Friday, August 13, 2021

I want to be Open About My Mental Illness

When I was a young Christian, I was convinced my depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder were due to my own sin. I refused any medical help until my husband Murray insisted I go to a doctor.


I’m not saying sin isn’t involved. I am only too constantly aware of my own sin and its consequences.


But I believe all illness, including mental illness, is due to a fallen world. Because of thousands of years of sin, of turning away from God’s good way, because of people mistreating other people, their own bodies and souls, and mistreating the world around us, our world has digressed to illness, war, tragedy.


The answer to all of this is a relationship with Jesus and a future in Heaven. In the meantime, however, God has generously given us much assistance to go through this life of struggle, including medical treatment.


I again and again praise God for the miracle of medical assistance and medication.


I believe mental illness, as well as diabetes, heart disease, broken bones, and much, much more, can be helped by medication and other medical treatments.


I have gone for counseling, and I am sure this is a helpful tool. At one time in our lives, my husband and I believed that my being hospitalized in a psychiatric ward was the best solution. And I can’t praise God enough for the medication which continues to be such a balm for me.


For many years, I was ashamed of my mental illness. Now I believe those of us with that illness should not be any more ashamed than someone with diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, etc. No more than other disabilities, such as my blindness or hearing impairment. This is an illness which can be helped by medical assistance—praise God!


James 1:16-17: Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.


As our minds become more clear, we can be more fully involved in the help Jesus wants to give us.


Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


For many years I’ve been touched by this passage, but recently I’ve come to a new understanding of it. Jesus isn’t offering to give us more burdens. He says he will yoke himself to us to help us carry those burdens that we already have.


I’m embarrassed to share this, but even more important, I want others who suffer this illness to know they don’t need to be, shouldn’t be ashamed.


Psalm 103:4: who redeems your life from the pit

       and crowns you with love and compassion,


I feel that God has redeemed my life from a pit, and I want others suffering from this illness to know that there is hope. 


  1. Dear Kathy, thank you for your willingness to talk about mental illness! I think we're still in the dark ages about it, and the question asked in the Bible, "Who sinned?" is still the current thinking - sadly! Medicine has made slow but forward strides in treating mental illness, thank God!!!

    I am so grateful to you for speaking out on this subject!! Yes, you are redeemed, you are precious and loved, and crowned w/love and compassion!!!! :)

  2. Kathy, having worked all of my nursing career with mentally ill people, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to create awareness. It is wonderful that you, "a primary source", are willing to share with such openness and honesty. God bless you!

  3. But for the grace of God go any of us. Thank you for being so open about it, and for your words and being such an encouragement to other. God bless you, Kathy.

  4. Wow, Kathy.

    This must have been a struggle to write.

    Then to click SEND.

    May the Lord preserve your going out and your coming in.

    I enjoy your writings and profit from your critiques!