Mental health is stigmatized in the church. People criticize my religious experience as being an outcropping of mental illness. Meanwhile, other people’s mental illnesses hinder people from being able to experience the God they already worship.

People might lack assurance of their salvation and worry about their soul. One man with schizophrenia wrote that he could feel his soul leaving him as he slipped into psychosis, which literally means – from the Greek – a swelling of the soul. I have thought a lot about this lately. Perhaps you have thought about it in the past, too. Therefore, I wanted to share what one of my classmates wrote on the message board recently. It affirmed the practice of psychology and self-examination/self-improvement as a means of God’s grace in my life. I reprint it here with her permission:

“I see value in doing some personal work to understand our motivations and patterns – asking the Holy Spirit to reveal those areas we cannot see is vital in moving beyond, and for strength to address when it is made known.  This is where emotional and psychological endeavors become holy. Many seek help to simply know themselves, to have better relationships, or an easier life.  Rather, the worth is when we look to discover our blind spots in order to be more like Christ and being able to love more purely. ” – Erica Zamorano


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