One Woman’s Journey Back From Depression Shows The Importance of Faith and Treatment
When counselors and psychiatrists, even the Christian ones, plead with the church and congregations to put more trust in mental health treatments, we are often unsuccessful. Sometimes we can show others just how important the issue is, but often it takes a tragic event or terrible breakdown of someone close to us to illustrate just how terrible mental illness and the struggles that accompany them can be.
Anyone involved in mental health treatment and management has a vested interest, obviously. To many, that professional bias alone is enough to write us off as lobbyists or salesmen. Of course, in my personal opinion this is far from the truth, but the public opinion of psychiatry make it obvious that many distrust mental health professionals and often the treatments they offer.
The church has a long history of being at odds with psychiatry for numerous reasons, but slowly that is changing as more and more become aware that mental illness and the treatments for them don’t have to be antithetical to the teachings of the Bible. As Bonny Garcia learned, the combination of the God’s word and professionals who are trained to manage mental health can sometimes be the best treatment.
Garcia shared her story with the Victoria Advocate earlier this month. She spent years of her life attempting to cope with crippling depression. She would spend days in bed feeling hopeless and filled with endless sadness. Now 29, she has been through many periods of severe depression, yet in just a few months her life has turned around.
She was trapped in her bed late on a Saturday morning not long ago, when Garcia heard a whisper. She believes it was the voice of God telling her to get out of bed and attend a friend’s afternoon graduation, which she had already promised to be at.
“I listened to the Lord that day, and I got out of bed. I’m so glad I did because I went to the graduation, and it lifted my spirits so much. I can look at that down moment now and see how I was being sidetracked by the devil,” said Garcia.
Since then, Garcia says her life has changed drastically. She voluntarily enrolled in Christian counseling and began taking her antidepressants again. This isn’t the first time she’s battled depression, but this time it is combined with faith and God’s healing. The mix appears to be potent, as Garcia told Jennifer Preyss, “I can really tell there’s a difference.”
You can hear all of the details of Garcia’s journey to happiness in Preyss’ article, but her story shows just how important counseling and faith are. While faith is one of the most important things in every believer’s life, it can’t do everything on its own. When used as the backbone to mental health treatment however, it can achieve something that mental health patients thought never possible: true relief from their suffering.