Christian Perspective: Mental Health
Pastor Christian Lamb // September 23, 2018
5 Myths about Mental Health
1. Mental health problems are rare
1 in 5 individuals in America live with a mental illness.
1 in 3 18-25 year olds received mental health treatment in the past year
There were twice as many suicides in the US than there were homicides in the past year
Suicide is the number #2 cause of death for those 10-34 years old.
More teens die as a result of suicide than cancer, heart issues, STDs, birth defects, strokes, pneumonia, influenza, and lung disease combined.
2. Mental health problems are new
Mental health problems go all the way back to Biblical times
37 references to madness & insanity in the Bible
1 Samuel: David pretends to be insane to avoid being killed when he is captured . . . he would have to know the characteristics of a person with madness to be able to feign the same characteristics.
Mental Health Problems in Biblical Characters
King Nebuchadnezzar: Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder
Samson: antisocial personality disorder
Gomer (wife of Hosea): borderline personality disorder
King Saul: Bipolar disorder
King David: Major Depression
3. Mental health problems are something you can just “get over”
Whatever you are facing, whatever you are feeling, don’t let anyone tell you that those feelings are wrong or to just get over them.
God designed you to have feelings and to process life and to feel.
It is not wrong to feel and it is not wrong to hurt and it is not wrong to cry or to process life in your own way.
4. If someone commits suicide they go to Hell
Some Christians say that if an individual commits suicide then they don’t have the chance to ask for forgiveness before they die and therefore go to hell. This is 110% incorrect.
We understand that it is not something that we do that brings us into our relationship with God, it is God’s love which brings us into a relationship with him.
The idea doesn’t hold up against simple logic.
5. Suicide & self-harm are selfish acts
When it comes to suicide and self-harm, many people have heard that it is selfish for someone to do either one of these acts. It is not selfish.
Nothing about suicide or self-harm is selfish, about revenge, or about getting attention. It is about pain.
Never diminish someone else’s feelings just because you don’t understand them.
Just because you don’t understand why someone would commit suicide or self-harm does not mean they were a coward, or selfish, or looking for attention. It just means they were hurting.
Abimelech commits suicide because he is afraid of what other people will say of him.
Samson feels guilty and ashamed and asks God to let him die as he destroys the building he is in.
Ahithophel feels guilty, like his actions are unforgiveable, so he goes and gets his house in order, cleans up, and hangs himself.
Judas experiences a pain that is incomprehensible. The pain of betraying someone you are close to and he decides he cannot live with that pain and commits suicide.
All these examples have one thing in common: They do not depict suicide as something that is selfish or for revenge or for attention. They depict a response to a deep pain that people are experiencing.