Q: What is God’s perspective on dealing with and treating mental health issues?
A: Dear sister, I suspect you asked this question because either you or someone close to you is dealing with a mental health issue. Mental health issues can range from excessive worrying to depression and anxiety to serious long-term conditions like schizophrenia and suicide.
While the Bible certainly contains accounts of people who struggled with mental problems (most notably King Saul, King Nebuchadnezzar and the demon-possessed man, even Judas), those examples don’t necessarily give us what we need to deal with these problems in the present.
However, the Bible does contain a number of spiritual principles that I believe should guide our thinking in this matter.
First, God is in control. Let me repeat that again because sometimes we can forget it: God is in control. Nothing happens to us without it first being sifted through the hands of God (Lamentations 3:37-38, Matthew 10:29).
Second, God allows us to go through difficulties as a way of accomplishing His purposes in us (James 1:1-13).
Third, God is faithful! In any trial or tribulation, you can trust that God has your ultimate good in mind (Romans 8:28). Sometimes that’s hard to see on this side of eternity, but we can trust our Heavenly Father to keep His word and to do this for us.
Fourth, God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. If you are going through a difficult time, God promises that He will be there for you (Hebrews 13:5) and provide a way for you to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
And finally, Christians are not expected to “go it alone” in their walk of faith (Hebrews 10:24-25). God wants us to help each other in our times of need. So please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Help is available, but only if you let someone know you need it! Sometimes help comes in the form of a good friend or counselor. We have amazing counselors at the church (actual licensed therapists) that can help with a variety of issues. For more information about counseling at FBC, please click here. And of course, if you think you have a serious condition, please consult with your physician.
If you just need someone to talk to, please consider reaching out to your Table Leader. At Heart2Heart we have a resource binder with names and contact information of women who have been through things like anxiety, depression, and other tremendous life stressors. These women are ready and waiting to lend a helping hand.
Remember, “Adversity is a bridge to a deeper relationship with God” (Charles Stanley). Use this time to draw closer to Him. Pour out your heart to Him in prayer. Read His word and drink it in. Allow His Holy Spirit to comfort you in your time of need (John 14:26). Then, pick up your cross and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24-26).
Praying for you, friend. Thanks for your question!