I shared the link above because I thought it touched on something that is near and dear to my heart. The question of depression and Christianity. I am saddened to see many Christians present depression as something that can be overcome thru prayer and sheer will power alone. I do believe that prayer changes things and people, don’t get me wrong! However, even Paul prayed about a thorn in the flesh and the Bible tells us that whatever this thorn was, God saw fit to leave it there. It doesn’t matter how long and hard you pray for something, sometimes God does not change the person or the situation.
I struggled through post partum depression with my second child. A history of PTSD and OCD combined with the demands of working a full time job and caring for other children were all too much for me to handle and triggered a tough time of PPD for me. I cried and prayed and was as earnest and heartbroken as a person can be over this struggle. I just can’t bear the thought that others out there see mental illness in a flippant way, something that can be prayed out of a person if they try hard enough.
I just wanted to let any other moms out there understand that it is OKAY to get help! Yes, pray about it and go to God with your burdens as well. Seeking professional help from a counselor is a good option in addition to prayer. My counselors were two wonderful Christian ladies with many years of experience and education in counseling.
My last thought is to be careful about going to your pastor only for advice. I think pastors can be wonderful, supportive people. However, keep in mind that many pastors have limited to no education regarding counseling for mental illness. Further, many pastors in Fundamentalist circles will give limited advice mainly centered on a church member praying or doing more in service to “cure” the mental illness. If you have sought counsel from a pastor and are still struggling with mental illness, don’t be afraid to keep searching for help!