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Mental Illness and God's Covering

It's almost a year to the day when I planned my suicide. 

I had been suffering from an undiagnosed depressive episode brought on by a change in medication. This decision to alter my medicine came from pressures of the dramatic life change COVID introduced. I was riddled with anxiety and a sense of confusion I never dealt with before. My nurse practitioner decided to increase one of my anti-depressants, and within a week I was feeling much better. 

Then I wasn't. 

The sudden shift of chemicals in my brain, coupled with the overwhelming sense of hopelessness that clouded my thoughts, were enough to send me into a severe downward spiral that scared me.

My soul cleaves to the dust  - Psalm 119:25a

My mind and heart were a scattered mess. I walked around as if I was not in the world. The humiliation I felt and shame that gripped every beat of my heart had me searching for a way to relieve my pain. Surely I could not let my family see me like this. They deserved a better mother and wife. 

I scoured the bible searching for scripture to bring me into the light. The Psalms of David did not comfort me as they once did. I felt empty while searching for a place of peace and rest. I begged and pleaded with God to take my pain away, to relieve me of the crippling depression that gripped my very soul. 

I believe depression is two-fold. Chemical imbalances are real and devastating, just as the war within a soul between the spiritual realms. Satan takes special advantage of those with mental illness. He sees souls that are splayed open in desperation and loss. He creeps around planting thoughts in minds that are plagued with indecision and humiliation. 

It is a battlefield of the heavenly realm and the hounds of hell. 

As I cleaved to this devastation, I decided suicide was the only way out of the war raging within.I made my plans and somehow God intervened before that final hour of my life. He directed people into my path that knew me personally and lovingly stopped me from making the biggest mistake of my life.

Revive me according to your word   - Psalm 119:26b

As I began to heal from this psychotic episode with my faith shaky but intact, God reminded me of his protection and promises through scripture. He saw my ways and answered me (Psalm 119:26) with tender care from those around me and the guarantee that he is always with me not matter valley of death I walk through (Psalm 23:4) 

Digging Deeper: What valley have you walked through with Jesus by your side? 

1 comment

  • I, too, was on suicide watch on Father’s Day last year. I was surrounded by people that were hearing and seeing things that were very real to them. Being the only female was terrifying. After spending five days and nights there, I was released and sent home. I was lucky because I had I insurance. Others there that were not insured and completely lost, were released within a day. The pain and isolation that we feel as a result of different situations is very real, but so is our Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit was with me and I know that He protected me and brought me back from the brink. God bless you and keep you.

    Stephanie

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