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Re: Williams: Guest expert on depression and anxiety

Posted by Dena on April 11, 2005, at 9:14:11

In reply to Williams: Guest expert on depression and anxiety, posted by Dr. Bob on April 11, 2005, at 8:44:05

Dr. Williams -

Welcome to Psycho Babble Faith! I appreciate your willingness to be here, and as well for the book that you've (daringly!) written!

It's very much needed, in my (not so) humble opinion...

As a Christian of many years, and as a woman who was depressed for even more, I was certainly a recipient of the messages of shame -- that I didn't have "enough faith" to overcome my condition, that my depression was due to my own sinfulness (selfishness - introspection, etc.), that I must not be doing something right (i.e., "enough" Bible reading, "enough" prayer, "enough" serving others), and was, therefore, depressed due to my own laziness, etc.

I certainly tried -- and tried hard -- all the various methods that others told me to try, in order to be "a victor over my depression" (in hindsight, all that effort was mere "self-works"...).

After years of therapy (with too-many-to-count counselors, LCSW's, psychologists, psychiatrists, pastors, ministry-leaders, etc.), 5 in-patient treatment centers (the depression was linked to bulimia - which I had for 21 years), trying every marketed antidepressant, and standing in every prayer line (you name the denomination - I went to them for help)...

... I failed at all of them.

And, since each had given me the "very best" they had to give, it was deemed to be MY fault that I'd failed. The mantle of shame was a burden, heaped on top of an already overwhelming condition...

I was regularly dismissed as a "most stubborn and hopeless" case.

I certainly lost hope.

And I certainly felt as though God had abandoned me (or ELSE, I was, somehow, and probably due to my own fault, spiritually defective).

Almost 5 years ago, I did find hope. I experienced God going to my dark places, the wounds of my past, and replacing the deceptions there with His truth... in a very personal and profound way. Within 3 weeks of this experience, I realized that I was no longer either bulimic, nor depressed.

I've had no episodes of bulimia or depression since then -- no temptations to wrestle with, no daily decisions to make, nothing to "maintain".

Life isn't perfect, of course. But I'm no longer bulimic, and I no longer suffer from depression. And when the elephant is out of the living room, it's not that big of a deal to clean up what the elephant left behind...!

I'd love to hear your personal thoughts and insights about how Christianity, the Church, and even our culture, has done a disservice to those who struggle with emotional/mental disorders ...

... and what you believe (or have discovered) are the solutions to this problem.

Additionally - what sort of feedback (positive or negative) have you received from the faith community? Have you been more supported or villified?

Again, thank you for coming here to interact!

Shalom, Dena




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