4 Ways Christian Faith Shatters Mental Health Myths and Builds Hope

Author and Podcaster
Updated May 09, 2024
4 Ways Christian Faith Shatters Mental Health Myths and Builds Hope

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, let's bust up some damaging myths about mental illness and replace them with the truth about mental health, what it is, and what it is not.

I have struggled with mental health crises many times: depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. I've gone from addiction to freedom and so many things that are ultimately all mental problems, right, mental struggles, mindset concerns. In the Christian faith, we also know enemy tactics. So, let's learn from this overarching conversation about mental health. What is it, and what is it not? First off, it is real, right? 

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Tiziana Nanni

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1.  Mental Illness Is Real, but it Is Not Permanent.

Though troubles may assail us, remember: 

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." - 2 Corinthians 4:17

I think as Christians, we can get into a place where we become complacent when people start talking about that problem again. I've experienced it from a potentially medicated space, and I never end up using medication. However, it was presented and is a real fix for people depending on their different biochemical makeups. It is a real thing. It is not a made-up conversation. However, even though it is real, it is not permanent.

Now, some of you may read this and think, 'Gosh, I've been taking medication for 30 years. It feels pretty permanent. I don't have a choice.' I believe that 2 Corinthians 4:7 teaches us that though troubles may assail us, remember our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us as a far more exceedingly eternal weight of glory. Whether we have freedom here on this side of heaven or not, it's not permanent. You do not have to carry that as your identity. 

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sad man overwhelmed head in hands on bench

2. Mental Illness Is Hard, but it Is Not Impossible.

"In our struggles, let us recall: 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."- Philippians 4:13

Mental illness is hard. It really is a battle. And it's a spiritual battle more so than anything, though we do know it can also be a physical battle. Mental illness can encompass spiritual, emotional, and relational strife. And it is hard. However, it is not impossible. Navigating mental illness is not impossible. Philippians 4:13 says 'in our struggles.'

Let us recall that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. I'm hoping that we're breaking some mental illness stigma right now simply by my shared firsthand experience and also the stories of many others. I know people who have been freed from taking medication, and I know people who have been diagnosed with a specific biochemical concept. And yet spiritually, they have not walked in chains any longer after Jesus got a hold of the conversation. I, myself, had to go to therapy for quite a while when it came to the things that I was struggling with. The traumas that had been induced then became mental illnesses, right,  and affected me in that capacity.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Pheelings Media

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3. Mental Illness Is Your Next Level, it Is Not Your End.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11

Mental health is your next level, not your end. What do I mean by that? If you are facing a mental stronghold, a mental issue, or a mental illness, you need to know that if you can bust through that, you will actually be on top of the enemy. You will have surfaced through the glass ceiling that has been put over the top of your head as a cap. It's not over. It's not the end.

I believe you're just getting started when you're willing to face mental illness head-on and get the full help in all capacities that you may need. The Lord reminds us, in Jeremiah 29:11, that he has plans for us as we embrace our journey—plans to prosper us and not to harm us, Plans to give us hope and a future. It's not the end. In fact, it might just be the beginning of a unique and dynamic testimony that you get to share. 

All of our messages can become movements if we are willing to stand up and testify over what the enemy has tried to do and what culture has tried to suppress, compress, or create addictions out of. 

Lord knows mental illness can be an element of that. 

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4. Mental Health Is Worth Paying Attention to, but it Is Not an Excuse.

 "Let us understand: 'Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.'" - Romans 12:2

Mental illness is worth paying attention to. It is not something that can be stuffed down. It cannot be put under the rug. We have to bring it to light. We have to be able to confess and teach and share around it. This is what vulnerability is. It's also how we raise our hand from a lens of ownership to say we need help with that very thing. It is also not an excuse. 

Mental illness cannot be the bondage of a victim mentality that keeps us out of our anointing, operating in our authority or power underneath the blood of Christ.

Romans 12:12 reminds us to understand and resist conforming to the pattern of the world, but instead to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then, we will be able to test and improve what God's will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

I believe on the other side of mental illness, diagnosis, therapy, or medication, we can operate in our full wholeness, our full healing and freedom.

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Watch Tamra's inspiring message here: 

Tamra Andress

Tamra Andress is a 6x #1 Best Selling Author (5 books, 2 forewords), International Speaker, Top .3% Globally Seasoned Podcaster in spiritual and business categories (The Messenger Movement Podcast), and a recognized thought-leader in Spiritual Entrepreneurship. She is an Ordained Minister in the Marketplace and spends her time speaking, coaching, and hosting events. Her time is spent serving as the founder and lead visionary for F.I.T. in Faith Media & F.I.T. Press Publishing House, a business and broadcasting company focused on podcasting, publishing, and platform development - ultimately selling words! 

She’s also the President of The Founder Collective non-profit, which serves as a collaboration zone for other faith-driven entrepreneurs to be discipled, equipped, and commune through weekly gatherings and an annual conference with sights on an integrated faith and business collision school - this is the mobilized church. All of her initiatives are centralized to catalyze faith-filled leaders into messengers with movements so that they can broadcast Truth and advance the Kingdom. She and her husband and two children reside in Virginia Beach, VA, but you’ll likely see them traveling the globe in their bathing suits! Check her out on Instagram and Facebook.

Originally published Thursday, 09 May 2024.