22 Jan Addressing Mental Health – It’s Time to Drop the Fear
Why are we so afraid to accept help when it comes to our brains?
I’ll never forget sitting in my living room, listening as my mom told me I needed to start taking an anti-depressant. The thought of it made me want to throw up. It was depressing just hearing those words.
What have I done to deserve this?
I don’t want something else to have control over me.
I don’t want to take a pill.
I can figure this thing out.
I’m not going to the doctor.
This doctor doesn’t know me.
What if this pill makes me fat?
The list goes on. I told myself numerous lies as I sat there listening to my mom’s lecture on the importance of medicine.
I have to say my mom’s lecture definitely fell on deaf ears. Eight years before, we buried my father who had taken his own life. He took the medicine; he saw a counselor and he was being discipled by members of the church. It didn’t save him. Besides, I wasn’t my father, and I had no desire to leave this world. I had seen firsthand the consequences and the effect that suicide has on those left behind.
But I listened to her because she’s my mom. She walked through this once before. I obliged and went to the doctor, but I wasn’t happy about it. Praise God that I listened. I didn’t know how badly I needed that medicine until it started working. I didn’t realize the fog I was in. I didn’t realize how bad I felt. I didn’t understand how little energy I had. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of a lifelong battle. But had I not taken that medicine; I may not be here, writing to you.
Why are we so afraid of medicine for our brains? We don’t think twice about medicine for diabetes, blood pressure or cholesterol. But medicine for our brains; that’s for other people. I don’t need that. I’m in control. These statements are lies.
If our bodies are broken, then so are our brains. Christians don’t get a hall pass from mental illness. If your doctor encourages you the medicine might help, don’t be afraid to say yes. There are always exceptions to the rule, but more often than not our own pride prevents us from doing what’s best. Medicine can give you that added boost you need to get out of bed in the morning. That extra energy to say yes to a date with your spouse. That push to get off the couch and engage with your family. LET ME BE CLEAR medicine is only a piece of the puzzle, not the overall solution. Medicine should be paired with faith-based therapy, exercise, a healthy diet and daily time in God’s word.
Some of us have broken bodies others broken brains. Neither is indicative of our faith or our spiritual health. It’s a reminder of the fall. It’s a reminder that it’s not supposed to be this way. A reminder of our desperate need for Jesus. The great physician and healer.
“Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” ~ Isaiah 53:4-5