Suicide and The Dogmatic Christian

Posted: August 13, 2014 in Special Topics
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This week we lost a beloved comedian, Robin Williams, to suicide. It has sparked much news coverage and also talk about suicide and depression.

I’ve been dismayed by some of the comments from Christians about depression. The same old dogma. What I don’t think people realize is that it makes them appear not compassionate.

If you’re not a medical professional and if you or someone you know and loved been suicidal then stop talking like you know what you are talking about!

I’m not defending the choice Robin Williams made to end his life but I’ve been in that dark of a place many times, when it honestly didn’t feel like a choice…

I’ve hurt so badly that I wanted to die. I made plans but I got help. I’ve stood on the top of a tall lookout planning to jump. I’ve hurt myself. I’ve held a bottle of pills and almost took them all.

Yes I have bipolar disorder but I’m also a Christian. One does not preclude the other. I have a vibrant, very real and authentic faith in God. But I struggle with mental illness that sometimes makes me lose sight of my faith. It’s in those times that I want to give up.

For me the moments when I felt the darkness and felt there was no light I was not alone. Some of those times were where I grew in my faith in God the most. God can take broken people and make beautiful things from them. Sometimes He even lets us break so we can realize how much we truly need God.

Throughout my life I’ve heard countless people talk about depression and their answer is to just “pray about it.” Simple and simplistic. Start with that then go see your doctor, have your thyroid checked, get a physical, see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Grow in your faith too but realize that spouting a simple cliche is not the answer.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please get help today. If you have thoughts of suicide call 911 immediately. Each life is precious.

Show compassion in the way that we treat the broken hearted. Show compassion in our dialogue about depression, mental illness, suicide and our beliefs of faith.


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