Myth#4: Mental illness is the result of lacking faith.
Our final mental health myth is a big one. Please hear this as this particular myth carries a lot of shame baggage with it for many people…..YOU DO NOT HAVE DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, PTSD, etc. BECAUSE YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH FAITH!
When I am helping people I make it a great priority to honor people’s relationships with God as an important part of their life and healing when it is important to them. If you believe that you are not strong enough in faith and this is why you are struggling with mental and emotional pain I encourage you to consider that faith and pain can co-exist. You can have Jesus and a therapist.
Being a “better believer” and having “enough faith” does not equate to not having any pain or struggle. The opposite of faith is not pain, struggle, or even unhealthiness, it is mistrust.
If you are struggling, and you are a believer, seek help from someone that can and will interweave treatment work from a psychological perspective with your belief system. If your faith is an important part of your life then it can be an important part of your healing and recovery. Guilt and shame are not beneficial in regards to the connection between faith and mental health; they do not promote growth, healing, or holiness when they are used to judge yourself or others. With what we have learned this week we know that challenging these unhelpful FEELINGS (that are not facts) begins by going back to the thoughts that feed them. What are you telling yourself that leads you to guilt or shame about your faith and your mental health? Consider, is it your voice or the voice of someone who spoke unhealthy guilt and shame over you? Is it fact? Have you checked it against the truth?
The truth is….You can have great faith and still struggle. You can have great faith and still experience pain. You can have great faith and still benefit from the help of humans. If you are struggling with this conflict talk to a source of good information such as a therapist or a religious official well educated about mental health and spiritual health.
God can be the ultimate healer AND use humans like doctors, therapists, & religious officials as his assistants; He is big like that!
Don’t believe the lie that you are in pain and struggling through mental illness due to lacking faith! Bust this myth and battle forward in your healing journey free from this dead weight!