2:161 – I have Mental Illness And It’s Ok
#faithbites #faithjourney #noshame mental
My name is Sol Roberts-Lieb and I have clinical depression and anxiety. There it is. Does it surprise you? Do I not look like someone who is depressed? Are you shocked that i would openly talk about it?
Tonight after drinks, a colleague (who happened to be a neuroscientist) pulled me aside and apologized if he didn’t seem to be compassionate enough when I spoke about my depression and anxiety the day before. When I told him, we were in a very crowded loud room and I needed to get out to breathe. I told him, that I didn’t think anything of it. He assured my confidentiality and was supportive. Then we got into the crux of the matter. Just like someone with heart disease isn’t directly responsible for their disease or if you break your arm and you need treatment, mental illness needs the same discussion and support. Sure, just like in other diseases you can make some choices that make it better or worse, but there shouldn’t be the stigma that there is. For me it’s a bit harder because, with physical illness, it’s hard to will your body to do something, but we feel with mental illness we should be able to will our minds to change.
I am open about my physical and mental conditions. For me, when I share it gives me strength, as I know loved ones want to help. It is the same for those who suffer from diseases that don’t have physical symptoms others can see.
- “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. – John 14:27
- “Water encompassed me to the point of death The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. “I descended to the roots of the mountains The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. “While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple. – Jonah 2:5-7
- I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
A common theme in #faithbites is the strength we get from our faith. This is no different. I also strongly believe in counseling and medication when needed. For me, this is a continuation of God’s love. I pray for strength and help. The Lord delivers health care professionals who can help. I have been Jonah under water, weeds around me unable to breathe. The Lord lifted me up by family, friends, and health care professionals to give me support and tools to help me survive and thrive.
Mental illness can be and is scary. Anxiety sucks because many times there isn’t a trigger that sets it off. In many physical diseases there is a trauma or an infection that you can point to as the root cause. For me, and I know many others who suffer, can be going about there day, and boom, anxiety strikes. It’s the difference between preparing for a hurricane and a tornado. The notice isn’t there.
I’m sharing this tonight in the hopes that if you are suffering, you know at least one person who is here for you, who you can talk to, and who can relate. Also, at least for me, faith and medicine go hand in hand. There is no shame in admitting you need help and that you get that through medication. Know that you are loved, supported, and there is help.
If you are suffering or know someone who is suffering, there is no shame in admitting mental illness. There is nothing wrong with needing to talk professionally or taking medicine to help with it. Pray about it. Ask the Lord for help. He will put people in your life to help you find the relief you need.
Lord, thank you for the confidence to talk about my mental health issues. Help us to combat the stigma of mental illness and the idea that faith and medicine aren’t interlinked. Give us your peace as we look to you for solutions as we are living with these conditions. Lord, help us to find the people who can be the conduits for your love, healing, and compassion. In your name, Amen.