Christianity and Depression

The thoughts in this video boil my blood:

Starting around 6:30, a young man in this video describes suffering through depression for the past eight years. Starting around 9:30 of the video, he received the following response another young man:

“Worst-case scenario, it’s your lot in life, and God is not planning on healing you. He’s still using you. He’s still working in your life.”

His response, understandably, was “that’s just cruel.” The other young man retorts, “is it cruel if you had lived a happy life, and then gone to hell afterwards?”

If God doesn’t magically heal you of depression, you should simply consider it your lot in life, an utterly unchangeable condition, to suffer horribly, and an eschatological hope is supposed to silence your objections. The “voice of God” this young man experienced seems to be echoing these sentiments. Additionally, at 7:30, he seems to be convinced that there is absolutely no other way to deal with his suffering.

I don’t think those participating in this discussion understand how much potential harm they are causing the young man suffering from depression by making these assertions, which seem to be buttressed by the myths that the healing of emotional and psychological issues is only capable by direct divine intervention, and that mental health professionals seek primarily to destroy religious faith. This isn’t very far removed from those Christian Scientists and other fundamentalists who do not believe in any medical treatment, because it illustrates a lack of trust in God.

It is possible that these young men may be unaware of how easily absurd such ignorance becomes. This wouldn’t be as upsetting if it didn’t involve indoctrinating the young man suffering from depression with the idea that God may simply want him to suffer, and to completely ignore the possibility of taking initiative, seeking treatment and becoming well. I sincerely hope that someone outside this discussion group is able to reach through with a different message. Unfortunately, all of the comments allowed on this video are being screened.

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Some Thoughts on Death

I’m currently dealing with someone in the family who’s dying for the first time since losing my faith. It may be that this is so new, but having to continually hear statements like “it’s all in the Lord’s hands”… I’ve let them use their own means to cope, but it’s certainly not helping me deal with the process at all.

It’s also the particularly religious portion of my family who created a REALLY uncomfortable moment, which is related to the person who’s dying being an agnostic who’s stopped going to church for several years. In order to rationalize the fact that, according to their beliefs, they would be going to hell after they die, they made conciliatory statements in front of the person who’s dying like “oh, you never stopped believing in God. You just stopped believing in organized religion.” Thankfully, someone managed to quickly change the subject.

I’ve also thought how their approach to death is different than mine. I get a very palpable sense from them that they are angry at having someone taken away from them. I’ve been trying to think of this in the exact opposite manner: I was never guaranteed any time with this person at all. Any time I’ve been able to borrow has been a gift, and the time that I’ve been able to borrow is coming to an end. I believe that I’m never going to see them face to face again, but the fact that I have is something I should remember, and cherish.