A Christian’s Perspective on Mental Health

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W hat is the view of Christians on mental health? Is it okay to seek help when you need it or is it a lack of faith?

Faith and Health

What is the view of Christians on mental health? Is it okay to seek help when you need it or is it a lack of faith? As a Christian, I was taught that faith and prayer could provide strength and comfort in difficult times, however I have come to the realization that this also applies to mental health as well.

Mental health is something that’s often stigmatized in our society, and for that reason, we usually feel that admitting that we have a problem will make us look weak or that it is something we should be ashamed of, and that is just not the truth. The truth is, mental health issues is something extremely common, with statistics showing that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from some form of mental health problem, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI).

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus Christ – Mark 2:17 Bible Verses For The Sick

So, what does this have to do with Christianity? Well, I believe that faith can play a huge role in helping us to cope with mental health struggles. Whether it’s through prayer, reading Scripture, or simply having a community of believers to support you, faith can provide a source of strength and comfort that’s hard to find anywhere else. For example, I have a friend who was going through a tough time, and instead of looking for help to deal with his depression, he decided to use alcohol to cope with his feelings—making things worse than they were.

But as time went on, he realized that things were not getting better, so he finally decided to open up to his church community, he was surprised by how much support and love he received. They prayed for him, checked in on him, and even helped him to find a therapist. It was through his faith and the support of his community that he was able to start getting better. Now, I know that not everyone shares my beliefs, and that’s totally okay. But I hope that by sharing my perspective, I will be able to help others that might be struggling to take the first step and show that faith can be a powerful tool against some mental health problems like anxiety, stress, and depression.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” The Apostle Paul – 1 Thess 5:11

Faith and Mental Health

For most people, it’s easy to focus solely on the physical and emotional aspects of mental health, but the spiritual aspect is just as important. Spirituality can provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning, which can be incredibly helpful for people struggling with mental health challenges. It can also provide a sense of hope and peace, which can be difficult to find elsewhere. Christianity particularly provides comfort to people that are struggling because it is full of stories of people who have overcome struggles and found hope in their faith.

“O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.” David – Psalm 25:2

One example is King David who faced many difficult challenges throughout his life. However, probably one of the most difficult ones was when he was on the run from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. During this time, David was constantly on the move, living in caves and hiding, and suffered from loneliness and uncertainty, but throughout it all, David never lost faith in God. As a Christian, I believe that faith can make a real difference in helping us cope with the problems we have to face in our daily lives.

Christianity’s Role

As I mentioned before, faith can be a source of strength, comfort, and hope in times of difficulty, helping individuals to keep pushing forward, however, faith can also be a tool to help us heal and find peace. So, how exactly does Christianity play a role in the recovery process? Let’s take a closer look.

The Power of Prayer

One of the most powerful ways that Christianity can help us heal is through prayer. When we pray, we’re not just talking to God, we’re also strengthening our faith and our connection with Him. And when we pray for healing and wholeness, we’re aligning our thoughts and desires with God’s will for our lives. This can bring a sense of peace and comfort that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

Strength in the Word

Another way that Christianity can play a role in the recovery process is through the power of God’s Word. When we read scripture, we’re not just reading words on a page, we’re hearing the voice of God speaking directly to us. This can be incredibly comforting and inspiring, especially when we’re feeling lost or discouraged. And as we study God’s Word, we can learn more about His character and His love for us, which can give us the strength and hope we need to keep going.

Christian Community Support

Finally, Christianity offers the support of a community of believers. When we’re going through a tough time, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone. But when we’re part of a Christian community, we have others who are walking the same journey with us, who can offer encouragement and support. This can make all the difference in the world when we’re trying to heal and recover.

Additional Advice

While faith can be a great tool to deal with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health struggle, it’s important to take care of yourself and look for professional help when needed. Mental health challenges can be complex and overwhelming, and it’s okay to reach out for additional support, in particular Christian counselors, so here are some tips and advice that have helped me and many others in my journey towards mental wellness:

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” David – Psalm 56:3 

Seek Professional Help

There’s no shame in seeking professional help when dealing with mental health issues. Whether it’s a therapist, a counselor, or a doctor, working with a mental health professional can help you find the tools and strategies you need to overcome your struggles and find healing.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Your physical health and well-being play a critical role in your mental health. Make sure you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, and staying physically active. This will help you feel better and be more equipped to face the challenges of mental illness.

Practice Gratitude

Focusing on the things you’re thankful for, no matter how small, can help shift your perspective and bring peace to your mind and heart. Keep a gratitude journal or simply take a few moments each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for.

Giving Thanks in all circumstances

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess 5:18).

“…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Apostle Paul – Eph 5:20

Connect with Nature

Spending time in nature has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and well-being. Take a walk, go for a hike, or simply sit outside and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Allow yourself to be refreshed and recharged by the peace and stillness of the natural world.

Remember, recovery is possible, and with the right support and resources, you can find hope and healing. Don’t give up hope, and know that God is with you every step of the way.

Author’s Bio: Patrick Bailey is a writer for Sunshine Behavioral Health.  I attempt to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. When not writing you can look for me at your local basketball court. 

Here is some related reading for you: How Should Christians Deal With Mental Illness?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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