Pray the Devil Away: The Worst Way to Fight Depression

Pray the Devil Away: The Worst Way to Fight Depression September 23, 2016

Dead inside. That is how I feel at the moment. It is the way my mind tries to cope with what is going on in my life. I check out from the pain in my mind and feel nothing.

I still have thoughts racing around in my head, but I just watch them go past, I feel tired as they race, but I don’t cry or try to tackle them, or contradict them. I have no energy to tackle the thoughts.

At least I know now that this is not the devil testing me. At least I know now that I can get help for the pain in my mind.  At least I know now that I can help myself by taking some steps to improving my situation. At least I know now that prayer doesn’t work in making depression go away. At least now I know that the way I am feeling is not because I am a bad person. I am not evil. The devil is not torturing me.

My first ever blog post was about prayer and the importance of taking action instead of waiting for something to happen. I have to take action now to help myself out of of this pain. The numbness. Thankfully the numbness has subsided, but I am still tackling the abyss.

The abyss is not evil. It is a medical condition, my brain must be one of those brains that needs an extra boost. But even with that boost, it still feels sluggish. How can Christians really think that our bodies are so wonderful and made in gods image when even the body part that is meant to be used to praise god can’t function fully? Surely if god was really all powerful he would have made sure that our brains worked properly…at least.

I remember being in the presence of some incredibly religious friends of the family. One of our friends was talking about “those poor people who have depression, those poor people who just need God in their lives. They just need to know Jesus as their personal saviour and they will be so much happier. They just need to have faith and pray”. I was religious at the time, so I tried not to question religious beliefs but something inside me back then knew this was not right. I thought of all the Christians that I knew with depression and how difficult it would be to feel that there must be something wrong with your faith and that is why you are not free from depression. I soon found out how that felt.

For a long time I felt inadequate, if I felt like this it must be because I am not good enough, I am sinful. I blamed myself for the pain and not being good enough. I prayed for a mini miracle, that god would make the sadness go away. If god  could move mountains and make miracles happen when someone only has faith the size of a mustard seed, then he must be able to help me? No. He did not. It took many years for me to embrace medication and therapy delivered by real people who could actually help! Breaking down the barrier of religion in mind helped. Realising I am not inherently evil and sinful was a revelation that helped me drag myself into a level of light I had not seen before. I am still somewhat in the shade, I fear I may be tackling the shadows my whole life. But I feel free knowing that the pain is not due to little devils attacking me from all angles, or demons infiltrating my mind because I read Harry Potter once.

I had years of indoctrination and my mind was moulded by religion for 20 years, so I have accepted that it will take perhaps just as many years to reshape myself. Accepting this is difficult, I have a few more years of self discovery and healing to do, but I will get through it. And when I get to the other side, feeling wonderful and happy, with the tools to manage my depression, it will be because I laboured and fought for it. Not because Jesus waved his magic staff at me. It will because I fought and won the war with my mind.

 


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