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:
“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.”
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. 🙂
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.