Today I welcome guest blogger, Rachel Xu. She wrote and shared this with me this week, and I couldn’t agree more. I asked if I could post it on my blog and she agreed.
Since I’ve written here previously about my own journey through an anxiety disorder, I have kept the phrase in mind “the danger of a single story” as a constant reminder that we all have markedly different life experiences. I never want anyone to feel intimidated by hearing mine. Because that’s all it is: my story. And it is only one story.
Here is another:
As someone who has suffered from severe depression and anxiety for decades, I have spent a lot of time researching the condition and Christian views on the matter. What never fails to confuse me is that it seems the majority of Christian articles seem to claim that depression is the fault of the person afflicted with it. Some of the many causes these Christians seem to attribute to depression are living a sinful life, pride, lack of prayer, not being a real Christian, lacking the faith to be healed, and spiritual weakness for choosing to be depressed over choosing to have a positive outlook. I think this lack of support and understanding is very damaging to the many Christians that suffer from this disorder. Having depression is hard enough without the judgments associated with it.
Would you tell someone with cancer that if only they repented of their sinful life they would be healed?
Would you tell a paraplegic that their pride was keeping them in a wheelchair?
Would you tell a blind person that if they would just pray more they would be able to see again?
Would you tell someone in a car accident that it was because they weren’t a real Christian?
Would you tell an amputee that they would grow a new limb if they had more faith?
Would you tell someone with Down Syndrome to stop choosing to have Down Syndrome?
I would assume the majority of people would respond no to these questions, so why is it acceptable to say such things to someone with a depressive disorder? I think Christians need to remember that actual depression, not just a day of feeling the blues, is a medical disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. That way they can be more sympathetic and less judgmental towards someone suffering from this condition.