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I came across an interesting question on Instagram the other day: “Is it okay for a Christian to seek professional services for their mental health?”
That’s an odd statement I thought to myself. Why wouldn’t Christians seek help mentally if they felt they needed it?
My heart began to pound.
There was a time when I didn’t seek help mentally even though I needed it. How quickly I’d forgotten.
How Stigmas Prevent Individuals From Seeking Help
While I’m now proud to write about the intersection of faith and mental health, that wasn’t always the case. There was a very dark time in my life when I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and too defeated to stand. I questioned my faith, my trust in God, and even my sanity. Why?
Partially because I didn’t understand what I was experiencing, but more so, talking about mental health as a Christian was taboo. I figured those around me knew what it was like to suffer from anxiety, depression, and trauma, but they didn’t talk about it.
Those who did speak out often told me to “pray more,” “worry less,” and “just trust God.” They weren’t the ones who should’ve been speaking. I wondered if they knew who they were talking to and if they’d ever experienced mental illness a day in their lives.