It seems that some Christians have a challenging time dealing with mental illness. Most do not realize that they have a mental illness. Christians should accept that they can get mentally and physically sick. Most seem to forget that being human affected by the fall live in a broken world with decaying bodies trapped in disturbed brains. There is no reason that Christians should ever think they would not experience mental illness. It is not wrong for a Christian to get depressed. The joy of the Lord should be our strength in moments of depression. Some Christian who feels uncomfortable with therapist or psychiatrist. In my own experience, it has made little difference as people in my Christian circle had been understanding.
Even for a Christian, it is alright to go to a professional to benefit our emotional well-being. Some secular psychiatrists may see talking to or hearing from God as a hallucination. Sometimes the lives of many Christians’ spiritual lives’ faith in God falters if the mental illness is prolonged and unyielding. It may be challenging the Bible at times because concentration may seem poor.
Commonly, people living with mental illness have stressors that make them feel disconnected or distant from God. This disconnected feeling is due to the symptoms and not from God. The disconnected feeling is due to the symptoms and not from God. The Christian response to the mentally ill is one of the greatest tragedies in the Church. The tragedy began to rise as the medical model of mental illness became more known. The medical model used in the world seemed hijacked and noncombative to the Church.
The implications threaten the very foundations of psychiatry depending on the medical model for diagnosing and threatening mental disorders. Such implications threaten the foundation of psychotherapy as the Biblical counseling movement follows the counseling format. The very terms society thinks about mental illness give light to the misunderstanding of both society and the Church. One mistake many Christians make is over what is assumed to be the principal concerns to Christian beliefs’ doctrine. For many years, Christianity has been preoccupied with faith’s spiritual, metaphysical, and spiritual concerns.
Perhaps the best approach to understand mental illness in the Church is to understand it as a chemical imbalance of the brain and not something spiritual. The chemical imbalance happens in the brain from birth and should be treated not only spiritually but also medically. Being a minister in the mental health field, I know people often look down on those who suffer from mental illness, but we are all broken in one sense. We have a fallen, sinful nature as some suffer brokenness in different ways. For Christians dealing with mental illness, faith in God plays a huge role in recovery. Christ is the rock of our faith.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Christ is the bread that gives us strength. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35).
Article Written by: Rev. Darren Labrecque