I have the honor of guest posting over at Beauty in the Mess, today. I’m talking about the importance of talking about Mental Illness in the Church.
Several weeks ago I admitted to my friends and family that I have been struggling with depression for a good part of the last year.
It was terrifying to admit as every worse case scenario of their reactions played through my head. In general, the response was supportive and encouraging — except one comment that was made by a loved one that has had me thinking a lot about the stigma of depression in the Church.
His comment was, “I don’t think you should tell people about this or make it publicly known you are struggling with depression. You will lose opportunities, especially within Church and your ministry.” Now to be fair, this person said this out of genuine love and concern for me and my family, but it really got me thinking about how dangerous we’ve made this culture of silence within the Church for someone struggling with depression or any other mental illness.
The truth is, we as a society, in general, have normalized not talking about a great many things out of supposed protection of ourselves–yet in many cases we have done more damage than good with our prim and proper view of speaking of such things.
We have to face the fact that mental illness, especially depression, is an epidemic in our country. It is very much in the Church. There are many reasons as to why this is the case, but a huge contributing factor is the taboo nature of speaking about it at all publicly, especially in the realm of ministry.
Although several celebrities with large platforms have spoken out about their own journey with depression, we still have yet to hear from many “Superstar Christian Leaders” about the topic of mental illness in general. As a believer, leader in ministry, and disciple of Jesus with depression, I find this disturbing.
Click here to continue reading at Beauty in the Mess and find out the Five Reasons We Need to Talk about Mental Illness in the Church.