3 Stereotypes of Mental Illness

Dear Warrior,

My heart is always heavy when I hear of people stuck in the muddied waters of depression. Lately, my heart has been at its heaviest.

It’s everywhere. Depression is everywhere.

My mind can’t comprehend how even a being like Satan could stoop as low as preying on weak and desperate minds. Yet he does it in every single moment. Every. Single. Moment.

I never thought I could be one to fall into such a trap as depression and suicide. As ashamed as I am now to say, I had bought into the stigmas surrounding mental illness.

Here are three of the stereotypes I subconsciously believed:

1.     They’re dysfunctional objects rather than a hurting soul.

2.     If they loved Jesus more, they wouldn’t be in this condition.

3.     They’re just selfish and attention seeking.

But then it found me.

When I least expected it, depression found me.

The stereotypes I had thrown onto those hurting souls were now defining me. I was the mentally ill. I was the dysfunctional object, the failed Christian, the selfish attention seeker.

I fought through my depression continuing to believe these blatant lies. It took me years until I finally realized that all of those stereotypes were so far from the truth.

So what is the truth? As a mental health Warrior or as an onlooker, how do we combat those stereotypes? If you, too, have fallen into these beliefs, here are a few things to slowly begin reworking our minds.

To the Warrior feeling like something is wrong with you,

Hear me: you were made intricately and intentionally just the way you are.

Psalm 139:13-14  |

In your battle, you might be sick - you might look different than your friends or the people you see around you – but you aren’t a mistake. This can be healed and this can be used. Keep fighting. You are worth it. Tell yourself that you are worth it.

To the Warrior believing that if you loved Jesus more, you wouldn’t be here right now,

Hear me: being depressed and suicidal doesn’t AT ALL mean you don’t love the Lord.

|   Visit http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/depression-bible.html to read more about the many godly figures in the Bible who faced depression.   |

I felt this SO hard in my depression. I felt like I wasn’t praying enough or wasn’t reading enough. And then when I would pray until my voice hurt and read until my eyes watered, I would feel nothing. Just numbness. Like all of my desperate efforts were hitting a ceiling.

Don’t give up, Warrior. Jesus is writing your story. Keep digging for truth. Keep reading. Keep praying. Keep fighting. God will honor that. I promise.

To the Warrior who feels like you are just acting selfish and attention seeking,

Hear me: you are loved and not a burden. The best way to love yourself and everyone around you is to reach out for help. Keep reaching out.

|   Ecclesiastes 4:9-12   |

I always talked myself out of getting help. I would convince myself it either wasn’t that bad or that I was being a selfish burden. That’s such a lie! Such a lie. No matter how bad it is, it’s never too early to get some help. There’s no shame in that. People want to love on you. That’s what we’re all here for. Reach out, Warrior. Keep fighting by reaching out.

And lastly:

To any onlookers who believe these lies about the mentally ill, I beg you to reconsider your thoughts. I beg you to stay open minded and driven by love and compassion.

We all hurt sometimes. Sometimes it looks different than others.
And that’s okay.

Keep fighting.

- Kadi