Can I be depressed and in the church is an age old question that many people still ask me. Mental Illness now has a mainstay in our church’s and leaders must be better equipped to deal with the reality of what is actually going on in society. First off what is depression? This is a very serious and debilitating disorder that can be smooth and somnolent in its attack. Most often, persons outside of the person notices the change. Yes, God is a healer and will bring us out of all of our sickness and diseases. However, the problem is belief and “in the meantime.” It is important to know that there is both spontaneous healing and process healing, in my opinion. Let me explain.
Spontaneous Healing-This is when there is something on the X-Ray; The saints pray; you go back to the doctor and he or she can’t find the lesion or spot.
Process Healing-This occurs with disease like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. There has to be lifestyle changes along with prayer. Now many of you may not have heard of process healing because I just made it up and this is my blog. LOL
Howbeit, depression may require “process healing.” You may have to go back into Pandora’s Box and find out just where the disease came from and when it all started. Some possible etiologies of depression include;
- Abandonment Issues
- Sexual Trauma
- Relationship Issues
- Financial stress
- Genetic Predispostion
- Physical and Emotional Abuse
Now it doesn’t matter the etiology, but the process of healing may take several different forms of therapy.
- Medication management
- Psychotherapy ( group or individual)
- Change in Environment
- Deletion of friends/family off Facebook, Instagram, etc
- Proper Diet and Exercise
- New Church Home
- Fresh Air
There are a lot of people that have problems with the concept of being “saved” and mentally ill. Guess what, it is real. Pastors and leaders have to take inventory and become aware the societal ills and distresses.
Now, before I close the post I must just touch on “suicidal ideation” in the pulpit. Well, I probably should change my phraseology and say “suicide completion” in the pulpit. This is becoming more and more prevalent and deserves a complete blogpost on its own. However, what is becoming more apparent, in the media, is that it appears that a minister and or pastor is completing suicide just about every 4-6 months. This is a new phenomena. Pastors please go and get help if you need it, too.
Review of suicide statistics:
- 30,000 individuals completed suicide a year
- 1 person ends their life every 17 minutes
- every 2 hours a teenager completes suicide
- Suicide is the 11th most common cause of death
- Among young people it is the 3rd leading cause of death
This is a serious issue that the church must address with the proper resources and trained clinicians. http://www.cdc.gov/nicp/factssheets/suifacts.htm No, I am not saying to hire me, it would be cost -prohibitive for all ministries to hire Psychiatrist. but some ministries may just need one.
Pastors, Apostles, Elders, Missionaries and so-forth and so-on, know your limitations, Stop trying to be a therapist without the training. “This job looks easy and very a-matter-of-fact, but it is serious and can lead to death. SO stay in your lines by praying and providing spiritual nourishment and teaching. Let the professionals do the rest.
In closing, you can be saved and depressed. Just like being diabetic or hypertensive; Depression is a Medical Illness.