Mental Health in the Church Part 2

…Continued… please read Mental Health in the Church part 1

The next big hurtle I had to overcome was:

2. I don’t want a crutch

I’ve been going through a couple of the biggest objections I personally had to wrestle with when it came to getting help for my depression and as I talked to others who wrestle with the idea of getting help for any mental illness, I’ve noticed many patterns. Sometimes in saying that, “I don’t want a crutch” or “I don’t want to be one of those people who go to counseling or see a shrink” we think that we are being set a part… that not taking this route somehow makes us unique. I would argue that in this line of thinking we are actually more like everyone else. There is nothing unique or special about refusing to get help, that has been going on since the dawn of mankind, ever since pride was born people have refused help thinking that they will be that “one exception.” Please remember that I am speaking from experience here! What I have come to learn is that what is truly “unique” and “special” is the person who consistently goes to see their counselor until they are better.

I am not a psychologist, but I’m going to refer to this as the Matrix theory. Movies like the Matrix that talk about “the one” and pretty much all other Hollywood movies really emphasize the concept of someone being chosen, being unique or special. This appeals to our ego in a huge way. Satan also appealed to Jesus in this way,

8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high
mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Matthew 4:8

We all desire to be that one person that is able to overcome mental illness with sheer willpower, we all would love the idea to share with others how God cured us in the blink of an eye of our mental illness. I prayed so much for God to do this, and guess what? He did! It just wasn’t in the way I wanted. It was through a Psychiatrist. We all need help, I need help, and you need help. If you are wrestling with if you should or shouldn’t get help, this is not something you can face alone… You are not “the one.” If you think you are, please take heed of this passage:

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
James 4:6

After all, why do crutches get such a bad rap? Don’t they help you to begin to walk on your own again? If you are reading this and know you need help, I just want to encourage you to make the call to a psychiatrist, get a referral from a friend, ask a close friend to hold you accountable to setting up your first appointment, and pray to God that he will work through these people.

When you have some time, please check out the last piece of this series: Mental Health in the Church Part 3