World Mental Health Day- October 10

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Living with chronic illness has also meant dealing with symptoms I did not know would accompany two of my chronic illnesses, depression and anxiety.

I will never forget the day that I finally started taking the prescription my doctor had given me for them. It has since changed for one that also addresses nerve pain associated with Fibromyalgia. I did not want to start medication. I was not even sure if it was the right thing for me to do. There is still stigma in some churches when it comes to Mental Health issues.

God spoke to me through watching a movie. The movie was Brain On Fire. It is based on the true story of a woman with a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the brain. She was about to be sent off to a permanent stay at a psychiatric hospital when a psychiatrist tested her for the autoimmune problem. She was placed on a medication for the problem and it cleared up her problems.

After watching the movie, I realized that autoimmune problems can affect our whole body including the brain. I researched it as well. So I went ahead and started the medication the doctor prescribed. Within a week, I felt much better.

I will also never forget the response of the pastor for missions and outreach had when I offered to resign my ministry as a home missionary if taking medication would be a controversy. I have always been aware of the stigma in some churches when it comes to Mental Health issues like depression. His response was, “Matt it is medical. You don’t need to resign.”

Jesus said in Matthew 11:

β€œCome to me,Β all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,Β for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus wants us to come to him with everything. If we struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, OCD, or any other mental health issue, his invitation is to come to him. πŸ™‚

I wanted to share a bit of my story in case it helps someone. Also in honor of World Mental Heath Day I want to share a few videos.

First a Spoken Word Poem video by Racheal Stevens- Your Story Isn’t Over Yet.

And a music video by Jenn Johnson- You’re Gonna Be Okay.

19 thoughts on “World Mental Health Day- October 10

  1. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story and for raising awareness of this important issue. Praise God for the response of your pastor, “It is medical.” For that is the plain truth. We all face anxiety and depression and sometime medication is needed to regulate our system. No different than other conditions. My heart goes out to you, as you face chronic pain. May the Holy Spirit bring comfort, relief and encouragement. May you sense Jesus nearer still. God bless you brother!

  2. Smiles. Love your courage to share how you feel and all with us bro. πŸ™‚

    As my mum will say “God gave wisdom to the people that made the medicines” 😁

    Love this song. Part of my go to songs since January “Gonna be okay”. πŸ€—

  3. Thank you for sharing your story so openly. I am so grateful for modern medicine, and grateful that Jesus is there to turn to with every aspect of well being ❀️. May He continue to bless you in your journey. Love and blessings to you big brother!

  4. Thanks. I guess I didn’t even know that some people attach a stigma to some medications and would consider someone unfit to engage in ministry activities. How sad. Glad that you didn’t have to face that.

    I recently suffered through a series of panic attacks and extreme anxiety that I believe were the result of some pain medication I take. It was terrible and terrifying to have my internal mental state so out of control and to be unable to feel peace or calm even in prayer and in spite of all the biblical truth that I used to try to combat it. The Lord used it to humble me further and to show me that my normal capacity to take hard things in stride while remaining calm was an area of pride for me. I would have never known if he hadn’t shown me in this way. Now I know so clearly that everything we have, including our mental outlook and emotional stability (and even our next breath) is a gift from him. Nothing is intrinsically “ours” that we should be so foolish to count it so, or to take pride and satisfaction in it. Even our attitudes, abilities and character traits are all by grace and the Lord deserves all glory for any part of them that are “good.”

  5. Thank you Matt for sharing your story. I am dealing with this issue in my family and because of your post I am going to do some more research on this problem.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story.. I can relate too.. Chronic illness and abuse from my dad and other things really contributed to why I became so depressed and suicidal..

    Though yeah, thank you for the encouragement. May things get better!

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