For years I have heard a certain myth about Christians suffering from depression and it has always frustrated me. Recently, this myth has made its way back out into the open and because I am so passionate about standing up to false accusations of depression, I decided I would write a blunt, honest and personal post about it.
Brace yourselves, for when I get passionate about an issue like this I am completely straight-up when I address it. Do understand that the tone of this message is not written out of anger, but out of a frustration to those who are misinformed about depression and decide to not be informed about the truth. Let’s do this, with grace and salt on our tongues – shall we?
“Christians who struggle with depression have a lacking spiritual life with God.”
Aside from this being one of the most ignorant statements about depression that I have ever heard, it’s also the farthest thing from the truth. Now, I know there are probably some situations where this could be true, but it usually isn’t caused out of a direct neglect of communication with God, per say. But instead, is stemmed from other empty areas in one’s life.
Depression can be caused by many things like genetics, serious illness, past abuse, and so on. Yes, this is even true for Christians! But I’m not here to get in depth about the many causes of depression, I am here to take your point of view into a different direction. If you have never struggled with depression, I understand how it can be hard to understand it, but please be sensitive enough to be empathetic and compassionate towards those who battle it on a daily basis.
I am going to get a little raw here. I hope you can gain more insight on Christians with depression, as I share a little bit of my spiritual journey as I suffered through my depression journey.
When I first started slipping into depression, I was on fire for the Lord like crazy. At the time, I didn’t know I was becoming depressed, but I did notice a complete change in my thinking. Before I knew it, I was a year into dealing with depression and I became completely numb and even then, I clung to the Lord.
I had my days of doubt where I would question why God would allow me to go through such a horrible mess, and I had my nights of wanting to cry but I just couldn’t because I felt nothing at all. I didn’t feel like God was there. I didn’t feel emotion. I felt nothing. Feeling nothing is the most disgusting and irritating thing to feel. I grew so agitated with feeling nothing that I began cutting myself so that I could feel something. Though I did grow far from the Lord here, I still did have communication with him, even though it didn’t feel like communication.
After about three years of wrestling with the hell I was in, I finally chose hope, once and for all. I had come to the realization that God didn’t put me in the situation I was in, nor did he want me there. Believe it or not, the pit of my depression was one of the most serious spiritual times of my life where I was calling on the Lord with a fervency and desperation. When you don’t know what to do, you become desperate, even in the fog of depression. I dug into the Word and really clung to the truth that God truly is my everlasting hope. Even though I was in a pit, one that I cannot fathom up the words to describe, I knew God would pick me up out of it one day.
I struggled through four more deep years of depression, but God was still working in me then. For some reason some Christians think that if someone’s struggling with something that God can’t speak to them or use them, and that is so false. What is The Gospel then?! God can turn anything around for good.
After seven long years of struggling through depression and self-harm, I made it through. I am over two years clean of self-harm. Just because I had my breakthrough from depression doesn’t mean it’s something I don’t or never will deal with again from time to time. When stress is upon me or I become overwhelmed, I naturally want to curl up and crawl back into what was familiar to me for so long.
God has other plans though. He can turn anything around for good.
With sharing some of my spiritual journey through depression, I hope I was able to help you see a different point of view. And to those who are struggling, please do know that you are not alone in this. I am always here for you. Hold fast and take heart.
Let’s break the stereotypes of depression and stand up for hope together.