Is There a Place for God in Psychiatry?

I have been going to the same psychiatrist since I was 12 years old with her help, an awesome therapist, diet, excercise, and a whole lot of Jesus I was able to come off of all of my medication for bipolar disorder three years ago. The past two years have been extremely hard. I mean this mess has been borderline ridiculous. Eric started a new job, we had a baby, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, we bought our first house, my grandmother died, then four months later my grandfather was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. It is seriously almost comical how insane the past two years have been with one thing after another being hard and somewhere in there I lost myself.

I took antidepressants from ages 12 to 24 and now as an adult, looking back, I am still not completely sold on the idea of any person under the age of 21 going on antidepressants before implementing other methods of treatment (diet, exercise, etc). At the time I think myself and my family we’re all desperate for help. I was impulsive and hurting myself. I constantly wanted to die. I would stay up all night from side effects and dread when I would have to change medications again and again because nothing was working. I saw a counselor but never really made any progress. That is what I remembered about medication. I had totally forgotten about what life was like when we got the medication right.

I was consistently going to church. I was eating “clean” foods paired with regular exercise. I was sleeping regularly. Seeing a counselor bi-weekly who was making me do the work it takes to get better. I could concentrate. I could relax. I could leave my house without crippling anxiety. It was like I was choosing to only look at the bad parts.

The past ten months have been crippling. I have been barely getting by. Everything has been getting done at home but inside I felt like I was drowning. I would not have the energy to shower or go anywhere. One outing would put me out for the rest of the day. My entire body would ache until bedtime, in which I could not sleep. I would finally fall asleep at 12 and wake up at 4:30 in the morning. It was this horrible cycle. My thoughts would get so bad I would not text or call anyone because I did not want anyone to ask how I was. I was too tired to text back not to mention I really did not have the strength to lie anymore. Anytime I would try implement any kind of schedule into my daily life…I just couldn’t. Nothing seemed to work and nothing seemed to stick, then my failure to keep up with these things made me feel like an even bigger loser. Depression is a constant waging of wars in your own mind and it is increasingly isolating.

I kept telling myself that I was “healed” from my depression and that God would not want me to go back on medication. After all, it was a miracle I got off in the first place, for me to turn back now would be such an Israelite move (Exodus 16).

Then the Lord stopped me on numerous occasions. Friends and people I hardly knew would ask for my opinion on what they should do about their own battles with depression or anxiety and every single time my response was, “Are you taking anything for it?” or “Are you seeing anyone about it?” I was giving advice that I was not taking for myself and whenever that happens it is so important to step back and look at the situation in its entirety. The situation at hand was that my thoughts were dark and were becoming darker and darker as the days went by. My grief was not getting better and I was not getting better. I was constantly in a fog and anytime I thought I could see light at the end of this long dreary tunnel I would fall flat on my face. I prayed constantly. I cried out constantly. I spoke scripture over my life until it was like fire that could take me home at any moment…but, there I was.

I went away the last weekend in August for a little getaway with a friend. In my journal I wrote, “If I do not have a routine and if I do not feel better by October 1, I will reach out.” When I wrote this sentence I really did not realize how bad things could get in the span of two months. So, I finally reached out. I texted a trusted friend, found out what was working for her because I knew she dealt with similar feelings. Then I called and made the appointment and somehow that appointment changed my life.

I am better. This morning I was able to shower, go for a run, write, watch TV with my kids, and most of all see the goodness of the Lord and all he has blessed me with. The craziest part is I did not think this is what God wanted for me. My all loving Father, and I boxed him in yet again. Healing comes in so many forms; Spontaneous, irrational, supernatural, and progressive. He is in everything and when we make Mental Health strictly about science or completely forget that there is most definitely a place for God within Science we do ourselves a grave disservice.

He is in everything. There are miracles in medicine and there are miracles in you. If you are reading this, the Lord who created the universe created you too. You are loved. You were planned before your time, and you are here for a reason. Please, make that appointment. Please, reach out. And please, never give up.

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