Over the last few days, a lot has been said about this subject with the death of actor Robin Williams by suicide. It’s an important subject to shed light on as talking about mental health tends to be one of the last taboos in society, even in Christian circles. Why is that? Why is an illness of the mind not considered to be as important as an illness of the body? We pray for people to be healed of cancer, of heart disease. Of any other physical disease you can think of that affects members of the population. But we don’t pray for people to be healed of depression. Why? I think some Christian blogs over the past few days answer that question, most notably Matt Walsh’s blog. When I read the blog, I flinched and not in a good way. But, of course, I had experienced this before so it was not a surprise. There are some Christians who don’t believe depression is an illness. They believe that any Christian who is suffering from depression is not praying to God enough, is not relying on God enough, and in some cases, not a true Christian.
That is absolutely not the case! But, before I go any further, I know some of you will say that suicide is a choice. Yes, of course, it is a choice. It is a choice that is very painful for the ones left behind since they don’t really know…why. Why the person didn’t reach out for help for their depression. Of course, no one knows what was going on in Robin Williams’ head. But, for the question, why do people not reach out for help, I might be slightly qualified to answer that one. I have thought about suicide, have thought of how easy it would be not to have to suffer anymore. And I have been on medication in the past for my depression. So, why do people not reach out? Well, in some cases, I think they do, but I think they’re also told or left with the impression that what they have said is not important or of value, that what they feel is not a reasonable thing to be upset about. And then, there are some people who don’t reach out, who think the world would be better off without them. I think both groups have an equal chance of going through with the final deed.
What prevents people like this from going through with it? Because of the focus of this blog, you would be correct in thinking I would say a relationship with God is important. But, more than that, it is important for Christians who suffer with depression to have a supportive community around them. To be properly medicated if they need it and most especially not to be told that what they are thinking and feeling is of no consequence. I know God has not abandoned me, and He has not abandoned other Christians who suffer from depression either.
God’s blessings on you all today!