Faith can have an incredible impact on mental health treatment, but the type of impact it has depends on the reaction of the congregation.
Growing up in my church I, unfortunately, did not have a positive experience. Going through a deep depression in my teens, at first, the reaction from my church was to separate me. I wasn’t allowed to attend our revival (a yearly event in Tennessee, where people of the same faith gather to participate in back to back meetings, sermons and activities to strengthen faith and spiritual growth) because the adult chaperones thought I might be too much of a danger to myself or others. Though no one spoke to me or my family about it and I received an apology from the Elders later on, coming with suitcases to leave, only to be told you can’t go, is a horrible way to handle things. But the support from my peers, a Deacon and soon after, a new minister, helped a lot. [Read more…]