I've had a lot of problems with depression and other mental issues, but my family won't admit to anyone that I've been hospitalized or even ask people in our church to pray for me. Why is there still such a stigma attached to mental problems? I feel so isolated sometimes.
The most important thing I can tell you is that God understands what you’ve been going through, and I want to assure you that He hasn’t rejected you or abandoned you. Nor does He look down on you, or treat you as a failure or outcast.
Instead, God loves you and wants to help you and encourage you. Do you believe this? It’s true – and the reason I know it’s true is because God’s own Son was willing to give His life for you. The Bible says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). If you have never asked Him to come into your life, I pray you will do so today.
Your parents’ attitude was unfortunate; perhaps it came from a misguided sense of pride. I’m thankful, however, that in general mental illness no longer carries the stigma it once did – nor should it. After all, some of God’s greatest servants across the ages struggled with depression and other mental problems. The Psalmist cried out, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5).
But the Psalmist found new strength in God and His love – and so can you. Learn to walk with Christ every day – and then ask Him to help you to help others who face the same problems you have experienced.