”’ Then Isaiah said, ‘Take a lump of figs.’ so they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.” 2 Kings 20:1-7

We can see God sometimes leads us to seek treatment for a problem instead of simply removing the problem through obvious miraculous means. So if God leads us to treatment that doesn’t mean we have any less faith than if God just made the problem go away on its own or that God was any less involved in the recovery if we are lead to help in this way. God’s healing is not always due to obvious miracles so taking something that helps your illness does not mean you lack faith, in fact putting effort into improving your situation shows you have more faith that it can change than if you didn’t try to do anything.

I didn’t know why I was struggling with such anxiety but I already knew I had a hormonal disorder-which I admit I wasn’t paying much attention to or treating, as the results didn’t seem to bother me too much but the struggle with anxiety was new because I didn’t notice that symptom before. However, it turned out that anxiety along with other complications was linked to the same problem. How great it would have been if more people would have encouraged searching for cause with an open mind to the possibility there could be a physical problem instead of simply dismissing it as a spiritual shortcoming.

I do think prayer helped me find the cause of my health problems and I have found trying to eat heather seems helpful. It would be good if more people would acknowledge mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are not necessary a matter of negative thinking but can be simply a matter of being sick. Let’s be careful not to judge others based on things we don’t understand. So if you are feeling really stressed or depressed for no apparent reason you should consider seeing a doctor for a checkup and revaluating your diet. What you are feeling may not be the result of your own thoughts your body maybe trying to tell you something is wrong.

Picture originally found here

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