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Overcoming the Shame and Stronghold of Mental Illness

By March 14, 2014Uncategorized
by Allie Marie Smith
I’m excited to announce that I’m now an occasional contributor for To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
Today, was my first post titled “Taking Meds: Overcoming the Shame Factor.” It was a personal one. One that to be honest was hard to put out there. When I write that I’ve experienced a lot of shame from both myself and others because I’ve had to take medication for depression, its not an understatement. It still hurts when I think about the time a women’s ministry leader was thinking about having me speak at their young women’s conference, and when she asked me if I had ever taken medication for depression and I told her yes she immediately dismissed my testimony and wanted to get off the phone with me. Here a are a few nuggets of what I share in my article but you can read the whole article here.
“Recovery from depression, mood disorders, eating disorders, and addiction looks different for everyone. These struggles are complex and, like an onion, there are many layers involved: hormonal, emotional, spiritual, relational, physiological, and more. Each layer needs to be tended to, nourished, and addressed.”

“Mental illness has been misunderstood and mistreated for so long because of its relative obscurity. An x-ray can show the exact fracture point of a broken bone, but without brain scans, which are expensive and difficult to do, you cannot see the physiology of a brain struggling with depression and anxiety. This leaves at least part of mental illness as somewhat intangible. And because we cannot see the source of the brokenness, we believe as a whole we are broken. We judge our character, when our chemistry, circumstances, or a number of other factors may be the problem.”

“It’s also important to know that a while a pill (or a combination of a few) might help fix your brain chemistry, medication can’t sooth your soul. Commit yourself fully to the deep emotional work you need to do to live a healthy, whole, and free life.”

While doctors and medicine are limited in their ability to perform healing, I believe God is not. If you are struggling with depression, an eating disorder, anxiety or another stronghold I encourage you to reach out. Seek help. Go to a counselor. Get prayer. See a doctor. Recovery is a choice and freedom is a battle, but it’s worth it. 

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