I’m just leaning on God.
Which was her reasoning for stopping her Lexapro.
Nora’s family lashed out angrily at her. “Why are you so horrible!”
Her husband had left her for another woman from their church, a “friend” of Nora’s who used to come to their house for movie nights. He said, “You’re like poison, Nora. I’m not happy any more with you.”
Nora had now lost her job. She couldn’t focus and cried too much at work. Her supervisor told her, “You are not the same.”
Nora decided she wasn’t going to take her medications any longer because what she needed was more faith to be well and to get her life back. Her plan for recovery from debilitating depression and paralyzing anxiety was to be more dependent on God by way of certain practices, mainly not taking her medication. Although she didn’t see her plan for recovery quite so transparently. She thought it was through prayer and sincere intention to be God’s rehabilitation appurtenant.
Nora did say she was still taking her anticholesterol medication. And so we spoke about the important related perspectives between what Nora saw to be “medical” verses “spiritual” illness.
- First to lead into the matters, “What are you taking your Crestor for?”
- Where does cholesterol come from in our bodies?
- Where do emotions and behaviors come from?
- Is there a spiritual element that has a relationship to high cholesterol? How about to emotions and behaviors?
- Is there a medical change that causes the disease of hypercholesterolemia? How about emotions and behaviors?
- Why be willing to take medication for a spiritual illness of hypercholesterolemia? Wink.
Nora, it turned out, loved where this conversation took her thoughts. It was hard to encounter inconsistencies in her religious beliefs and practices. But she did because she is a woman of courage!
It got me thinking about what role our cultures, related to religion, play into our emotional health. Is there a source of stigma against getting life saving medical treatment for mental illness that we are missing simply from the religious culture we are quietly woven into through life? Randy Travis’s song lyrics, “I hear tell the road to hell is paved with good intentions…” implies that we in religion justify the collateral damage, such as death and ruined lives by mental illness, by the belief in the greater good. I’m sure I do this too in my own unconscious way. And isn’t that what this post is all about? I want to take a big stick to this glass and shatter it! (Aggressive much? Smile.)
When I think of Nora, sometimes I can’t believe she actually is taking medication and doing so well now in her life journey. It’s a miracle.
Self-Care Tip: Explore the role religion is in your opinion toward medical treatment.
Questions: How does religion interweave into your stigmas? Or those you’ve broken through?
Or maybe it’s the opposite. Religion has contributed to your self care and medical choices?
Please speak! We need to hear you!