Monday, February 12, 2007


Why do Christians want to treat mental illness, mild or severe, as somehow less of an issue that physical illness? I ask this question as someone who has, in the past, equated mental issues with a lack of faith. It's not a very good thing to do.

I found this post on Emerging Women today. It's about chronic physical illness, but the commentary in this post is relevant to mental issues as well.

Here's a snippet:
When I was a kid my mom struggled with the spiritual ramifications of her using her asthma medication; for a time she believed that doing so would prove her lack of faith in God, that if she managed to acquire enough faith she would be healed. It never happened and she's Publishsince moved on from that belief. Years later, someone who shared similar beliefs told me that I'd be cured of a fairly serious (though not life-threatening) allergy I have if I had enough faith. I didn't believe him, but that conversation has aroused some questions that I still grapple with in my mind.
[Emerging Women: Theology of Chronic Illness]


runliarun said...

It's not only Christians. I think it's a shame that people, generally, treat mental illness as a stigma, but have sympathy for those afflicted by physical disease.

I think it's fear.

David said...

my father suffered from depression 30 years ago, but there was not the acceptance of psychology as treatment that there is now, nor were the drugs as refined. All he would do is go for a drive ( or walk) with my mom, and talk. I know that is good, but i wish that there had been more available for him. He passed away at 60, from a stroke. He was a good man and a great dad. we all miss him.

Live, Love, Laugh said...

sad but true!

Linda said...

I'm a Christian, and I firmly believe that medications and doctors were created by GOD. He gave the doctors the knowledge to treat me, he gave the scientists the ability to create the medications. It then becomes up to me to be prudent in the use of what I have to take.

I suffer from hypothyroidism and depression. Were it not for medications, I would probably not have children today and I would be a shadow of myself.

David said...

linda, i agree, psychiatrists and psychologists can help where a pastor may not be able to. My pastor handed me off to a trained professional and I am SO glad.

Pearl said...

People just need to be informed and get feedback. So much of reaction is unconscious.

Physical illnesses are starting to lose their stigma. Hopefully it will be a short lag until the other stigma's catch up.

Have you seen? do you know anyone suffering from