Mental Health and the Christian Community

One of the problems with growing up in a Christian community is a bandaid approach to mental illnesses:
1) “Just ask Jesus to take it away and He will…”
2) “There’s a reason that you feel that darkness…what type of sin did you commit?”
3) “Just pray or sing that darkness away…”
As someone who dealt with some issues due to overlapping pain medications for a physical injury, I came to realize that none of the above were helpful…only harmful.
What is helpful:
1) Taking the time to listen to someone who’s going through mental health issues
2) Recommending going to a counselor who has been trained to help
3) There seem to be few resources out there for people going through things like this, and the only one I ever found that helped was the following:
“Finding Alice” by Melody Carlson: This book takes the reader through the fall of a mental illness, her journey through it, and how she was able to have hope by the end of the book. It is also coupled with the story of Alice in Wonderland, and the effect is beautiful.
I’m not trying to bash any Christians or churches, but just understand that there are things you say that can be detrimentally harmful. I recommend listening to someone and hearing their story or reading the above book, and it will give you a better understanding.
Thanks : )

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