Mental Health and Christianity
What are our unique tools?
By Dr.Bassem Wilson
Mental health is a major issue that affects many people, and even Christians can struggle with it. We will discuss a few points on how a working faith will help mental health.
- Having access to a support network is one of the most important fundamentals when dealing with mental health. A support network is not classified as having people surrounding you but further, having people that you can talk to and open up about any struggles you are faced with. The main people that struggle with mental health issues, like depression, are those that lack an active support network in their lives. Support networks may include people like family, friends, psychologists, or your confession father. But the main and ultimate support is the Lord himself. Prayer allows you to communicate and put all your problems before the Lord, essentially like a 24/7 support network.In Christianity we often look at prayer as a ticked boxed that needs to be completed, although it should be used more for our own benefit. As such, the Lord places us in certain tribulations, so that we can reach out to Him and so He can hear our voice.
- The second point is the concept of ‘conflict resolution’. Conflict can be one of 2 things: either between you and someone else, or it can be between you and the Lord (separation). If it is conflict with another person, you won’t be forgiven unless YOU willingly and solely forgive, as this is a mercy act for yourself and not the person. If the conflict is between you and the Lord, the only way to resolve it is through true repentance and confession.Confession acts as an advantage because you are able to be persistently absolved. The partaking of the Holy Communion is one of the most important yet highly underestimated tools against mental health issues. Having the body and blood of God with a repentant heart acts as an enormous support. “When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine” – Revelation 6:5-6 NKJV. This passage highlights the fact that although barley and wheat were valuable at the time, while wine symbolising the sacrament, and oil symbolises the Holy Spirit, were not harmed.
- The last and final tool for use, is praising God at all times. Being thankful and showing praise to the Lord is a tool that can bring us up. It allows us to continue prayer and feel joy, not by asking but rather praising. It is a really strong tool that is able to lift our spirits and allows us to feel happiness without complaining or seeking anything from God.
Glory be to God, forever Amen.