By Nathan Anenson 

Have you been there?  On the outside, you’re showing up, you’re smiling, and you’re trying your best.  But on the inside, you’re battling depression, anxiety, or you just feel stressed.  There’s just too much and you can’t handle it all.  If you find yourself struggling mentally, you’re not alone. 

Mental health struggles have become much more common for people of all ages.  While there are no easy solutions, it’s important to understand what God says about mental health and debunk three myths.   

Myth #1: “If I struggle with mental health, God must not love me.”  False.  The presence of mental health struggles is not a sign of God’s absence.  In fact, King David wrote, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).  Then the Apostle Paul wrote, “For I am convinced that…nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:38-39).  Mental health struggles cannot separate you from the love of God.  He is close to you, especially when life is overwhelming.   

Myth #2: “If I struggle with mental health, I must be a bad Christian.” False.  When you become a Christian, Jesus doesn’t automatically give you six-pack abs, raise your credit score, and regrow your receding hairline.  Neither does Jesus automatically heal your mental health struggles.  There will always be a certain level of brokenness we live with until Christ returns.  But God gives us the strength we need.  “Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).   

Myth #3: “If I struggle with mental health, God doesn’t want to hear about it.”  False.  God wants to hear about your mental health struggles.  The Psalms (a collection of songs in the Bible) are a great example of this.  About 40% of the Psalms are people processing mental, emotional, and relational struggles.  The key is that they are processing these struggles with God in prayer.  God is not afraid of our honesty.  In fact, He already knows our struggles better than we do.  So why not bring your struggles to God?  Pray Psalms like 13, 69, and 77, and get real with God.   

No matter what your story looks like, there’s always hope.  God brings beauty out of pain and peace out of chaos.  Don’t be afraid to get help.  Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of wisdom.  Seek out a good counselor.  Find a church community.  Talk to God.  Talk to someone who cares.  You aren’t alone.  God is with you, and He cares.