“Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the Devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood….”
With regards to mental illness the Evil One bears his teeth in the form of stigma, prejudice, fear, judgment, gossip, and denial. He rears his sly head in the form of spreading myths that in some way blame the victim or the victim’s family. In the specific case of depression and anxiety he insures that those afflicted are ostracized and alienated through the notion that the primary cause of these conditions lie within the realm of personal choice and responsibility. In truth, there is NEVER one primary root cause of depression and anxiety and if there was it certainly wouldn’t be in the realm of choice!
So if you know someone with a mental illness, don’t avoid his or her glance. Look right into his or her eyes, smile, offer a handshake, and invite that person to an activity religious or not. If you know a family member of such a person do the same. If you hear or read a myth being promulgated even if by well-meaning person or a person of authority, correct it. Myths create fear. Fear’s birth-baby, judgment promotes denial. These things say, “It will never happen to me if I do or don’t do X” and “I don’t have depression, anxiety, or another condition because that would mean I am weak or defective.”
We have a responsibility to spread the truth about mental illness with boldness. We need to pray at every opportunity in the Spirit for courage.
“Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on that evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.”
All scripture quoted and italicized and not is from today’s reading from Ephesians 6: 10-20.
The photograph is public domain in the United States “because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the US Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Ch. 1, Section 105 of the US Code.” On Wikimedia.