As a therapist, I hear so many stories from clients who are given what seems to be well-intended advice from Christian friends and family regarding medication for depression.
They say, “If you just have more faith, God will heal you,” or “Medication is just a crutch. You need to rely on God.”
As a woman who has suffered from clinical depression myself, I know how it feels to be faced with the difficult decision to choose medication and I also have experienced the wonderful freedom and grace of receiving relief from the suffering.
Clinical depression calls for both a psychological and physiological assessment. We wouldn’t tell our loved ones or friends not to take their diabetes or thyroid medication, would we? I sure hope not.
Receiving God’s Grace
Job understood depression and suffering. In Job 3:26 he says:
“I have no peace, no quietness”
“I have no rest; only trouble comes”
Job’s three friends had good intentions. Scripture tells us, “they got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him.”
Yes! Go and be with Job to comfort him and console him.
Unfortunately, his friend’s good intentions get lost. In Job chapters 4 and 5 we see harsh judgment come to Job by his friends:
“But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you” Job 4:5-6
“If I were you, I would go to God and present my case to Him” Job 5:8
I can imagine Job hanging his head in shame as the onslaught of judgement continues.
Choosing anti-depressants is a step of faith, not a show of weakness or lacking faith and trust in God. God’s grace comes in many forms and I believe that God gifted science with medications to balance our brains so we can live a peace-filled life and we can experience His great love and grace for us. Medications can aid us in our recovery and give us the brain-balance that many people need hormonally to feel themselves again.
If you are suffering, receive God’s grace today and know that He loves you and does not want you to suffer. Seek professional counseling along with medication, if needed. To receive the full benefit, have a professional assessment by a psychiatrist done first (see my blues vs. depression blog for more info).
Offering God’s Grace
If you have a friend or family member who is suffering from symptoms of depression, come along side of them and offer them grace. Listen and ask them how you can help. Do not assume you know what they need as Job’s friends did. When I was suffering I needed understanding and most importantly…
—- I needed to feel safe and that I would not be judged or condemned.