Your mental health is the state of well-being of your psychological, mental, social and emotional capacity. A person’s mental health state influences their behaviour, thinking and perception. Our mental health must be in a good state for us to survive daily challenges of life.
Many Christians do not see mental health as crucial discussion, especially in church. From experience, I can say that our mental health is very important. God is very concerned about our overall health and he doesn’t take our health for granted hence the need for these mental health tips for Christians.
More Christians are experiencing different forms of mental disorders now than ever. We are often deceived by the outward appearances of people in worship centres that we forget there is more to a man than his clothes. Most times we are misled to think that accepting salvation makes everything better; that isn’t the case. Believers also face mental health issues and the earlier we speak about it the better.
In this article
- 1 Importance of Mental Health
- 2 Common Causes of Mental illnesses
- 3 Examples of Mental Illnesses
- 4 Mental Health Issues in the Bible
- 5 Common Signs of Mental Health Issues
- 6 Habits to Improve Mental Health
- 7 Encouraging Bible Verses about Mental Health
Importance of Mental Health
- Mental health affects our relationships. Our mental health affects how we relate with people; it also determines how we play our role in our relationships with family, friends, colleagues etc.
- Mental health affects our overall physical health. Our mental ability determines how much attention we pay to our physical health and body. Many times, people with mental illnesses also become physically ill.
- Our emotional well-being is related to our mental health. Our emotions are connected to our mental ability; our mental health determines how we react to situations emotionally.
- Poor mental health can lead to crime. The increased crime rate has been linked to emotional health. People tend to commit crimes when they can no longer differentiate between good and bad.
- Our mental health affects how well we fulfil purpose. God has a purpose for every one of us. Our ability to fulfil purpose and yield to God depends on how mentally prepared we are for the assignment.
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Common Causes of Mental illnesses
- Trauma or Abuse
When people go through traumatic experiences or abuse, it can lead to mental health issues. This is why believers need to help people who are going through one trauma and abuse with love. We should help them find comfort and be there to support them.
- Biological factors which include prenatal damages , head injuries, etc.
- Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
Drugs and alcohol are very dangerous for our mental and overall health. It alters the brain and activities of the body.
- Isolation and loneliness
Loneliness is not good. It allows room for negative and oppressive thoughts. God doesn’t want loneliness. This is why he created a woman as a companion for Adam in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says this about loneliness:
God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.Psalm 68:6
- Prolonged illness
No one loves to be ill. Illnesses when prolonged can lead to serious mental health issues. Prolonged illness can lead to an unwillingness to live.
Examples of Mental Illnesses
It is normal to often feel overwhelmed by circumstances and sometimes feel unhappy. Depression is a feeling of emptiness and sadness. It is often characterised by an inability to see goodness in circumstances or situations for no clear reason. It is possible to overcome depression because I have. You can read my story here and learn from me.
Depression is not a respecter of age, gender or religion. Anyone can become depressed.
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that consists of extreme mood swings 9extreme highs or lows). It is a more serious condition than depression. Bipolar disorder affects energy levels and productivity. Bipolar disorder can be clinically managed.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is a kind of disorder where the patient has excessive thoughts that become an obsession. These obsessive thoughts lead to compulsive behaviour. It usually manifests as fear or a strange need for things to be done in a particular way.
Anxiety is an intense feeling of excessive fear or worry over the future or everyday activities. We all usually feel anxious in certain situations in our lives but anxiety is a constant feeling of worry. It consumes one’s thoughts and makes living freely difficult.
It is a severe mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, behaves, perceives reality, or expresses them. People with schizophrenia often feel withdrawn and are sometimes not in touch with reality. They often can’t tell what is real and what is not.
Substance Use Disorder
Substance use disorder also known as drug abuse is a mental disorder in which a person cannot control their use of drugs (legal/illegal) drugs, alcohol or medications. It affects a person’s brain or ability to control the use of drugs.
According to research, people who have had this disorder may end up having another form of mental disorder. Drug addiction starts gradually and it may later become a serious mental condition.
Mental Health Issues in the Bible
The Bible is filled with a lot of experiences and stories that we can learn from. There are biblical examples of mental illnesses that show us that no one is immune to mental health issues.
Elijah and Jezebel (I kings 19:1-21)
Elijah was a prophet of God who was respected and feared in his lifetime. His words are like the word of a god. Elijah once challenged the prophet of Baal and brought down the power of God to consume an offering that had water in place of fuel. He won his challenge against the prophet of Baal and he slaughtered them all. This made him a target for jezebel and she was after his life.
Elijah fled and he became depressed because he was tired of running. He lamented and complained to God that he wished for death. He could no longer bear the pressure from all around; he gave up. God heard his pain and anguish because he is the God who sympathises with our weaknesses. God fed him, renewed his strength, and showed himself to Elijah in a new way before sending him on another assignment.
Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:31-37)
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king who ruled Persia. He had so much power and authority; he was revered by all men. While he was walking around his palace one day, he looked at the whole kingdom and he was proud of his achievement. He praised himself like he was a god and God punished him by taking away the control of his senses.
Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind and reasoning. He went out into the wild, living and eating like an animal for seven years. He couldn’t reason or behave like a human being anymore. He is an example of people who lost their mental health. God used the experience to show him that nothing can be achieved without proper mental stamina.
Nebuchadnezzar lost his good mental health because of pride; he thought he had achieved everything by his power. God was faithful enough to preserve his throne throughout the seven years, he came back to continue his reign. It is indeed a show of God’s power, valour and restoration which is available to all.
Job was an upright man who loved God with all his heart. God loved Job and he was proud of him; God even boasted to the devil about the dedication and service of Job. The devil tempted Job and his dedication and service to God were tested. Job lost everything he had in one day. The devil wasn’t satisfied since Job didn’t deny God.
The devil afflicted Job’s body; a sorrow even his wife couldn’t bear. He became depressed and sad; he couldn’t imagine why God allowed such calamities to befall him. In the moment of his sorrow, he cursed the day he was born. He even stated that the events that happened to him were his greatest fear.
Job was able to survive; he came out victorious and God gave him double the things he had lost.
Common Signs of Mental Health Issues
- Mood swings
- Reduction in energy levels
- Constant fear and anxiety
- Emotional outbursts
- Hallucinations and hearing of strange voices
Habits to Improve Mental Health
The journey to having stable and healthy mental health is not a sprint. It takes consistent and conscious effort. I believe when we incorporate healthy habits into our day-to-day activities, our mental health will surely receive the boosts it needs.
- Have a forgiving heart/let go of bitterness
- See positivity in challenges
- Be in charge of your thoughts
- Constant communication with God
- Live a prayerful life
- Rest in the promises of God
- Seek godly counsel/theraphy
- Connect with others
- Take care of your physical health
- Set boundaries
- Make worship a lifestyle
- Speak out
Encouraging Bible Verses about Mental Health
God will never leave us without comfort. Many scriptures can serve as refuge whenever we feel fear, anxiety or depression.
Psalm 18 verse 19
He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me because He was pleased with me and delighted in me.
Psalm 73 verse 26
My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the rock and strength of my heart and my portion forever.
1 Corinthians 10 verse 13
No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].
Matthew 11 verse 28
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].
Let me leave you with this final word of encouragement from the book of Habakkuk 3 verse 19 which says;
The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility].