Christians and Mental Health
Mental health problems are rapidly increasing today, and it is experienced by one out of four individuals. People suffer from different mental problems which include depression and anxiety. For us Christians, mental well-being is associated with faith and closeness to God. We believe that despite everything, “the Holy Spirit who guides us” will never forsake us. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13 NIV)
As Christians, we believe that God would never give us problems that we cannot handle. Although the teachings of the Bible give us a source of inspiration to surpass all problems, there are times when we find ourselves tempted to react to problems. There are some concerns that mental health problems are caused by deviations in faith. However, the truth is that it is a normal experience that everyone has to go through.
Problems often lead us to doubt not only ourselves, but also our faith. It is a common scenario wherein a person suffering from depression might doubt God or forsake his faith altogether. As a result, not only do we damage our relationship with God, but also our relationship with our families and friends. It is common for Christians who are struggling to blame God for giving them problems. They might begin avoiding Church services altogether.
Mental health problems are caused by different factors. Unfortunately, some people believe that it is unacceptable to seek help through therapy due to the belief that faith is enough to heal a person from his or her affliction. There is nothing wrong with seeking help through therapy. This is the reason why it is so important for Christians who are suffering from both mental and spiritual problems to seek help from both mental health professionals as well as from a pastor.
It is not enough for those who suffer from mental problems to deal with the non-spiritual causes of the problem. It is also of equal importance to deal with the damaged spirituality of an individual. Aside from getting sufficient sleep and getting support from the people who matter, it is also important for people to reconnect their damaged communication with God. At the end of the day, it is important to believe in the passage written in Deuteronomy 31:6(NIV) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” That God who created us and loves us will never forsake us even if we suffer from mental illness.