With the new year approaching, we wanted to spend the month of December looking back on the top 8 blogs of 2017. This post was originally published on May 25, 2017.
This piece contains mentions of suicide and descriptions of suicidal thoughts. We ask that you use your discretion.
I was twelve when my Aunt Missy killed herself. She was the only person I knew with a mental illness, though no one ever called it that. I had never attended a funeral of a suicide victim before hers, and I had never been told a brain could be ill. I’d been raised in the evangelical church and laziness was the first lie I believed. The second was that I couldn’t be a Christian and still have a mental illness.
Sixteen years later, I finally understood what Christianity and mental illness looked like. It was mid-September 2012, and I had been a youth pastor for a decade. I came home one weekend from an out-of-town interpreting assignment carrying a sick feeling in the deepest part of my gut. I felt hopeless. I remember wishing I could wake up from the horrid nightmare of anxiety and depression, while already being convinced things would never get better.
I left home that Sunday night knowing it would be the last time I would see my wife and baby boy. His first birthday was the following weekend, but I wouldn’t be there to celebrate. In the moment, I wasn’t sure if I was completely insane or absolutely desperate, but I was fully aware of the failure that would forever mark my life, and I chose to die anyway.
Preparing to die is surreal. I’m not sure how to even describe it. Imagine something fantastically terrible. In some ways I felt like a marionette, watching my hands scribe the darkest letters imaginable. I knew the choices I was making. I comprehended the secret plans I was devising. Yet it felt like my hands worked independent of my mind.
I knew my death would hurt my family and friends. They’d be shocked and even miserable for a while. But life does go on. I told myself they would be OK without me.
After three days in ICU, when the doctors decided my liver wasn’t going to fail and I had regained feeling in my legs, I was released and immediately transferred to the psych ward.
The psych ward. Me. The former worship leader. The youth pastor. The Christian radio host. The blogger. The ministry school graduate. The father. The husband. The outgoing one. The friendly one. The upbeat one. Me. I was sitting in a wheelchair, headed to the psych ward. And I stayed there for several days.
That’s when my healing began.
If I had died four years ago, I would’ve missed so many things. I would have missed a whole and healthy marriage. I would have missed my wife becoming my very best friend. I would have missed the relationship I have built with my little boy: his laughter, curiosity, and fierce love for his daddy. And my little girl would have never been given the chance to make our family complete.
Over the past four years, the power of vulnerability, courage, and grace has made my life better. But that hasn’t happened in a vacuum. Transformation has come from connecting with other people through our brokenness, not in spite of it. Being willing to own my story and giving other people permission to own theirs is saving my life every day.
I’m a pastor, and I once attempted suicide because my brain has an illness that is no different from heart disease or cancer. I require medication to function as normally as possible, and I have to visit a specialist to keep track of my progress.
I’m writing about this because the stigma surrounding mental illness, especially in Christian communities, keeps people locked in prisons of shame, refusing to admit that they need help.
If you’re struggling and feel alone, please know that you can still be a Christian and have a mental illness. I am living proof of that.
Wow! Thank you for being vulnerable and honest; I know how difficult that can be. I am also a Christian that frequently struggles with depression. It is a nightmare that everyone pushes aside because Christians are not supposed to feel like that or travel into those dark places. I am also training to be a therapist. People usually respond by either saying things like, “Yeah, that’s definitely needed” or “Hmm, interesting choice. You’re so smart, you could have chosen anything and you decide to do that. Are you sure?” Either way, they generally avoid my gaze and my company. They do not want to hear my story; they ask me to sugar coat it. I’m never good enough for them, and I’m having to learn to accept that. It’s okay to not be okay. I am not a failure because I figuratively walked to the edge of the cliff. I am human, as are we all. We all struggle, but our struggles are different. Someday I hope we live in a world where Christian is not synonymous with “perfect”, where depression does not equal laziness, and where suicidal ideation does not mean failure.
Thank you for your bravery in speaking out. It gives me courage to stand firm in the truth and not in shame.
Sierra. You are going to be a great therapist because you can relate to what your future clients will feel and experience. I appreciate the reminder that “it’s okay to not be okay”. . . & your sentence which begins with the word “someday” is very encouraging. Thank you!
Thank you so much for this. I’m pretty sure I have depression and am a self-harmer. I’m scared of people outside of church finding out but the thought of the people w/in the church finding out is terrifying. It’s like I look like a bright, happy girl and I’m a Christian but I still have those issues and I get worried about what other Christians will think when they find out. This reminds me it’s okay to be the way I am and still be a Christian. So again, thx so much for this.
Kaylee, I know exactly what you mean. It’s good to know that you’re not alone, when you find stories like this online, but in person, it’s hard to not feel like you will stick out, and be rejected, *especially* by the church–the risk feels so great.
Thank you for sharing this. So moving to see God use your story to reach other broken people.
Thanks for your article! Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we don’t struggle. Our brains can be sick just like everybody else’s
I’ve had religious people tell me that depression is a “spiritual illness” and to “pray more.” Yet, they would never say the same to a diabetic. They would tell a diabetic to take their medications. Anyone who doesn’t understand by now that clinical depression (and other “mental illnesses”) are brain diseases is seriously uninformed. See your doctor; take your meds, and don’t listen to those who would blame you for your disease. There should be no shame for this.
Well I’m a diabetic and mentally ill. Definitely major depression disorder, probably borderline personality disorder (i certainly meet all the symptoms). My diabetes has become extremely difficult to manage. I feel like crap every day. I dropped $1400 on personal training and still have horrible fatigue issues. I am 42 back living at home with a mother who seems to care less about eating right to control her own diabetes, and a twin brother who has never moved out of the house. Neither of my parents seem to accept that I am seriously ill, and are constantly faulting me for not being able to hold down a job. I have pushed myself so hard to turn my life around in the past year, yet I keep failing. I go to church, i go to bible studies, I pray. I still can’t get out of this hole. I hate my life and what I have become, and things just seem to get worse each day. I had so many dreams to do good things and make a difference in this world, and they have all been shattered by my poor health my entire life. I getting to the point where I just want God to take me to a better place, and seriously I’m doubting whether that’s even a reality anymore.
Thank you SO SO much for sharing your story. I too am a Christian and struggle with mental illness too. I feel freer now, and able to talk about it. God bless you!!!
Great article! So true
Thank you for writing about this. I grew up in a conservative evangelical denomination, the child of a pastor. I have suffered from depression and anxiety since before I had the vocabulary to express what I was feeling. My parents prayed for me, laid hands on me, quoted the Bible to me, and finally took me to a “therapist.” She was a Christian social worker who had no business doling out mental health advice. Her words to me were “Everyone has problems, you need to get over it.” When it became obvious that I needed more help than a that whack job could offer, they finally took me to a psychiatrist, but instead of letting him commit me to the psychiatric hospital for treatment, they sent me to work at a Christian summer camp and I never saw that doctor again. The messages I got from church were that mental illness was the work of the devil and was shameful to speak of, and that my brain was only worth as much treatment as the (church-provided) medical insurance would cover. So shameful was the idea of getting mental health help that I was told to lie about it to anyone who asked where I went when my parents pulled me out of school to go to appointments! Imagine that! Being told that it was better to purposely commit the sin of lying than to admit that I had an illness that was no one’s fault!
As an aside: I have since left that denomination and currently consider myself an agnostic. Many reasons play into this, including the above as well as the church’s behavior toward the LGBTQ+ community.
Pastor Steve. Thank you for being courageous & for sharing your story. Thank you for shining light on the lies. I can relate to so much of what you’ve written in this post.
I am a Christian who has schizophrenia. This blog means a lot. Especially since he talked about all the things he is, a pastor…a father, and his accomplishments. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. Living with a mental illness, it is hard not to lose faith when you believe in a God who is love. All people deal with pain, some more than others. But no one is exempt. Having to deal with the stigma of a diagnosis and thinking it can derail your faith when you believe in the gospels of a savior who went around healing and delivering people. I have asked myself what gives? Is this my lot in life? Who did this? How did it happen? How can I be created with this “malfunction”? How can i go on believing? One verse that gives me hope is that God’s grace is sufficient, for his strength is perfected in weakness. I can be weak and still believe. The perseverance I have had shames people that have it all figured out and don’t believe in a God who loves the broken in the midst of problems with no cure, just management. A God that is for and even with those that suffer in silence mental illness. So, I am breaking my silence on this blog today. No one has to be ashamed of how they are or what they have gone through. There is still enough love and hope in one another to keep one another alive and living a life worth living full of meaning. Our pain brings significance to ones that unfortunately one day may have to deal with a diagnosis they don’t understand. I am glad I get the opportunity to help someone in sharing their pain and their carrying their burden so no one has to feel alone in their struggle with mental illness.
Same here, i have been batteling mental illness for some time, im in my latter 50’s and it came all @ once, the meds work wonders and i am greatful, keep keepin on my friend, it gets better, i tried and thought of suicide over the years and finnally ended up in a ward also, it gets better, god will use those meds and eventually you will be healed, just eat the right foods and keep reading your bible, im with you all they way.. great story. thanks…. johnny
Praise God for saving you so you could be a voice for those who feel voiceless. I too am a Christian with clinical depression and anxiety disorder. I take medication to keep me alive.
Thank you Pastor, I am a Christian and I have a mental illness. Sometimes I feel so hurt by the things my Pastor says while preaching. I feel like there’s no place for me. You’ve blessed me with your story thank you.
I really needed to read this. I attempted suicide a week and a half ago, and im being told over and over that God will fix me if only i trust in Him. I feel like it completely dismisses my faith, that i just need to pray better or trust better or whatever and then everything will be fixed. Its almost like im not a good enough christian … otherwise i wouldnt be mentally unwell. Thankyou for this post.
We are so grateful that you are still here. We hope that those around you have found ways to understand and offer you support. The thoughts and struggles you are facing when it comes to your mental health very often need and deserve professional help. Please know that this does not make you weak or a bad person, whatsoever. You are absolutely good enough. And you absolutely deserve the proper support.
Would you email our team at [email protected]? We would like to learn more about your story and offer you some encouragement.
you are not alone… i too struggle with mental illness and am a Christian… i have also attempted suicide although it was 30 years ago…
i hope that you are getting professional help…
i have several tools that i use to help me in my episodes of mental illness… friends, the Bible, prayer, my dog, i love lucy, food and a notebook i made with several pictures from magazines that are of happy smiling people, puppies and other encouraging pictures…
know that you are not alone…
I have suffered from depression since the age of 13; now, I’m almost 62. To be honest I have the strong impression that evangelical Christians don’t even believe in mental illness. Not all, of course, but the vast majority I’ve known. I find the evangelical environment hostile to people like me. I’ve been told how unacceptable I am to their god, lazy, and assaulted by many other cruel comments over decades of attempting to fit in..
I’m now an agnostic and happier. I have found science and those enlighted by it to be much kinder than the average Christian.
I’m writing about my experience in my memoir. If religion has the right to have a voice, so do I!
I commend your courage in relating your suffering and brokenness. I hope someone will listen, but I’m skeptical!!
I just want to thank you so much for sharing. I have experienced almost the same kinds of things in my life. The preparation part was spot on. I have been a Christian my whole life, and I was never taught that feeling hopeless was expectable. My family are extremely rooted in our faith, and because of that, most of the people I’ve been going to church with for years knew the things I was going through for years. God has allowed me to be able to share my story and break the stigma not just in church but as school as well. Thank you again for your story.
Thanks for this. my 30 yr old cousin shot and killed himself last night. Ive alway’s had depression and anxiety and i still sat here wondering how this sweet, loved, young guy could think that life was so bad that he did this. Thanks.
We’re so, so sorry to hear about your cousin, and we’re sorry to hear that you’ve dealt with depression and anxiety.
If you need someone to talk to, we list helplines here: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/.
If you’re in the US, you can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to get connected with a crisis counselor for free 24/7.
We’re here for you, Tara. If you ever need some encouragement, you can email our team at [email protected].
Weakness is not sin. Tough when people confuse the two. My husband has clinical depression and anxiety, been suicidal. It is something we have dealt with our whole marriage, 20 years this Spring. But this is not a sin
Jo Ellen Layne
I enjoyed your blog. My name is Jo Ellen Layne, and I am the author of the novel, Dr. Darla, published by Koehler Books. It portrays a Christian psychiatrist who treats her patients using psychotherapy, psychotropic medications, and Christian principles. My background is that of a social worker at a VA state-operated mental health faciklity facility for 37 years. I am seeking your endorsement for Dr. Darla. If you will send me your e-mail address, I will be happy to forward you a copy of the book. Thank you for your consideration.
Jo Ellen Layne
We can’t guarantee any collaborations, but you are welcome to email us at [email protected]. Thanks!
Thank you for this post. I, too, am a Christian suffering from mental illness. The bad thing is, I was not raised in the church. I found God on my own. In college, a mentor of mine referred to me taking medication as being addicted to drugs. Another person told me I can pray for God to take it away. It isn’t weakness to take medication and have faith.
Thanks for this, brother! I’ve been on and off antidepressants 3 times in the last 6 years. I work shift work and am attempting to raise 8 kiddos (5 biological, 3 adopted…2 of which have attachment issues and 1 of those has MAJOR issues) with my wife. Needless to say, I don’t get much sleep. In fact, as I type this, I’m running on 2 hrs of sleep in the last 36 hrs. I’ve never questioned my salvation until the anxiety started back in 2011 shortly after we adopted the 3. I started trying to please God with works because I thought the Lord was punishing me with anxiety. I put “Jesus” stickers on everything I owned hoping He would see my good deeds and take the anxiety away. Didn’t work. So depression came on. I’ve been in a cycle of good days and bad days ever since. I honestly don’t even know if I’m saved at this point. I have questioned EVERYTHING about my life and nothing makes any sense. I don’t understand God’s purpose in allowing me to suffer while trying to lead my kids to Christ. I struggle to pray sincerely with them now. Is God even real? I sin just to escape my misery at times. Just to get my mind off of my condition for a few mins. I’m lost and I plainly see it. How can a Christian be lost?? Very few people understand this. Even fewer Christians understand. I don’t understand. I’ve spent plenty of time contemplating suicide. Being scared of those thoughts. Welcoming those thoughts. Life is completely, COMPLETELY overwhelming. I can’t manage myself much less 8 kids and a spouse. Anyway, sorry for spilling my guts. I get you, dude. I understand. I know how it feels. All of it.
Thank you for sharing your story. I have struggled for years with mental illness and came to know Christ a little over 2 years ago now. I had this crazy misunderstanding that since I was a Christian, God can cure my mental illness and I was going to get better. I just needed to believe that, and if I didn’t get better…shame on me because it was because I wasn’t trusting God. Well since I had yet another suicide attempt in November of 2016…completely fell away from God and got involved in an extramarital affair that nearly destroyed my marriage. It’s been rough to say the least. I’ve encountered so much confusion and differing opinions when it comes to Christianity and mental illness. Such questions that have come up include “Is mental illness really even a thing? Or is it demonic influence or a spiritual attack?” and the controversy about meds! My pastor at my church counseled me after my last suicide attempt. He “strongly discouraged” meds or “secular therapies”. This led me to distrust my doctors and therapists…thinking that they couldn’t really help me. I will say now that I am in professional counseling and am on multiple medications everyday to keep me stable. Things are looking up but I still have a ways to go. This is what I now believe…#1 Mental illness is like any other illness that needs to be treated and taken seriously…It’s not because you don’t have enough faith in God. #2 Meds are made to help!! God gifted scientists and doctors with the knowledge to enable them to make medicine. Meds help and no one should be ashamed of taking them. Period. Thanks again for sharing your story. God bless you!
i am a Christian and have had mental illness all my life… currently i am on three medications for mental illness and am seeing a professional…
mental illness is NOT a sin… it is just like heart diesase, cancer or any one of a thousand illnesses… the church needs to recognize us and mental illness as REAL!!!
mental illness has caused so much pain in my life… right now i am going through a week long struggle with mental illness and it is a nightmare… i feel judged, looked down upon and pitied… i want none of that… it only makes things worse…
if you cannot support those of us with mental illness, then leave us alone!
Thank you so much for this. I always hear in church that reading the bible and just digging deeper into your relationship with God will defeat your sadness and give you a new sense of joy which is true, but I still just feel numb. I try to dig into my relationship more but my depression keeps me from being able to have the strength to get up and do anything let alone read. This has always been my biggest struggle trying to convince myself that im not depressed I just am not putting enough effort into my faith, but this helps me realize im not crazy
Mary Kay Evans
I struggle with bipolar type 2 and am a Christian. I have been in denial about my diagnosis but am now facing the reality. Thank you for this article.
Thank you. You’re brave and courageous! You have helped so many people by posting your travels with mental illness. I am only now (at age 70) able to look those detractors in the eye and patiently explain what I know to be the truth about medicating mental illness. And if they don’t believe me, it’s their loss.
Your story is similar to mine, I too am grateful I did not end my life, and the people I met on my healing journey will be my friends forever. Jesus carried me and took the reins when I wanted to just fall off the planet. Thank you for your story
I absolutely love this: “Transformation has come from connecting with other people through our brokenness, not in spite of it. Being willing to own my story and giving other people permission to own theirs is saving my life every day.”
Thank you for sharing!
I’m glad you opened up about your illness. I’m glad you didn’t take your life. I’m struggling with depression and anxiety. I lost a career and jobs and my health. I lost my life savings and was in lots of debt.
Thank you for being so vulnerable and honest. I am a Christian living with mental illness for a long time . Unfortunately my church does not accept mental illness. Everyone seems to live in a perfect bubble without any problems. If I had literally any other problem they would rush to my side. Anyway I’m only remaining where I am until my mother goes to heaven if I can wait that long. I’m single, unsupported and exhausted. Please pray for strength and direction.
I luv u ~ Ali
I have struggled with depression since age 12. I was pretty innocent and naive as most 12 year olds in the late 80’s should be. At the time I was referred to a youth pastor who gave me verses to read to help. There was no follow up. I prayed daily and clung to those verses. I remained sad from August 1988 until Jan 1989. I was more depressed than happy growing up. I felt I had no where for help. I think it led to me turning away from the church and involved me turning to a bad marriage ending in divorce. I returned to Christianity in my mid 30’s.
I remarried with a Christian woman for my second marriage. We recently left a church because depression is a,” Sin Problem,” of each individual.
It makes me angry that depression is minimized to this. God is almighty, all creating and all knowing. Would it be possible to give an affliction that is real to cling to him more? My identity doesn’t lie in being sad. It is in him. My faith and hope is in Christ.
It saddens and angers me that depression is minimized because there are no blood tests to show that it is a real manifestation of organ distinction. MRI’s show brain changes. PET scans show brain changes. My message to those that read this is, get help in medicine, help from the church, help in counseling. It is a multifaceted issue that is much much more complex than once thought.
How could I get in touch with this pastor who wrote this story.
Thank you for your post. I was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder about 14 years ago. I’m a Christian and it’s been hard to make sense of mental illness and faith. I felt like I was out of God’s will for my life bc of my mental illness and almost attempted suicide. It’s been a struggle, but I know God is good. Thank you for validating that it’s possible to be Christian and have a mental illness.
I believe sharing your story is a blessing to many. I have been married 5.1/2 years and separated currently for my children’s and I safety. My Husband’s has bipolar type 11 and dependent personality and control issues. It is so hard. With a 35 year old pornography addiction( my husband claims he has had healing with the addiction) I believe there has been but I believe there is much more. It is hard bc in see his pain but unfortunately the healing hasn’t came yet. I am so thankful to hear about your healing and again I believe sharing your story will be so encouraging to many others. I don’t believe our pain is ever wasted. God bless you and your family.
Jacqueline Kim Murray
I AM GLAD SOMEONE OUT THERE IS WILLING TO ADMIT THAT!! THANKS SO MUCH!!
I appreciate this message. Mental illness runs in my family and I’ve been in several Churches trying to find peace and refuge. Church folks just don’t understand. I can’t do what they think I can do, because I suffer so severely from depression and a great deal of anxiety. I go to church seeking peace and come out feeling worst.
Do you have a word for me.
I’m struggling to find my spiritual self within the walls built by mental illness and medication. I KNOW I have a true illness and must take the medication but constantly fight the guilt and shame in my church when I am unable to feel and worship as the others do. I don’t know who to reach out to.
We’re so sorry that you are facing this struggle between your mental health and spirituality. We believe that you should never feel shame or guilt for something like mental illness, and we hope that you will reach out to us at [email protected] if you are in need of some support and encouragement. You are not alone in this, please know that.
Although I have never considered suicide, I have thought about how better off my family might be if I weren’t here. I too suffer from depression and anxiety and even with medication have bouts with them.
We’re sorry that you’ve experienced these types of thoughts, but we are so glad you’re still here. And we imagine your family is as well. You are needed. You are loved. Please remember that.
Thank Jesus for you.
I’ve been a Christian in the evangelical church for 37 years and I’ve been diagnosed at 19 with a mental illness. I am now 54 years old and trying to be accepted by everyone, and rebuild my life after trauma and divorce and mental illness. I always loved and adored Jesus through all of this and know scripture like the back of my hand. would you pray for me?
Thank you. I am a Christian with a lifelong mental health condition and it is quite painful and difficult to open up about.
This is very brave of you. I too had a mental health crisis (or should I say crises) as it happened more than once!
I have struggled with depression since I was a child….I am going 2b 65 on 12/10. To many words 4 this little box. I have taken meds for over 30 years. Right now I am really struggling. Please pray 4me.
We’re sorry to hear that you’re really struggling right now. We hope you know that we are grateful for your honesty and your presence. It’s okay to struggle and it’s okay to need help. We hope you’ll reach out to us at [email protected] so we can hear more about your story and journey with mental health. It would be an honor to provide you with some encouragement and support as well!
p.s. – Happy (almost) Birthday!
I feel so connected to each and every one of you. I became sick at the age of 19 (I am now 55) after smoking some marijuana that was laced with what I have been told triggered depression and anxiety. I have not been the same since. The most difficult part is my Christian walk ( I became saved at 25.) The symptoms of this disease battle against my efforts to be obedient to Christ. Although I have prayed over and over again that God would give me a servant’s loving heart, I am still running the hamster wheel of not caring. My heart is so dark and sad. Medicine has not helped and only results in horrible side effects. Family has disowned me out of fear of me being a liability. I have never attempted suicide out of fear of ending up in a more horrible existence than this. And yes, my faith is hanging on a shoe string. All the same questions and doubts have flooded my mind. What ever happened to that “abundant life” that God wants for me? I am sure just “existing” is not it. Why am I even here?? What purpose am I serving? Other Christians are the ones that have most broken my heart. I try to be accepting of my circumstances and do the best with what I have been given, but I tend to be angry and bitter inside. Sometimes I think that I have actually already have gone to hell (not one of the predestined). And this is it for eternity. I have spent thousands of dollars on different treatments with the hope that the next thing would help. But it never did. I always end up turning back to God because I can at least recognize that it takes more faith to believe that life is a result of anything other than a divine creator. I don’t get a lot, but that I get. Thanks for letting me ramble. Happy new year and good health in 2020.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart & soul! I needed to read this… mental health in the church isn’t even talked about. Just because my ‘strict-old-school-hispanic-proud-father’ & my ‘delusional-undiagnosed(now worse)-competing-mother’ (who kept everyone in the world at a certain distance) way to approach mental health issues with me (or any of their children) was to pretend that there was NO MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. To the point that I didn’t even know what mental health was or had ever been exposed to ANYONE up until I moved out of my parents prison they kept me in for 19 years…. over-sheltered is even an understatement! Smh…
A week ago I attended a “new members” class at the church I’ve attended for almost 2 years.
I will be celebrating 38 years of sobriety next month and I’m also Bipolar 2 (well regulated on meds).
In the class with me were 2 other people with mental health diagnoses.
One of the members in the class was asked about someone she’d brought to church (with drug/alcohol addiction and/or mental health issues). The member went off about this person being dangerous, crazy, possibly a danger to the member, and a statement that a person with mental problems could come into the church with a gun and “kill us all”.
I was so shocked that I was immediately in panic mode. Should I confront the woman? Should I walk out? Stop attending church? Resign all my church commitmments?
I didn’t do those things but did express my feelings to our minister. I expected some support…his daughter and sister were in the class and also have mental health issues during the class. We exchanged emails and now I understand his position.
It just makes me sick to my stomach and feel like I’m not feeling as welcomed and safe in this congregation. It makes me sad.
We are so sorry to hear that you were faced with this stigma in a space that should be safe and welcoming. The shame associated can leave us feeling simply awful, but we hope you know that there is an entire team of people in Florida fighting that stigma every single day. We’re glad you reached out to your minister to talk about your concerns as well, communication is truly important. If you would like to talk more about this, know that you can email us at [email protected]. We are here to listen and offer you support.
Please pray for me. I am struggling in my faith with my mental illness. Going through psychosis. And not trusting God. Ending up in a hopeless situation with no help. I don’t think God loves me. I’m sad, hurt, confused, Andy, regretful, and most days I feel insane. As each day goes by I feel my faith is not being strengthened. I need the Lord to supernaturally intervene for me if it his will. In my heart. To know him and to learn to love and live for him.
We are so sorry to learn that you are struggling. Please know that you are not alone as you go through this though. We and others are here to support you. If you would like to, we’d love to hear from you and reply back with some encouragement and resources. Just email our team at [email protected]. We’re here for you.
I suffer too, I was a ministry major in college, I work in the funeral business so I see suicides on the personal and professional level. My brain has hated me (depression/anxiety/PTSD/BPD) since I was 14, when my parents divorced. Reading this blog made me normalized for once. Thank you for writing it.
I have,had problems since a child. I attempted suicide several times I ended up in IMDs. I have shame of sin. I got baptized six months before I got baptised at 20. It started I think the insanity and horrible choices,and experiences after I was raped at age 17. I been struggling to find Jesus or to feel secure in my relationship with Him. I’m 53 now and scared.
We are truly sorry to know how you have and continue to struggle, friend. We hope you know that who were then and who you are now is enough, you are worthy of love and help and hope. If you are in need of support or encouragement, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team by emailing [email protected]. You are not alone.
I need help. I’m in same situation
We’re so sorry to hear that you’re struggling. We would be honored to connect you to help in any way that we can. Would you email us at [email protected]?
Thank you for the lovely text.
I do suffer anxiety much.
I am hard on myself.
Though I do love my self mostly.
Yet some days, of lonelyness, u comforting thoughts.
I have been a Christian a long time. Its amazing that I still am one. I’ve had to fight loads of demands. I am trusting our saviour more. Though I do find I can analyse too much.
I have come along way.
I will probably not work again for other people, as I’ve had such a difficult journey. I am married and have 2 children, which I’m very blessed for. I.had postnatal depression, with my first baby.
My son gets depression and anxiety, he has adhe, mild to medium. I can blame myself for this. As I was depressed, when carrying him.
Although only recently my sister, said, that I must not feel guilty, as mum used to with me.
So mum and me the same. It’s history repeating itself. Bless her too.
My parents died close together, we visited their graves resently, and tidying the grass and gave them both a plant, with a nice flower each. This was comforting to do. I chat to them, and feel they are looking down, and liking the plants I have chosen for them. My husband as been sweet to me, bless him. My daughter has almost finished her masters in phycology. She went through Alot and her brother, thank god for there Farther who stuck to his guns.
He said your mum is unwell which I was. I fought hard. One day in church I was so damned fed up with my mental pain. I shouted out, enough enough, I cannot take anymore God.
It was the best thing.
Some months latter in November 2011,I started a turning point. A lift of hope and light.
Like clearing, a positive change. A spiritual lift, god was changing me. This feeling uplifting was so incredible. Everything around looked 10xs brighter, more beautiful, the sky above me so cris, and clear. The trees around me, so so green.
I’ve had many rough times since, yet these things I’ve had to fight so so hard for, brought on a strength I didnt think possible.
Evan though it was a unpleasant experience, the outcome was better. Because I learned in a horrible situation, I installed caress. I felt the closest to jesus.
Because I was standing by justice. When I was targeted at by health workers, as my mum was not properly looked after. As they were too busy talking. Poor mum. Thank god, I was there. I spite of unfareness to mum. I fought all her battles for her. It was the least I could do. I’m so glad I was with her. Its taught me so much!
So I’m thanking our Lord right know for being with me, in my hour of need. Because for a short time, I had a spiritual nature, it came from above, it came from the devine. My mum was a smart attractive lady inside as well.
I think God gave me this to show he cared. Because I happened to be there thank god I was to protect my funrable mother. Mum hated anything like this. And I stood by her to honor and love her as she had no voice. Bless her.
Thanks for reading.
I’m glad to know I’m not alone my son is in a psych ward as we speak .God is the healer of all
Thank you so much. I was always considered ungrateful because of my depression. I knew I was blesses but at the same time crying excessively. Feeling like a bad person because I should not be sad. Later on in life I got the excessive anger more like fury. I am in my meds but still have my meds. Those coping techniques deep breathing, journaling, counting backwards dont do anything for me . Are there Christian coping techniques.
I got saved and baptized but later came down with middle age onset of schizophrenia. I want to know if I have lost my salvation. I feel that God is punishing me for certain unconfessed sins in my life. I have confessed them to Him but feel no better. I tried suicide but won’t again 💔
Please know that you are worthy of hope and help. A mental health diagnosis is difficult to navigate, but there are people who can and want to help you address your needs. Please know that you can email our team at [email protected] if you want to share more of your story or are looking for some encouragement. You’re not alone.
This article helps m so much. I hear too many Christians say “if you’re depressed you just need to read the Bible more, pray more.
Thanks for sharing your story. My prayer is that as Christians we support those suffering from mental issues instead of stigmatizing them.
Thank you so much for this brave testimony. As a Christian clinical mental health grad student, I find your witness very helpful. Perhaps the sentence, my brain has an illness, the most helpful.
Please send me an update of your progress. I have relatives who exhibit signs of mental illness & I would love to hear more of your insights.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar mood disorder 12 years ago. With time it’s becoming harder and harder to to keep up with work. I am afraid to disclose my diagnosis with the employer. I think once I expose it I will be vulnerable. I feel like I have to fight for my existence, accommodation and being accepted at work. I am not a teacher. What should I do.
We understand how difficult it can be to share what you are experiencing, especially when it comes to your mental health. Stigma has lessened over the years, but it does still exist. It can be hard to know if you should be forthright in a certain environment or if that vulnerability might open you up to shame. Please know that we are fighting every day to remove that shame and stigma. Although we do not yet live in a world where neither exist, we believe we can eventually get there. If you would like to talk more, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected].
Thank you. I am looking for ways to encourage my son.
I hv this. I’ve been to counseling twice to no help. I hv anger issues and hv to b perfect. Always hvn to. Prove to people as I am worthy. I was bullied as a child and compared by my mother to my siblings. Had a bad marriage and another relationship. I feel good about myself after eing praised. I can’t say what is missing but something is. It’s like I’m starving to be Good enough. My past has haunted me. I’ve had leukemia twice and prostrate cancer. Divorced, bankrupt, scared to try another relationship. I feel. Pushy as to my past and the issue.
What can I do? Where can I go?
We are so sorry to hear that you are struggling. You have endured many, many challenges, and survived them all—which is no small nor easy feat. We hope you can find hope in that, in knowing you are capable and resilient. Your story is your own and it cannot be compared to others. Each chapter is yours to write and whatever pace you go at to finding healing is completely okay. We hope you can find a way to show yourself compassion and grace.
You can always reach out to our team at [email protected]. We would be honored to provide you with some support and guidance.
Reading this brought me to tears. I struggled for so many years. People need to know this. This needs to be talk about on tv, in books, social media. Get it out! I am proud to be a child of God. He is the lifter of my head. I have good days I have bad days, but God never left me nor forsaken me.
This story was life changing! Thank you for sharing.
I really needed this. I’ve been dealing with horrible anxiety and depression. Just all around blah. Like I hide from people. I always feel like I’ve done something to make God mad and that’s why I am the way I am. I can’t even pray right or read the Bible which hurts my heart even more. I’m so full of confusion. This story helped a bit
We are so sorry to hear that you are experiencing anxiety and depression. We know how disheartening it can be to feel this way and not know how to move through/forward. You most certainly have not done anything wrong. So many people experience these things due to brain chemistry or events outside of themselves. Please know you are not alone, and you can always reach out to our team at [email protected].
But ,a big but ,how do I live
I struggle with my illness bipolar. I know it is a disorder caused by the brain, but it messes up with my faith mostly cause of negative thinking. Also very little joy. And now I am really dealing with the physical brain thing due to a mixup of my medication for from some time I was getting It with out sustained-release now I feel very deep into depression I can’t believe it got into it that fast but the brain chemistry are so serious when I get out of it i’ll be better but I will still struggle with my faith issues if you have any books that they are worth it to have Hypro faith Jesus try do to bring disorder not just moved so depression Caused from circumstances or other reasons. Important I am back on correct med. Still depressed. Praying and waiting.
We’re so grateful that you found the strength to reach out. Please know you are not alone as you face these difficult chapters. Would you email our team at [email protected] so we can learn more about your story and offer you some encouragement?
Did you ever feel cursed?
I feel like my lack of focus and being unable to finish tasks is slowly tightening around my throat.
Hi, my name is Primrose Takahashi. Your story is inspiring and filled with mercy and hope. Thank you for sharing it with me. A little about me, I am 19 recently diagnosed with ADHD and have been diagnosed with clinical depression, severe anxiety disorder since I was 15. My parents who are conservative baptists have rejected the idea of me being mentally ill. They are both immigrants from Japan and it is very common to be hospitalized forever in Japan if you are discovered to be mentally ill. My Japanese congragation is very shameful about mental health and ties it to laziness. Now knowing that it’s not my fault, I don’t know how to go back to church. I don’t know how to talk to my old friends since I have isolated myself from 2020 January. How do I be merciful to myself with my struggles when the church I have gone to all my life have told me these lies. For example,
“your mental health is the lack of your trust in God,”
“your disobedience is keeping you ill”
“God won’t give you trials you can not overcome”
“Ignore your pain and get on with God’s will, his calling”
I am hurting and broken within, overwhelmed by my daily struggles caused by a disease and disorder. Yet I criticize myself like my family and friends have done in the past. “You are a smart girl, if you try hard enough you can get it done, just try harder. Not enough effort.”
I feel like there is no mercy I can provide for myself. My mind is very religious, black and white. I am ill. I am disabled. Yet, I feel like a failure.
I don’t know how to love myself. How can I experience God’s love other than from other believers?
We are amazed and inspired by your courage, and so grateful for your honesty. You deserve love and support and understanding. We would be honored if you would email our team at [email protected] so we can spend some time listening to you and writing back with the encouragement you are in need of.
I have a mental disorder and the prognosis is usually hopeless and negative among Christians because Iwas once a christian and was told that if I had truly accepted christ my condition would not be the way it is today. When I look at myself today and hear myself talk I think I have not accepted christ at the the time for the right reason but I know the day I went on my knees I was pruposeful and sincere about following him. If I tell people what is my mental disorder they would call me a jezebel. My husband had HIV but it believed to havedied from pancreatic cancer. To date I have not been testedpositive for
HIV. Why did I not get the disease. So try to seek help but have no money to pay for specialist. I get worse everyday. Full of exterme fear and anxiety and dark with depression and worry about my condition.Wish I had the encouragement to face myself and take a grip of the situation. Out of fear andgiving up from self pity I give in and am overcome by the illness instead of overcoming. Looked for charities that can help but am unsuccessful to date
We are truly sorry to hear about the challenges you’ve been facing and the loss of your husband. We hope you are able to find the healing and help you deserve. We would be honored to hear more about your story so we can offer you both encouragement and support. You can email our team at [email protected] if you’d like. You are not alone and there is help available.
Christ radically changed my life but I’m starting to realize he can change me. Asking for deliverance and prayer. I am quite confident that I was born again. I see the evidence daily. But I also feel ruined and even suicidal at times. I cannot quit drinking. It used to be hardcore drugs but I was delivered from that so why not my drinking?
We’re so grateful that you have found recovery from certain substances. That’s something to honor and celebrate. We’re sorry that you are finding it difficult to find the same when it comes to alcohol. Please know that this doesn’t make you a bad person. This simply means you are human and humans sometimes deal with hurdles such as this. Would you email our team at [email protected] so we can learn more about you and offer you some resources and encouragement? We would really like to help.
Thanks for sharing your story. It really helps me.
George A Lewis
Christian foster child Marine War Vet with PTSD and Bipolar. Mental illness i have allowed to become my middle name and I am allowing it to destroy my health and life. Praying God and Jesus Christ can forgives me here and helps me thrive in Christ’s second coming.
Please know that there is help, George. Would you email our team at [email protected] so we can learn more about you and offer you some encouragement and support? You deserve both and we would be honored to play a part in connecting you to help and the possibility of healing. You are not broken, you are hurting.
Natalie Ellis Baker
Ty for this!
Sue Van Note
I am a 62 year old female and I have struggled with anxiety and depression since I had a breakdown at age 20 . I was raised in a semi-dysfunctional Christian home and I accepted Christ at 13, but I still have a terrible time believing that I am saved. The thought of Jesus coming back and being left behind terrifies me but I can’t seem to believe that I ( with all my unbelief ) will be taken to heaven.
Thank you for reaching out and for sharing your experience. We hope you know that your mental health challenges do not in any way disqualify you from life or love or hope. You can be hurting and still be whole and enough. We’ll hold onto that truth for you.
For over forty years each day has been an exercise in endurance with untreatable depression. Why won’t He heal me. So tired.
You deserve support. Help exists and we encourage you to reach out to those who can give it to you. Would you email our team at [email protected] so we can learn more about your experiences and connect you to local resources?
Bless you!! So glad I found this!
I believe in Jesus Christ!
Stephen M. Elohim
I have lived with schizoaffective disorder for 23 years and am gay, baptized at 14. I am now a conservative Roman Catholic. Two years ago, I finally fully committed to the Faith. The Church’s emphasis on reason, principles for living, grace, and beauty, as well as divine mercy helped me look at some detrimental past actions and repent. Wrong actions, thoughts, motives, etc…. are still wrong, even if one did not know they were wrong. When we see Jesus as a just judge, He is likely more lenient if one honestly did not know, but sin is still sin. At least as Catholics, we are given both Confession and His body and blood as our food to sanctify our flesh and spirits from the effects of sin. All I can say is I was miserable for years, and I’m not anymore, still learning, though. Peace.
I am a Christian with mental illness and am in a bind. Believe God is like some Christians and hated me. I left the church and I don’t go to any. Hate all the lies the church is going through. Every Christian has a different take on the Scriptures, some takes are bazaar. I feel living as a Christian makes me look like a character from the Walton’s or Little House on the prairie. Bible reading and prayer are burdensome as am seeing them s works of the flesh. Help.
We hope you can give yourself the freedom and permission to explore and believe in things that you feel are true. Things that disregard and overcome stigma and fear and hate. You contain multitudes. Religion and faith do not negate things like mental health.
I’m also struggling with mental illness!